Lake Karapiro, New Zealand

Date: April 10-16, 2023
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It’s the BIG ONE!

Every 3-4 years there is an international dragon boat festival specifically for Breast Cancer Survivors and in 2023 this festival is scheduled to be held in Lake Karapiro, New Zealand! The festival is held under the auspices of the International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission (IBCPC) of which there are 240 member teams from 30 countries.

Please don’t miss out on being part of this great event happening 10 April 2023 – 16 April 2023 and participating in the week-long celebrations culminating in three days of intense activity, demonstrations, workshops and social events aimed at awareness and dialogue within the large international community of breast-cancer paddlers.

Many Hearts of Steel team members have attended at least one and some two of these festivals in the past.  All will tell you there is nothing like it.  From the opening ceremonies to the parade of nations to the closing ceremonies (and oh, yeah, some fierce competition on the water!) you are among thousands of survivors and their supporters.  It is a celebration of life, survivorship, strength, and unity that becomes a highlight of one’s life.  Over 100 teams from across the globe typically participate and the camaraderie is heartwarming and uplifting.

Dragon boat racing in general and this race, in particular, helps to put cancer in the rearview mirror and gives one a sense of their own good fortune.

To learn more about this incredible event, go to

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2018 International Breast Cancer Paddling Commission Festival