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​Taipei Water Challenge: 30 canoes take maiden voyages on the Keelung River

The most popular experience activity on the waterfront of Taipei is the "Canoe Self Challenge", the first long-distance rowing event of the year. The activity began at the Dajia Riverside Park on November 6th (Saturday). The Taipei City Government Department of Sport has developed water activities in Taipei City to encourage the public to get close to the water, experience the water, love the water, and respect the water. Each summer, the city organizes water activities for the Crazy Summer Water Fun Event. In today’s final round of advanced “Canoe Self-Challenge” activity, Commissioner Li Tzai-li of the Taipei City Government Department of Sports kicked off the challenge with a shrill blast of the whistle. Participants in the 30 two-person canoes launched off from under the Dazhi Bridge in Dajia Riverside Park and paddled all the way to the final destination in SanjiaoduWharf.

This activity was fully booked within two minutes after registration opened. Many of the teams were made up of families and friends. Some were members of dragon boat teams and even seniors who have been participating for many years in beginning level water activities. Some have even participated in all phases of this year’s events, including die-hard fans of the beginner experience this summer and the advanced canoe training camp in October. All the participants were eager to try out their skills before the event. To participate in the event, they registered for the weekly advanced training camp to practice and adapt in the hope of successfully completing the race in the final challenge and leaving behind a special memory of Taipei's waterfront experience.

The total distance of this route is 3.5 kilometers. The participants started out in groups and were escorted by teams of water safety guards and onshore ambulance support. The route passes by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the Grand Hotel, giving everyone an appreciation of the Keelung River from different angles. During the activity, the team coaches also accompanied the trainees with responding to different conditions such as water currents and wind directions to enable them to put into practice their training. The race ended at the Sanjiaodu Wharf with photoshoots and certificates of completion to remember the event. 

Commission Li Tzai-li said that the purpose of progressing from the past general parent-child experience to this year’s advanced "Canoe Advanced Training Camp" is to allow more people to gain a deeper understanding of water sports. The Taipei City Government will continue to develop a greater diversity of water experience by extending the water environment from the land to the suburban waters of Taipei City to drive the vigorous development of water sports.