Race Rules and Regulations

The ATB Financial Lethbridge Rotary Dragon Boat Festival uses the Dragon Boat Canada Rules of Racing

All Rules and Regulations are based on the Dragon Boat Canada Rules of Racing and local rules and regulations developed by Lethbridge Rotary Dragon Boat Festival Committee. These rules and regulations are subject to change based on the race director’s judgment.

The intent of this festival is to provide the community with an opportunity to gather and work together for the promotion of the sport; building friendships and good will!

The minimum race crew is 16 paddlers, maximum of 20 paddlers, one drummer and one steer. All mixed crews must have a minimum of 8 female paddlers. The steer must have free ability to move the oar which may require adjustment to seat 10. Freeboard will be at a safe level. All paddlers must be on the crew roster, there is a maximum roster of 26 (unless a qualifying crew).

The festival races are approximately 500 meters in length. Challenge races may differ.

Crews are assigned lanes, by number, and must stay within these lanes during the start, race and finish.

A Floating start will be used, the starter will line up as best as possible. You may start with paddles in or out of the water (unless otherwise directed). Boats must listen to race officials and follow instructions quickly. Starters’ instructions will include “hold”, “back up”, or “move forward” during line up. Once the starter feels boats are lined up evenly at his/her discretion he/she will call ARE YOU READY (respond only if something is wrong), this will be followed by “ATTENTION” (NO PADDLE MOVEMENT IS ALLOWED AFTER THIS CALL). Starter will signal horn between 1 to 5 seconds after Attention. All boats should be quiet during the start commands. False starts will be signalled by three sound signals after the start signal.

A boat changing lanes during a heat may not impede any other crew on the course. A penalty or disqualification may be assessed at the time of race completion, subject to officials’ discretion. All boats must attempt to avoid contact at all times on the water.

The finish line is a land marker; buoys are just past the finish line. The timer will be stopped as the first part of the boat crossed the finish line. When your boat crosses the finish line, you must follow straight through for at least one boat length and judge those boats following through in their lanes. Return to docks quickly and safely along north shore (counterclockwise).

Exhibition races are part of the entry fee.

Each crew will have 2 – 500 meter races on Saturday and Sunday. The times from these 2 races will seed to semifinals on Sunday morning. Fastest times will seed to the fastest lanes. Semi final times will seed to finals. Fastest times will seed to the fastest lanes.

Crew members suspected of alcohol or drug abuse may be disqualified at the sole discretion of the organizing committee. Safety is paramount.

Appeals: must be accompanied by $50 cash filing fee. If the appeal/protest is legitimate, this fee will be returned. These must be made by the crew captain, manager, or steer, within 15 minutes of the conclusion of the race heat in which the penalty was assessed or issue occurred. The Race Director and 2 other assigned members will investigate the appeal/protest and make the final ruling. This ruling is final and without appeal.