Races are run using Dragon Boat BC's Official Competition Rules and Regulations for each competition year. Please visit to view the current year rules. In the event of any inconsistency with this page and the Official Competition Rules and Regulations, the Official Competition Rules and Regulations will prevail. Please note the following points:

  • Random roster checks may be conducted throughout the day 


  • A BuK standard 1222 racing fleet will be used at the Festival.
  • Only dragon boat paddles meeting the IDBF PS202a specifications may be used. The Grey Owl dragon boat paddle meets the IDBF PS202a size specification.
  • Friction tape and wax may be used on personal paddles only.
  • Any Department of Transport/Canadian Coast Guard approved PFD will be allowed (except “self-inflating jackets”) – they will be inspected by dock personnel before each race, It is up to the discretion of the dock manager if the personal Flotation Device will be allowed. Note that Vaikobi PFD’s are not approved for use in Canada and will not be permitted at this festival.


  • Races will be 200m and 500m races. The race program may change depending on conditions.
  • Races will be run with 4-6 lanes (may change based on teams registered).


  • The Race Referee will line boats up in their lanes 2 boat lengths behind the Start Line, then hand the race over to the Starter. The Starter will position boats on the Line.
  • In the event of windy conditions, running starts may be used. The Race Referee will line boats up 3 boat lengths behind the Start Line, then hand the race over to the Starter.
  • The start commands are:
    1. “Paddlers, are you ready”
    2. “Attention”
    3. An air horn blast or similar signal.
  • At the official’s discretion, a re-race may be ordered when: The Starter calls a false start; a collision occurs within the first 50M of the race, or; there is an equipment breakage, other than paddle breakage, within the first 50M of the race. There are no grounds for re-races once boats have passed the 50M mark, except one initiated by Officials under extraordinary circumstances.


  • Protests require a $50 non-refundable fee and the protest must be in written form.
  • A team may protest: illegal paddle/PFD used by another team; non-compliance with rosteres; or collision initiated by another team during the race.
  • A team may not protest: boat/lane assignment, or interference from another boat that did not result in a collision.
  • Protests must be filed by your team manager prior to leaving the dock area, and within the time frame parameters as indicated within the Official Competition Rules and Regulations.


At the Official’s discretion, a varying-second penalty or team disqualification may be imposed for the following infractions:

  • Verbal/physical abuse to any Official/Volunteer
  • Crew does not comply with the Official Team Roster
  • False starting
  • Crew does not follow Official’s instructions to change course, resulting in impeding another crew or resulting in a collision with another crew
  • Use of unofficial paddle/PFD


The Festival has the sole right to construe, interpret and enforce the Official Competition Rules and Regulations. Any decisions rendered on or under these rules and regulations are conclusive and final.

The Festival reserves the right to: add, cancel, or make any changes to the divisional categories or the race program as needed; to limit the number of teams that may participate in any division; and to accept or refuse any entry into the festival.