MONTGOMERY DRAGON BOAT
race and festival information
frequently asked questions
- What is a Dragon Boat? Modern dragon boats vary, but the standard boat in western countries is about 44’ long and 3’ wide. It holds twenty paddlers, one steersman who stands in the stern, and one drummer who sits at the bow and beats out the paddler’s pace. The boats are generally made of fiberglass, are decorated with a dragon head and tail and weigh about 800 pounds unloaded. Dragon boating originated in ancient China.
- Are the boats and equipment provided for teams? Yes! The boats, paddles, and lifejackets teams will be using in practice sessions and on Race Day are all provided. Teams will also be coached and steered by the professional coaches we hire on for the event.
- How many people does a team need? We recommend 25-28 for our festival. 21 fill a boat; 20 crew members will paddle and one will be the drummer. We recommend several alternates. A minimum of 8 female paddlers (female drummers do not count as one of these 8) must be on your boat to compete in each round of racing. You may paddle with as few as 18 crew members, but 8 of those must be women.
- What happens if the weather is bad? The races will proceed in inclement weather but will be paused in the event of lightning until conditions improve. The festival staff may alter the race format to determine winners depending on how far the races have progressed. Announcements of any changes will be made over the stage’s sound system.
- How long is the race course? The course will have six, 300- metre-long lanes marked by buoys. The start line will be mid-way between the Amphitheatre and the marina; the finish line will be located at about the center of Riverfront Park, just west of the Amphitheatre. The finish line is marked by buoys and an underwater laser-line.
- When should we arrive/depart? The first race will begin at the conclusion of the opening ceremony- about 9:00am. Captains should have their teams at the park no later than 8:00 a.m. for check-in. Captains will be given wristbands for their crew at check-in. An awards ceremony will follow the conclusion of the Grand Championship Race, around 4:30 p.m. The final Race Day schedule will be posted the week- of.
- What about food and drink? There will be an Athletes’ Hospitality Tent with complementary water, Gatorade, fruit and healthy snacks for registered crew members. Teams may bring their own food, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages in coolers. A selection of vendors will be set up in the park all day, and several catering choices will be available also. Grilling is not permitted in the park. A complete list of vendors and caterers will be posted on our website. Non-participating attendees will have access to a variety of food and beverage vendors in the park. Please note, NO alcoholic beverages may be brought into the park! (See Rules & Safety). Alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase inside the park.
- How else can I be involved? If you aren’t paddling on Race Day, there are so many other ways for you to get in on the action! We are always looking for volunteers for practice days, set-up day, and race day. We have a wide variety of areas to manage in pulling off an event of this scale, and we rely on almost 300 volunteers to help make the Festival a success! Interested? Click on the Volunteer button below and send us a message!
- What is the age limit to participate? To be able to participate on a team, an individual must be at least 16 years old. Any crew member under the age of 19 must have parental/guardian consent to be allowed onto a boat. Please note: We will sometimes ask for identification at the check-in for Practices.