The inaugural Nagambie Dragon Boat Regatta will take place on Lake Nagambie this Sunday.
More than 250 competitors from 11 clubs across Victoria will compete in a range of 200m and 2000m competitions on the lake.
Dragon Boats Victoria general manager Chris Schleusener said dragon boat racing is a highly competitive sport that celebrates the unique origins of Chinese culture.
‘‘Dragon boating is a national sport in Australia and has around 2000 years of history in ancient Chinese culture,’’ he said.
In Chinese culture, the dragon rides the clouds in the sky and commands the wind, mist and rain.
Dragon boats were originally used for religious purposes as a way to appease the rain gods.
A dragon boat is similar to a large canoe and is powered by 10 competitors paddling on each side of the boat.
Another person, called a sweep, steers the boat with a large oar at the back of the boat while a drummer sits at the front of the boat to keep the rhythm of the rowers.
Spectators will also have an opportunity to try their hand at dragon boat racing.
‘‘We want to give people the chance to try dragon boating for themselves and we will give them the basic tips and training to get them out on the water,’’ Mr Schleusener said.
The event is one of more than 30 events held at the Nagambie Regatta Centre each year.
Strathbogie Shire Mayor Amanda McClaren said events like these bring so much enjoyment to the region and are a great tourism opportunity for the shire.
‘‘It’s so great to see the Nagambie Regatta Centre utilised by a variety of amazing events each year,’’ she said.
‘‘One of our goals in the new Council Plan is to support and drive economic development in our region, and sponsoring events like these are one of the ways we are achieving this.’’
Racing will occur between 8.30am 4.30pm on Sunday and spectators can come and try dragon boating between 2.30pm and 4.30pm.