About Dragon Hearts (3)

What is our mission?

Our Mission is to introduce dragon boat to everyone. We know this is a great sport, so we want to share it with everyone and keep the sport alive!

Who is Dragon Hearts?

Dragon Hearts, aka “Dragon Hearts Club”, is a dragon boat racing club run by enthusiastic dragon boat lovers for 20 years and counting! One of the founders of Dragon Hearts is John Ko. He manages and provides logistics for our teams. There are many generous unsung heroes supporting this club in the background. Read more About Us.

Do you own any boats?

The Geminis, BUKs and 6-16s we use belongs to Dragon Zone.  We rent it.

 

About Racing and Festivals (21)

What are the restrictions for equipment?

Paddles — If you bought your paddle from our coach, you’re fine! They allow carbon fiber paddles. You may also put tape or wax on your OWN paddle only.
PFDs (lifejackets) — If your PFD is approved by DOT, CCG and DFO, you’re fine (except for manual/auto inflating jackets).
For more information, please see 2009 Rules and Regulations FAQs

Butt pads — You can bring a seat pad or foam pad to race AS LONG AS it is or under 15mm (9/16”) thick. (This standard is as of Alcan 2009)

Safety to keep in mind (e.g. Collision prevention)

If your boat paddles 50 metres away from the start line, there is no way we can restart the race unless for “extraordinary circumstances”. So just assume that there’s a boat in your radar, don’t be scared. Paddle twice as hard as you normally do and hopefully everyone will do the same to avoid the collision. You can’t turn back, so might as well keep going! Tough it out! Remember the chain of command: Race official->Steerer->Caller&Paddlers. We don’t take commands from race officials. Steerer will and it’s up to them to make the call and we only listen to our boat and our steerer.

This is why we practice a lot of mock races during practice so we aren’t easily intimidated by boats around us.

:) TADA!! encourage your pod to be alert and paddle like you’re the hulk

What is the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival (ADBF)?

The Alcan Dragon Boat Festival (now known as Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival) is an annual festival held in Vancouver for dragon boat teams from around the world to compete at the sport of dragon boat. For more information, please visit their website at Dragon Boat BC

What is the difference between the first and second regattas we race in?

GENERALLY, The first regatta serves as practice races (FCRCC Regatta). It’s a chance for teams to show each other what they have and who they are. The second regatta is a lot more competitive because it is the last non-ranking pre-festival race before Alcan.  The second regatta is called DragonZone Regatta – last chance for team to see how they are compare to other local teams (some may be racing for the first time!). (Alcan has a lot of visitor teams from outside of Canada)

During race days, why do we need to come to the site 2 hours before the race?

It’s suggested by the people who run the festival and the coaches to be with your team 2 hours before the race. You all need to warm up, get together, stand by before they call you and marshall half an hour before the race. Time is tight, so please be on time! We may paddle sooner than we’re scheduled, so you have to mentally prepare for that.

It’s suggested by the people who run the festival and the coaches to be with your team 2 hours before the race. You all need to warm up, get together, stand by before they call you and marshall half an hour before the race. Time is tight, so please be on time! We may paddle sooner than we’re scheduled, so you have to mentally prepare for that.

Yes, but during the festival weekend, parking by the streets is high in demand. You’ll have to come extra early or park further. There is also pay parking nearby. Either way, come early! Also, where there’s car, there’s auto theft. Make sure you don’t leave any valuables inside your car. Lock your vehicle and and steering wheel when possible.

Suggest free parking may be: (watch out for restrictions/exceptions!) E.2nd, E 3rd, E.4th Avenue and along Quebec Street.  Good luck. Remember, leave your valuables at home or on you.

Here’s my two-cents for y’all: DO NOT bring shiny bags or jewelries if you’re not going to bring them to the boat.

Parking is hard to find, what other methods of transportation are available?

Public transit — Make sure you plan ahead (check Translink for schedules). If you are taking the SkyTrain, note that on Sundays, the first skytrain leaves the terminal at 7:05am. (We might meet realllllly early)

Car Pool — Arrange a ride with your friend or teammate.

During the Alcan, am I allowed to temporarily substitute as a paddler for another team?

