2017 Charleston Dragon Boat Festival Tips


1. All paddlers are committing to raising a minimum of $50 per paddler. This is $1,050 per team.

2. The team and individual fundraiser win not only glory, but a free registration and extra team practice in 2018.

3. Teams that raise over $5,000 can reserve their festival space early, have tent location preference and pay a reduced registration fee. Teams that raise $2,500+ ($100 per paddler) also receive early registration and a discount.

4. Teams that do not raise the minimum will be put on the wait list in 2018.

5. In order to have money counted in time for the Individual Fundraising Awards, all donations must be turned in by 10am. For Team Fundraising Awards, all money must be turned in by 2pm sharp.

6. If your team would like to donate money to another team, it must keep at least the minimum of $1,050.

7. Medals are awarded to paddlers who raise $100+. Captains can pick up the medals at the registration tent.

Festival Practices

1. We are on a very tight schedule during festival practices. Your team has exactly 1 hour to practice. If you arrive late, your practice will still end at the scheduled time.

2. If any of your paddlers cannot attend your scheduled practices, tell them to attend the practice of another team any Monday-Wednesday at 5:30 or 6:30pm during practice weeks. Just check in at the registration desk at the dock and tell the volunteers to stick you in a boat.

3. Paddlers should keep valuables locked in the car. We will have volunteers to watch over your keys/phones.

4. Your team will practice if it is raining. The only time we cancel practice is in the case of high winds and/or lightning. **Register for Rained Out by going to www.rainedout.com. Search for Charleston Dragon Boat Festival and then choose if you want alerted by phone or text. You will then receive a validation code.

5. Please do not wear flip flops in the dragon boat.

Friday, May 5

1. Please drop off as much as possible between 1-5pm the day before the event. You can park close to the park, spend time decorating your tent, etc. We will have overnight security.

2. All teams have one tent, tables are only given to sponsor and $5,000+ teams.

3. If you set up a tent adjacent to your tent, it must be well anchored and keep aisles clear. You may be asked to take it down if it presents a fire code violation.

4. We are no longer allowed to drive on the grass in Brittlebank Park, so park as close as you can to your tent and walk your items in.

Saturday, May 6

1. Arrive at 7am

2. You have to park in one of the designated lots and walk to the venue. No one will park near the park. Only one team member can drop off near the park.

3. Captains ONLY, will pick up team wristbands and turn in one envelope of donations.

4. Captain meeting at 7:30am.

5. First Marshaling call at 8am

6. Teams will be awarded for Best Tent Décor, Best Team T-shirt and Team Spirit. BRING IT!

7. If you bring in a grill you will be directed to one of four Grilling Stations

8. No Large 80 quart coolers of alcohol will be permitted in the park.

9. All paddlers must remain sober until done racing.

10. If we experience high winds or lightning, we will put the race on delay. Safety is our #1 priority.

11. If your team misses the marshaling call, your team forfeits the race. You will not get to race later in the heat.

12. DBC volunteers and steerspersons may advise someone in your team to move in order to balance the boat. Please listen to their instructions. They are very experienced dragon boaters and they know what they are doing.

13. DBC will have two mobile water stations at the festival with ice cold, delicious water for fill up. Please don’t bring cases of plastic water bottles!


1. Your captain will get the schedule for Heat 1 on the afternoon of Friday, May 5

2. Based on your past performance and the ratings you receive in the practice sessions, you will be placed in Heat One with teams of a similar skill level. Your time from Heat One will be recorded and used to seed you in Heat Two with teams with a similar time.

Mixed Teams: Your time from Heat One will also be used to determine which Division you will race in for the remainder of the day. In the Championship Heat Three there will be seven divisions (A through G) of 9-12 teams each. The fastest teams will be placed in Division A, the second fastest teams in division B and so forth. The top three finishing times in each division of heat three will medal in their division. Every team has the opportunity to medal in their division. However, you can only medal in the division you are seeded in. For example, if the first place team in division C has a faster time than the third place team in Division B, they cannot medal in Division B. These variances will most likely be due to changes in wind and tide which can vary from division to division but will have no measureable effect within the time frame of a single division.

3. Mixed teams (must have at least eight women, not including drummer) will compete for the overall festival championship and division medals based on the results of Heat Three. Division A will be competing for the festival championship.

Men’s Division winner will be based on the cumulative time for all three races.

Women’s Division medals are based on the fastest time.

4. Teams may only have 2 “club” paddlers. A club paddler is defined as someone who has attended dragon boat practices, races, clinics or camps.

Parking - Practice a festival parking is going to be a challenge this year. Please be aware there is a lot of construction and road closures. You may want to take a spin around the area next time you’re on your way downtown and please allow time for parking.

Parking during Practice Weeks:

-Brittlebank Park or playground. Not on grass. If you park on grass you will get a ticket.

-Harborview Tower Garage and gravel lot. You will need to walk to Brittlebank Park through a little pathway (see map). Please have someone drive you to your car if it is dark after your practice.

-MUSC “T” lot. See map. It is located on Line Street, which is off of Hagood.

-Police station

-You may park in the lot adjacent to the Riverdogs stadium on the following days: April 17, 19, 24, 25, 26 and 27.

Festival Day Parking:

-You will be directed to park in the large lot across the street from Riverdogs Stadium.

-Harborview Tower gravel lot

-MUSC “T” Lot