Rainy Days and Sundays..
July 6, 2024

On Sunday, June 9, 2024, the skies opened up with a deluge of rain, but that didn’t stop the LigerBots from participating in TWO events that day!

We love being a part of all the villages of Newton and Highlands Village Day is probably the longest standing village day in which we’ve participated since our inception in 2008.

Our robot, Prometheus, trying to stay dry

Meanwhile in Cambridge, 23 LigerBots and 18 of our classmates and friends, came together and fielded TWO full boats to race along the Charles River representing two of the youngest boats on the river at the 45th Annual Boston Dragonboat Festival.

A team picture of both the A and O boats

Dragonboat racing has been a tradition in Boston since the 1980s and involves 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steerer maneuvering a 40 foot long boat for 500 meters. A fun WET activity that truly tests a team’s ability to work as a team.

LigerBoat O before a race

Competition weekend actually started on Saturday, June 8: when the LigerBots along with our other teammates (collectively calling ourselves the LigerBoat) competed in the morning time trials with the other 66 teams from the North East region.

The trial times would not only determine in which division we would race on Sunday, but also placed us for the specialty Youth Division competition. We fielded two teams this year – LigerBoat A and LigerBoat O and there was one other youth boat that combined high schoolers from both Boston and New York City.

The time trials featured two heats of 200M paddles, taking the average of the two times. While a youth boat is allowed to have adults as drummer and steerer, LigerBoat A was the only team that was comprised of all high school students as the A team had a student steerer and drummer.

The Ligerboat A won both of their first two heats!

They finished their trial with a time of 1:07.20, while the O team ended with a time of 1:16.31 resulting in us taking home silver and bronze medals respectively.

Sunday, June 9th, was the official 500M race and LigerBoat A qualified for Division E and LigerBoat O qualified for Division F. Of the six Divisions that competed on Sunday, the teams that made it to the Majors of Division A also moved on to compete in the Nationals.

The finalists would go to Hong Kong to represent the US in the 2025 Hong Kong International Dragonboat Competition. However, we just compete for the fun and thrill of racing and receiving medals.

LigerBoat A during their race in the rain

There was some heavy rain at moments, but that didn’t stop the Ligerboats from having fun! Apart from boating, there were games, food, and socializing!

LigerBoats’ graduated seniors posing for a selfie