The short answer is NO, because the International Dragon Boat Festival says so.
If you are a drummer or a paddler for a mixed adult team, you may not paddle for another mixed adult team. If you are a steersperson, you MAY steer for another mixed adult team. Please see race rules. It’s different for every festivals.

Distance, race course?

500 Meters or 250 Metres

500 Metres is about somewhere near Cambie Bridge to somewhere around Science World.

How many boats compete at each heat?

About six to eight boats per heat. We’ll know when the race grid comes out.

What kind of boats are we going to use at the festival?

Gemini, and BUK (faster boat with foot brace underneath the seat infront of you, light boat, rough seat – raspberries beware!).  I don’t know if it’s true that they’re not going to use 6-16 this Alcan. We’ll see.

What happens once we’re on the boat?

The boat will be marshalled down (practice our start on our way down) to the starting area.The starter (on th PA) will have us approach to the starting line and align us before we start. Before we do, we might have to wait for the traffic to clear. Just stay chill.

The starter will say something like..
“I will ask you all to approach the starting line together and align you one by one. If you fall behind, we will start the race without you…All boats, please approach the starting line now.” <—- cue to listen to your own steerer
“Boat 1, back paddle….” <— very distracting!! stay focus. you’re not boat1 anyway.
“Boat 2, back 2 seats!..” <— you get the idea.

“boat 3 HOLD boat 4 HOLD.. boat 1 and 5 HOLDDDD!!!!!!! ALL BOATS HOLD, we have an alignment”
“Paddlers ready? Attention Please…” (silence)
*HONK!!!* The horn will go off and the race begins. (our caller will go 2….3…..4……5……6.. up up up ……)
*** please take your first stroke ON the HONK! then do your 2nd stroke.. 3rd..so on..

Different starters start the race slightly different, so be prepared and listen for the horn when you are AT the starting line. You’ll be surprised how many people are outta focus. BE REALLY ALERT!

In year 2006 we had a collision. Why weren’t we able to re-race? That was so unfair!

The rule says after 50m away from the starting line, the official will have no ground to allow re-race unless under “extraordinary circumstances”. So this year, if you see SOME boat coming at you,(you shouldn’t even be looking outside your boat anyway) don’t be scared. JUST DO YOUR THING. There’s no way to turn back or re-race. JUST KEEP GOING! Maybe by doing so, our team will dodge it and win the race! Just keep your mind away from anything else~~ trust your steersperson. Don’t stop unless the steersperson and the official says otherwise.

That explains why this year, John want us to experience “intimate” dragon boat racing with other boats. “get close!~ yeah.. so we can smell them!” We need to practice how to handle the “intimacy”. We have to practice to not fear even if the other team is hitting our paddle!

Touch wood! What IF we do get involve in a boat collision?

Protocol: do not panic!! Open your ears for your STEERPERSON’S COMMAND then CALLER’S COMMAND. That’s all you gotta do. Just listen to them and nooooo body else. Steerer takes order from the water officials, y’all just listen to the steerer. Most importantly, be there for each other! It’s common that people in the boat will freak out. Help your teammates get back to it. Don’t ask why…..yet.

I see people practice on the weekend before the race, that’s hard core! Can our team do that too?

They’re call “Festival Practices”. It’s not required. For new team, (who knows, maybe they’re from out of town and they just wanna have fun at Alcan) it’s important for them to at least try dragon boating for their first time before going to the festival! It’s free! They can have 3 practices on Saturday and Sunday afternoon (from Apr to June). Your team have to register with Dragon Zone ahead of time. Space is limited. Three practices per week is really hard core. Don’t hurt yourself.

Can I bring my water bottle and my lucky charm to the boat at the Alcan?

Sure, you can practice your ritual, but please consider you may be adding dead weight to the boat, and hence, requiring your whole team to pull more weight. If you do plan on bringing your belongings, please do not leave them in the boat.

Race calls

The boat will be marshaled down (practice our start on our way down) to the starting area.The starter (on the PA) will have us approach to the starting line and align us before we start. Before we do, we might have to wait for the traffic to clear. Just stay chill.

