Team Info & Registration

Teamwork is everything in dragon boat racing. A perfectly synchronized team will almost always beat a stronger, but less coordinated team. Dragon boat racing is a great sport for men and women of all ages and athletic ability. 


  • Teams are comprised of 20 paddlers and one drummer, plus a steersperson (provided for each boat). Each team can include up to four additional alternates on the team roster, for a maximum of 25. All paddlers must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Mixed crews must include a minimum of 10 female paddlers. The drummer does not count as a paddler.
  • Paddles, personal flotation devices (PFDs) and other equipment are provided to each team; however, paddlers can wear their own PFD and use their own IDBF certified paddle.
  • All team members will sign a team waiver at the practice site during the first team practice. If a team member is not able to make practice and sign the waiver, he or she must complete it prior to race day.

The Races

  • Our course is approximately 300 meters.
  • Every team is guaranteed two races. Racing will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end around 4:00 p.m.
  • Teams are expected to arrive one hour prior to their first scheduled race and be lined up in the marshaling area no less than 30 minutes prior to race time.
  • Racing can sometimes get ahead or fall slightly behind schedule; therefore, all team members are encouraged to stay in the park throughout race day.
  • Opening ceremonies will take place on Friday, July 15 at Copeland Park at 6:00 p.m.
  • A breast cancer survivor recognition ceremony will occur at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 16. We ask all teams to attend.
  • A detailed race schedule will be sent to team captains at least one week prior to race day.

Registration & Fees

  • Register soon! Team registration will be limited to 60 teams. 
  • Early bird registration is $700 per team, February 15 - April 1
  • After April 1, registration increases to $800 per team.
  • Registration ends June 17 or once all slots are filled.
  • The entry fee includes a minimum of two races on race-day.
  • All registered teams will receive one free practice session and paddling lesson – all practices are scheduled on a first come first served basis and will be available two weeks prior to the festival.
  • Additional practices will be available for a fee.
  • Registration fee is non-refundable.

Registration for the 2016 Festival is now closed.

Team Captains

  • Each team must have an assigned captain. 
  • Team captains are responsible for completing registration and submitting the entry fee
  • Team captains are responsible for communicating race information and requirements with their teammates
  • Team captains are responsible for making sure all team members have signed the team waiver.

Race Divisions and Competition Level

Team Captains will register their team in one of three race divisions: 

  • Community (minimum of 10 female paddlers per team)
  • Corporate (minimum of 10 female paddlers per team)
  • Breast Cancer Survivors (all paddlers must be breast cancer survivors)
At the time of team registration please self-identify a race competition level for your team entry based on one of three categories. If your team competed in last year’s race, refer to the 2015 Race Results to compare how your team performed, based on overall time, against other teams. 

Use the following criteria to help determine which competition level best matches the interest and skill level of your team. 
  • Novice
    • New team – over 75% of your teammates have little to no paddling experience (dragon boat, canoe, kayak, paddle board, etc.)
    • Returning team – if your team ranked within the lower 10-15 teams at our last festival race, based on overall time, you may want to consider this level
    • Your team is more interested in having fun than winning! 
  • Intermediate
    • New team – More than 50% of your teammates have had some paddling experience or participated in a prior dragon boat race
    • Returning team – if your team ranked in the middle of all competing teams in the last festival race, this level may be most appropriate for your team
  • Experienced
    • Returning team – if your team ranked within the top 10-15 teams at our last festival race, based on overall time, you should consider this level
    • More than 50% of your teammates have previously raced and medaled in another community festival dragon boat race
    • More than 50% of your teammates participate in a recreational paddle sport on a regular basis (canoe, kayak, paddle board, etc.)
    • Your team wants to participate at a more competitive level, yet still have fun. You’re in it to win it!

Selecting an appropriate competition level for your team will help us plan for an exciting day of racing and allow your team to race against other teams with similar skills and interests. It also helps our race organizers plan for and provide appropriate practice sessions to meet the goals and needs of each team. Teams will have the opportunity to voluntarily change their competition level up until the last day of registration. However, please note, practice coaches and race organizers have the right to move a team to a different competition level prior to, or on race day, based on team performance. 

Race Format 

Each team will race two morning Semi-final heat races against other teams within their competition level (novice, intermediate or experienced). During Semi-finals, teams from across various divisions (Corporate, Community and BCS) will race against each other. It doesn’t matter whether your team wins or loses a heat race; what’s important is your team time. A combined time of each team’s two Semi-Final heat races will then be used to schedule Division Final racing. 

Division Finals (Corporate, Community and BCS) will take place starting early afternoon. Teams will be placed into one of several brackets (A, B, C, etc.) based on how they performed against all other teams within their division. For example, the four fastest corporate teams will advance to Division A Corporate Finals, while the next four fastest teams move on to Division B Corporate Finals, and so on. This same structure will continue for Community and Breast Cancer Survivor divisions. The number of brackets will be determined based on the total number of registered teams within each division. 75% of teams will participate in a third and final race; the remaining 25% will be done after semi-final racing. 

This race format was developed in response to your feedback. You told us you wanted to better understand the race schedule and format well in advance. We’ve done that and now you’ll be able to tell your friends and family the exact times of your first two races. We don’t want them to miss the excitement! By eliminating time trials and having your team self-select your competition level, we’ve also been able to shorten the day. And, we’re responding to your competitive spirit by giving teams the opportunity to see how they measure up against teams across divisions. This race format is sure to offer really fun, exciting and close races all in the spirit of building community and supporting breast cancer survivors!