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It all started with the construction of piers for boarding and disembarking dragon ships. There was a lot of work with the electricity distribution, and the construction of the tents and the layout of the equipment was not much fun either. The preparation of the landing strip for the Midnight Dragon was accompanied by rain, but in the end everything was successful and the treasure island was decorated with a heart.

A ramp with a large screen was also prepared and everything was transmitted live as online streaming. For listening and dancing, the radio played on the balcony and there was also a bouncy castle available and, as is traditional at all events, you could have your face painted. Refreshments offered almost everything from soft drinks to alcohol and, of course, Poutník beer on tap. In addition to the sausage, you could also eat langoustines.

Last year was interrupted by a terrible storm, when the participants had to hold their tents so that they wouldn't fly away, so before the start of this year's Midnight Dragon, everyone mentioned a request for pleasant weather, and this wish came true.

The midnight dragon was started at 12:00 on 9/9/2022 with junior races. The young dragons mounted and the battle began. 6 crews competed namely:

Cerekwich dragons 
Cerekvik dragons (children under 12)
Goldfish (children 3-5 years)
The beginnings
New Rychnov

It was really nice to see the little ones running around in swimming vests with little paddles. It was also interesting that the crew of Nový Rychnov arrived by bike (8 km to the start - to paddle the races - 8 km home) hats off. It is also necessary to appreciate the courage of Dobronín, because they sat on a dragon ship for the first time at the Midnight Dragon races.

The announcement brought great joy to the Cerekvik dragons, because they simply won. The Cerekvik dragons finished fourth and thus defeated their older opponents and put them all through the paces. Their friendly drummer drove them so hard that the audience sometimes feared that the children would have a heart attack :-) When asked if it didn't bother the children, the drummer Romča replied "it wasn't enough". Cerekvích dragons and Cerekvích dragons simply didn't give anyone a chance and the gold stayed at home! :-)

The medals were presented by an Olympic representative and a fresh bronze medalist from the World Championships
Denisa Křížová in women's ice hockey.

The crew of Počátka took second place and it must be added that they gave the Cerekvický dragons a hard time, Nový Rychnov finished third, Dobronín was fifth. The goldfish received a special award - so that they don't either. We think that the parents of these "plugs" must have been satisfied after the races, because the children surely fell asleep after the meal :-)

Editor's note: we apologize to the crew of Dobronín, for whom we mistakenly stated that they did not attend the announcement of the results. They had to leave early because of the connecting train home.

After the junior races, it started to rain, but even so, the Hornocerekvik crews used the time until the last light and trained.

To our request for a comment on the races, the organizer of the junior Dragon Boats in Horní Cerekva and an active member of the Goddess of Wine crew - Lenka Procházková wrote:

Junior dragon boat races in Horní Cerekv
On the 9th and 10th of September, the seventh annual Midnight Dragon dragon boat race took place at Zámecký rybník V Horní Cerekva. It included the Friday race of junior crews, in which six junior crews took part, namely three crews from Horní Cerekva (Zlaté rybky, Cerekvická drachata, Cerekvičtí draci, ZŠ Nový Rychnov, ZŠ Dobronín and ZŠ Počátky.

The weather forecast looked different all week, but luckily we were greeted by sunshine on Friday morning and the race took place without a drop of rain. 

Two Cerekvic crews had the honor of starting the seventh year of the Midnight Dragon, namely the Golden Fish and the Cerekvic Dragons.  It was the very first race for the Golden Fish! The goldfish paddled bravely and I think they deserve the gold cup and a huge round of applause! It should be noted that the Goldfish are around five years old and the youngest member is four years old. The children fought really bravely with the 200 m track and were rewarded with a cake and a medal.

All crews drove two runs, where the sum of the times determined the order of the final runs. Zlaté rybky and ZŠ Dobronín fought for sixth and fifth place, Cerekvická dracata and ZŠ Nový Rychnov fought for fourth and third place, and Cerekvíčtí draci and ZŠ Počátky fought for second and first place. All the teams really fought like dragons and with the great support of the fans, the races in Horní Cerekv turned out like this:

1.    place: Cerekvich Dragons
2.    place: Elementary School Počátky
3.    place: ZŠ Nový Rychnov
4.    place: Cerekvik Dragons
5.    place: ZŠ Dobronín
6.    location: Goldfish

Congratulations to all participating crews and we look forward to next year!
We must thank all small and large competitors, but also their parents, teachers and leaders who support them in this sport. 

Last but not least, the organizers of the races, the team from Prima sport Horní Cerekev, headed by Martin Duba and Mirek Kříž, who together with their colleagues prepared very successful junior races, also deserve a big thank you.

Just for the record, in case someone with only a cursory knowledge of dragon ships happens to be reading this article and report. Dragon ships are a crew of 20, a drummer and a helmsman. At the beginning of the ship, a dragon's head and a drum (98.5% female, i.e. a drummer), at the end of the ship a dragon's tail and a helmsman (99% male). It is one of the most team sports in the world. For the correct result, no one from the crew must make a mistake. The first Dragon Ship set sail 2000 years ago in China.

Saturday came after Friday, that's usually the case, unless of course you manage to have such a nice Friday that you miss Saturday and wake up on Sunday :-) However, no one would want to miss this Saturday 10 September 2022, which all participants of the Midnight Dragon can certainly do 2022 to confirm.

The Czech Dragon Boat Association brought 4 professional racing dragon boats, and the representative of the association, Petr Klíma, moderated and managed the whole race.

The participation was large, basically from the whole country, a total of 33 crews. The space around KD in Horní Cerekva was completely filled with cars, caravans, tents and we even saw one Týpí.

The entire race was accompanied by expert commentary and also led and organized. The main events were projected live on a giant screen, everything worked like clockwork. Running results and times were updated on the bulletin board, and online streaming was also available.

The current mayor, Milan Kunst, has organized a crew with the name of his party Společne 2022
and very nice shirts. Opposing candidate, chairwoman of the party For the satisfaction of the citizens of Hornocerekvicka Ing. M.Sc. Dana Mezerová Nevosádová, calmly paddled in the team Who went around -you can find out her views here on her youtube channel.

The fighting was fierce, but everywhere was calm and peaceful and a lot of fun. At the finish line, the crews thanked each other for a nice race, despite many bad forecasts - the weather was perfect.

Night fell and the heart and tracks lit up. Fires lit up around the track and lit up dragon ships took to the track. The night race was a unique experience with an unrepeatable atmosphere for everyone. At the finish line, the crews always fired two rockets. It was beautiful. The fireworks at the end of the event were great.

We must also not forget the results, here they are for download:
overall results
driving results

After the races, we asked Miroslav Kříž, the founder and organizer of the Midnight Dragon, how he felt about this year's event.

After last year, when everything was ruined by the brutal weather, we all really enjoyed it. I have been organizing the Midnight Dragon for 7 years, but my friends Martin Duba and Jiří Bulant have a great deal of merit in the realization of this event. I would also like to thank all the volunteers who helped prepare the track and set up the tents. The event was definitely a success, 33 adult crews, 6 junior crews and hundreds of visitors certainly had more than one experience. Those who were not at the Midnight Dragon 2022 can only regret and look forward to the next year, becauseThe midnight dragon was and will be!

Everything ended with the Dragon Party, dancing and singing until 2 in the morning :-)

Finally, a few night photos. So next time THANK YOU Midnight Dragon!Nuncio