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What is Dragon Boat?

The term Dragon Boat refers to traditional Chinese watercraft developed around the Pearl River Delta in the south of China. Dragon Boats have evolved to become works of water craftsmanship for both decorative and racing purposes. Modern dragon boat racing is organized by the International Dragon Boat Federation at the international level. Competitive dragon boat racers train year-round for a competition that is typically a sprint event of several hundred meters. All of the training and effort of the individuals are most commonly exerted in races of 500 meters with other races at 200, 1,000 & 2,000 meter. Each race is usually held on a 500 meter course, meaning that for the longer 1,000 and 2,000 meter races, boats have to complete multiple loops start to finish in order to complete the race. Less common in the West, but more popular in China and Australia are long distance dragon boat endurance races. The Three Gorges Dam Rally that runs along the Yangtze River covers close to 100 kilometers. Another race in Australia, the Ord River marathon covers about half that distance at 50 kilometers. However, the most impressive feat in a dragon boat continues to be the 186.54 kilometer, 24 hour trip by the Komodo Paddle Club of Australia paddling on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, Australia. A very impressive feat considering this group paddled for 24 hours straight!

Joining Cal Dragon Boat

When you join the Cal Dragon Boat team, no one will expect you to paddle for 24 hours straight; in fact students at Cal are encouraged to join regardless of their physical ability or their past experience. The only requirement is that you are a current student at UC Berkeley. If you are interested in joining the team, and would like more information, come to our general meeting at the beginning of each semester. At the opening semester’s meeting we will provide information all about open practices for new members to try out the process. Practices for newcomers are meant to provide first-time experience to dragon boat racers and will cover all of the basics. If you would like more information before our next meeting, fill out a contact form


Thanks for visiting our website! We look forward to seeing you at our next Dragon Boat Race!

Outside of Cal Dragonboat:


Dragon boat is a sport that finds itself moving all over the world. The sport has actually picked up quite a bit in Brazil, with new coaches, trainers and enthusiasts travelling to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. We know a lot of our community travels for the sport, so if you're interested in heading down there, check out agente imovel for some SP online real estate listings - there are some great properties to live in and they can be very close to some of the best Dragon boat racing water in the country!