The Cooper Mechanical Services team recently took a break from HVAC, electrical and refrigeration work in order to compete in the 9th annual Myrtle Beach Ground Zero Dragon Boat Festival.

The race, which placed 21-member teams in long, human-powered boats, was held at Market Common in Myrtle Beach, and provided a chance for Team Cooper to come together, have some fun, and support a teen outreach organization in the community.

We claimed 2nd place in a very close race, losing by just .05 seconds in a “photo finish.” After the race we celebrated with co-workers, family members, and new and old friends at our Tiki-themed site.

Although this is the 9th year of the festival in Myrtle Beach, the tradition of dragon boat racing is not new. The dragon boat festival comes from China’s Pearl River Delta region, where dragon boat races have been a celebratory tradition for over 2,000 years. The long boats are typically decorated with Chinese dragon heads and tails, and a drummer at the head of the boat thumps a rhythm to keep the paddlers in sync.

But the competition is second to the community-building it allows. As our own James Cooper puts it: “It was great to see the Cooper Mechanical team bonding over something outside of work with family and friends all coming together for a good cause.”