While wind from Hurricane Lee kept the Dragon Boats out of Port Jefferson Harbor, more than 40 Seawolves from Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine enjoyed a day of networking, entertainment and competition at Port Jefferson Village’s ninth annual Dragon Boat Race Festival on Saturday, September 16, in Harborfront Park.
This was the second year Stony Brook had two teams — one from Stony Brook University and one from Stony Brook Medicine — slated to compete against nearly two dozen teams from Long Island and New York City. More than 40 undergraduate and graduate students, medical and dental students, staff members and other healthcare professionals served on the two teams. Many of the team members, known as paddlers, were returners from last year’s competition.
Stony Brook had high hopes for gold medals this year, but the weather and water conditions forced all teams to stay on land. The conditions didn’t stop Stony Brook from engaging in a little friendly competition during two tug-of-war matches.
Erika Karp, community relations representative for Stony Brook Medicine, managed the Stony Brook Medicine Team, and Judy Jaquez, associate director of the Diversity, Intercultural and Community Engagement Office, managed the Seawolves Team. Medicine Community Relations Student Assistant Katie Hsu, a junior, designed the teams’ T-shirts.
“Despite not being able to race this year, our employees and students still had a ton of fun meeting new people and learning about Asian culture during the festival,” Karp said. “We look forward to going for gold in 2024.”
The event also features cultural entertainment, including performances by Stony Brook’s Taiko Tides, a traditional Japanese drumming group; food trucks; and local community businesses offering information and giveaways.
Stony Brook’s participation in the Dragon Boat Race Festival is sponsored by the Office of the President; the University and Hospital Community Relations Office; and the Diversity, Intercultural and Community Engagement Office. The event is hosted by the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, of which Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine are members.