Official Race Rules

Our officials follow US Dragon Boat Federation (USDBF) race rules. Please refer to the USDBF website for a copy of the rules if you are not familiar with them.

The bottom line is good sportsmanship and safety.

Penalties will be given for the following:

  • Each team is required to have a drummer. A .5 second penalty will be given to a team without a drummer.
  • Each team is required to have at least 8 female paddlers. A 3 second penalty will be given for each female the team is short and fills with a male. If the team leaves the missing female spot open, then the team will not receive the penalty.
  • Penalties will be given for wake riding, crossing lanes if it impedes or endangers others, and for general misconduct on land or in the water.
  • Please wait to enjoy the beer tent until after all of your races. The dock master can disqualify your entire crew based on the smell of alcohol on one person’s breath.
  • You can race with a minimum of 16 paddlers.
  • Please make arrangement with guest paddlers before you arrive. Their names and signatures must be on your waiver/team roster before the first race of the day.

Costumes are great as long as they do not compromise your personal safety, the safety of the crew, or others. Have fun, but remember, this is a family event.

Lifejackets will be provided for each team member but you are welcome to bring your own regulation vests if you prefer.

Each person that you designate as a team member in your boat must sign the waiver. The team captain will receive waiver instructions after registering the team.

Minimum age for paddlers is 15 years old as of September 9, 2017. Paddlers between the ages of 15 – 18must have a guardian’s signature on the waiver.

Race Details

The dragon boat race course is a 250-meter run roughly between the Shelby Street walking bridge and the Woodland Street bridge. Your team will be outfitted with paddles, personal flotation devices and, of course, a Dragon Boat.

You’ll be racing in a four-boat heat in river water with the current.

The racecourse is a straight, marked course.

Each team will have a designated area. Water will be provided and teams may purchase food and drinks from festival vendors.

No alcohol is permitted in the team staging area.

As a safety precaution, paddlers are not allowed to drink beer or consume other alcoholic beverages until their participation in the races is completed.

There are plenty of portable toilet facilities. We plan on providing enough TP to last through the event, but experienced paddlers know to BYOTP!

Don’t forget to bring waterproof sunscreen(reapply it every two hours), hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing such as a long sleeve shirt.

The public will have access to your personal belongings, so please don’t leave valuables unprotected. You are responsible for your team’s belongings so please plan accordingly.

*Please note: For safety reasons, all teams will be assigned a professional steersperson at no additional charge. Steering the dragon boat requires more skill than any other position. He or she will make sure your boat is on point at the starting line, that the boat is properly balanced, and knows how to maintain a safe distance from other boats and obstructions on the water during the race.