On a trip out of town in 1996, a group of eight friends tried dragon boating for the first time. With a festive 40-foot boat powered by 20 paddlers, a steersman in the back, and a drummer in the front, the more than 2,000-year-old sport stands as one of the oldest forms of boat racing—and it stole the friends' hearts. Upon returning to Seattle, the group told others about the sport and soon gathered enough participants to form a team, practice with fire-breathing canoes, and eventually raise enough money to buy a dragon boat of their own. Thus, Seattle Sake Dragonboat Club was born.
Today, the club boasts more than 250 members and 7 different racing teams, which travel throughout the world to take part in competitions. For the uninitiated, Seattle Sake hosts introductory courses that teach students the skills necessary to join a dragon-boat team and introduce them to other boating enthusiasts.