Did you know that dragon boat racing – the colourful, competitive water sport started in China more than 2,000 years ago – has been rated the second most popular sport in the world?
A dragon boat is a spectacular 40-foot long canoe-like vessel with an ornately carved dragon’s head and tail. One person sits as a helm, keeping the boat in course with a giant paddle, while a drummer sits in the prow, beating out the time and 16 people, sitting in pairs do the paddling.
The challenge is not so much the paddling technique, but in trying to synchronise with the other paddlers in your boat.
With no experience needed – just loads of enthusiasm – the festival has become a fantastic event for groups of friends and colleagues, where you can expect to enjoy a fun day out with a great carnival atmosphere.
Racing will take place at Albert Pier, St Helier.
All teams will be based on the balcony area of Albert Pier and have been allocated a space of 4 x 3 metres. You are welcome to bring along a corporate banner and a small gazebo if you wish.
The eight teams who have raised the most money for Jersey Hospice Care will be given a much sought after location in the arena, perfect for watching the races.
What to wear
We suggest that the crew wear light clothing, which will dry quickly. Bring a towel and warm clothes to cover up as you will get wet! No heavy jeans, flip-flops or boots. Many teams like to wear fancy dress.
Life jackets are required and will be provided – please make sure they fit over your fancy dress outfit.
We hope that this event will be great fun but we need to remember health and safety requirements.
A professional dragon boat company manages the event. They will provide you with buoyancy aids, a professional helm and a full safety briefing. Please listen to and follow their instructions. In the interests of safety, a minimum age of 12 years and the ability to swim 50 metres is set for our competitors.
Whilst the organisers will not unreasonably restrict crew members from drinking in moderation, Dragon Boat Events Limited reserves the right to disqualify a single crew member or even a whole team from the competition if, in the opinion of the chief marshal, they are unfit to paddle. In such cases, there will be absolutely no refund of entry fees.
We ask teams not to bring alcohol or bottles into the arena. You may pre-order team drinks with food as part of registration and will be delivered to the team in the morning. Please note that BBQs are not permitted inside the arena by order of the Harbour Master. Refreshments may be bought from the various food and drink stalls, which will be there on the day.
The Condor Ferries’ Dragon Boat Festival isn’t just a sport – it’s almost a carnival event. Participating crews can enjoy a full day’s entertainment, including:
- Dragon boats and all related racing equipment
- A minimum of three races per crew
- Race commentary and musical entertainment
- Food and drink stalls, craft stalls and family entertainment
- Souvenir programme
The first race usually takes place at about 10.00, with the grand final scheduled for 16.00. At the end of the day, prizes will be awarded to the fastest team and two runners up.
This is a great charity fundraiser and we would encourage you to take selfies and use social media to tell people about the Festival. We will also take photos, including drone photography and filming, for publicity in which you are welcome to take part if you wish. These may be used for present or future promotion and marketing.
All teams taking part pledge to raise a minimum of £500 for Jersey Hospice Care. Donations can be made online via our website or cash and cheques, made payable to Jersey Hospice Care Fundraising Limited, may be handed in on the day of the event.
Why not set up your own Sponsorship page on our website. It’s easy and you can personalise with your own team photo and text.
The teams who have raised the most money for Jersey Hospice Care will be rewarded with a prime location on the day.