The starter will say something like..
“I will ask you all to approach the starting line together and align you one by one. If you fall behind, we will start the race without you…All boats, please approach the starting line now.” <—- cue to listen to your own steerer “Boat 1, back paddle….” <— very distracting!! stay focus. you’re not boat1 anyway. “Boat 2, back 2 seats!..” <— you get the idea. “boat 3 HOLD boat 4 HOLD.. boat 1 and 5 HOLDDDD!!!!!!! ALL BOATS HOLD, we have alignment” “Paddlers ready? Attention Please…” (silence) *HONK!!!* The horn will go off and the race begins. (our caller will go 2….3…..4……5……6.. up up up ……the rest should be exactly like practice) *** please take your first stroke ON the HONK! then do your 2nd stroke.. 3rd..so on.. Different starters start the race slightly different, so be prepared and listen for the horn when you are AT the starting line. You’ll be surprised how many people are outta focus. BE REALLY ALERT!

How much do your out of town races cost?

Victoria: ~$100 or more per person + food and transportation
Harrison: ~50 or more per person + food and transportation
Hawaii: ~free + flight, accommodation, food…etc..

food, transportation and accommodation cost varies!

Race day! Meet at least 1.5 hr before race time??

It’s suggested by race officials and the coaches to be with your team at least 1.5 hours before the race. You all need to warm up, get together, stand by before they call you and marshall half an hour before the race. Time is tight, so please be on time! We may paddle sooner than we’re scheduled, so you have to mentally prepare for that.

Can I be on multiple teams?

You may practice with different teams. There’s no rules that says you can’t.
It’s not highly recommended because different teams have different technique.
If you paddle with one team, your technique will have to adjust a bit. If you don’t, your technique will throw others off. In terms of team bonding, it’s best if you stick with one team because there are a lot of social activities that will take up a bit of your time. Your commitment to one team may be more manageable than doing multiple teams.

During racing festivals though,the short answer is NO, because the International Dragon Boat Festival says so. If you are a drummer or a paddler for a mixed adult team, you may not paddle for another mixed adult team.
It does bother other teams if you’re from a higher level team paddling for a lower level team, aka. stacking your team! If you’re caught, your team may get a warning, penalty or DQ.

If you are a steersperson, you MAY steer for another mixed adult team.

What is Alcan?

The Alcan Dragon Boat Festival (now known as Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival) is an annual festival held in Vancouver for dragon boat teams from around the world to compete at the sport of dragon boat. For more information, please visit their website at http://dragonboat.ca/

First Time Paddlers (7)

What can I get out of doing dragon boat?

You get lots from joining dragon boat: friends, friends and more friends.

You get even more when you commit to this sport: learn more about  yourself, better your endurance, learn to be strong both  physically and mentally, learn to be a good team player, learn to  focus (as you know it’s very difficult), and learn to fight as a team.     It’s a team sport that will help you learn about yourself and grow.

How many paddlers and spares do you have per team?

We have more than 20 paddlers on our team. We’re all paddlers, there are no definite “SPARES” until the week of the Alcan. The coach and captain will evaluate our performance and likely put committed paddlers on the seat first. Who will or will not be a spare depends on attendance. Each team may have their own roster plan that align with their (team) goal.

What happens if the weather is not good on practice day? Should I still come to practice?

Unless informed by your captain thru e-mail, YES. Practices are on RAIN OR SHINE. Do not skip practice.

What if I can’t attend practice? Who should I contact?

There are designated leaders for each practice, please contact the respective leaders. If you cannot reach them, please let one of your fellow teammates know.

What should I bring to practice? / Wear to practice?

Sunny Day- bring a cap, wear sun screen. (not too much on your face or it will sting you if your face gets wet), and a bottle of water. There will be small breaks in between practice pieces.

Rainy Days- a water-resistant jacket, warm clothing, a bottle of water.  Dress in layers. An extra change of clothes is also recommended.

What to expect during practices?

That depends on your team’s level.

Typically, it’s warm up to Cambie bridge, then we’ll go over technique, endurance practices, race pieces and race home!

The practice lasts an hour and a half, sometimes shorter.

