Dragon boat races to return this weekend - KCTV5

Dragon boat races to return this weekend

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

An event that's quickly become a tradition in Nashville returns this Saturday as dragon boat races take place over the Cumberland River.

The world of the Butler Snow O'Mara Stephens and Cannada law firm is usually made up of phones, pens and legal pads. Thursday, they traded it all in for paddles and safety vests. For their role in the dragon boat races, they'll go under the team name, 'Law and Order'.

According to Hart Knight of the firm, there's nothing like co-workers propelling a 46-foot long dragon boat by paddling to a rhythm in perfect unison to get in a little team-building.

"We're going to have fun, that's it," said Knight. "We're having the best time we can. If we win, we win. If we lose, we lose."

"Dragon boat racing is actually recognized as a really great team-building exercise for corporations," said Carolyn Wright of the Cumberland River Compact. "If you don't all paddle in unison, you're not going to go anywhere, and it'll look disastrous. It can only work if you're all working together and communicating."

Thursday was reserved for teams doing practice runs for this Saturday's 7th Annual Cumberland River Dragon Boat Festival. For the Cumberland River Compact, the festival's a chance to raise funds through the more than 5,000 in attendance.

"The Cumberland River Compact does this event every year to draw attention to the river, the Cumberland river, our distributaries here in middle Tennessee and water quality," said Wright.

Competition will be tough. Butler Snow O'Mara Stephens and Cannada is just one of 46 teams and more than 1,000 paddlers competing this year.

"We're competitive in the courtroom," laughed Knight. "We're not quite as competitive on the river."

The dragon boat races are being held this Saturday at Riverfront Park. The first race will begin at 9 a.m.

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