Taipei, June 23 (CNA) Dragon boat races held by the Taipei City government hit the waters Saturday morning with the participation of a record number of teams, eyeing prizes totaling NT$4 million (US$133,590).
The competition appeared to be more intense this year since the race schedule was adjusted from the original three days to two days, because of Tropical Storm Talim, according to the Taipei Sports Office.
A record number of 207 teams in all divisions -- Open Division,Institution Division, Administrative Division and High SchoolDivision -- are competing at the 2012 Taipei International Dragon Boat Championship, the office said.
The office noted that a team from Shanghai signed up for the event, making it the first from China in the race's history.
The opening ceremony, hosted by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, is set to be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
In addition to the boat races which is a part of the 2012 Taipei Dragon Boat Festival, several booths were set up with food and activities on offer to allow participants to soak up the folk festival atmosphere on the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on June 23 this year.
The festival is held through Sunday at Dajia Riverside Park.
(By Johnson Sun and Nell Shen)