For your first practice, we’ll focus on how to hold the paddle and paddle in time with the others :)

What kind of boats do you use?

Either a BUK, Gemini or a 6-16 depending on what we’re assigned that day.
To read more about “Gemini” Dragon Boat click here [document file].
To read more about “Six-Sixteen” Dragon Boat click here.

How to join our club (9)

I want to be a part of your team! How and when can I sign up?

You may sign up before the season starts, between November and January. We accept new members up until March, depending on availability. To sign up, please e-mail Dragon Hearts Club . We will have an orientation before the season starts, so give us a shout if you’re interested. We’ll save you a spot.

Your team is full? Oh no! What should I do?

You can still come for our extra practices (see Practice Schedule) to get training. Some of our paddlers may not be able to race during the festival and we may need spares, so talk to our coach and we’ll work something out.

I have never paddled in my life! I’m afraid of drowning. Is dragon boat dangerous?

Not to worry. Dragon boats hardly flip. You would have to be doing really weird stuff on the boat in order for it to flip (for example, the steersperson doing the Macarena with his/her oar). The most important safety tip is to LISTEN and do what your coach and steersperson tell you to do. Also, every paddler is required to wear a PFD (aka lifejacket) so it’s not as dangerous as you think. We’ll work together to get back to the dock safely.

What are the qualifications required to be a paddler?

Everyone is welcome to paddle with us. The question is whether or not you want to participate in the races. We require that you attend 80% of our practices to be able to participate in a race. For those who want to paddle for leisure, we have a team just for that.

What are the qualifications required to be a steersperson?

All steerspersons must be certified in order to steer during the races. If you’re interested, Dragon Hearts will be happy to train you. We’ll get you all the info you need. Let us know your name and how you heard about us! Email Dragon Hearts Club!

What are the qualifications required to be a caller?

You have to be loud! A loud voice (properly use of voice would be a great asset) and a good concept of rhythm (music) will definitely help the team to keep in time. If you are an enthusiastic individual with lots of energy, you are exactly what we are looking for. :)

How much does it cost to join the team?

$90 for practice and $100 for Alcan racing. All other races costs separately.
Details to be discussed at the annual registration. If you miss it, please Email Dragon Hearts Club

How many practices do you have per week?

The number of practices depends on which team you want to join. Please visit the Teams page for details.

What can I get out of doing dragon boat?

You get lots from joining dragon boat: friends, friends and more friends.

You get even more when you commit to this sport: learn more about  yourself, better your endurance, learn to be strong both  physically and mentally, learn to be a good team player, learn to  focus (as you know it’s very difficult), and learn to fight as a team.     It’s a team sport that will help you learn about yourself and grow.

How you can support Dragon Hearts (3)

I’m interested in sponsoring a Dragon Hearts team!

If you’re interested in sponsoring Dragon Hearts, you may contact dheartsclub@gmail.com

You are welcome to sponsor multiple teams depending on your needs and goals.
Have a look at our team pages and see which team(s) you would like to support.

You may also support the whole club by sponsoring all the teams!

I want to make a ($) contribution to Dragon Hearts

Thank you for your generosity. You can contribute in 2 ways:

1. By Mail (Cheques only)
Please E-mail us at dheartsclub@gmail.com for the official Dragon Hearts Club PO Box mailing address.

2. In person (Cheque preferred, Cash if err…. you want)
Please come during one of our practice days (Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri) and one of our manager can get your information.  We can’t provide receipt but we’ll post a thank you on our website

What other ways can I support Dragon Hearts? Cheer for us!

Cheer for us! Posters! Signs! We love those! LOL

Show your support by shouting
“Who’s got hearts!” x 3

Like this…

You: WHO’S GOT HEARTS
DH: We’ve got hearts!
You: WHO’S GOT HEARTS
DH: We’ve got hearts!
You: WHO’S GOT HEARTS!!!!!!!
DH: Dragon Hearts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

We’d love more photos on our website. Sometimes we have great races but no footages! If you have videos/footages of our races.. or our presence during any of the festivals~ please Email us! dragonheartsweb@gmail.com We’ll make sure your work is properly recognize! Thanks in advance!