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

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.. 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!

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

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.

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!