2018 Rules and Regulations


Mixed teams must have a minimum of 8 female paddlers in each race. Each team is guaranteed three races and will race once in each round. 1st round times will determine team advancement to the 2nd round and will also determine the winners for each Challenge Series Category. Refer to Format/Advancement below for more details.


1st Round only: Teams will be scheduled to race based on their choice of challenge series category. See ‘Challenge Series’ page for a list of categories and procedures for this award series. Challenge category awards are in addition to the medallions presented to each divisional champion.


  1. Teams are comprised of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steersperson and may include up to 8 spare paddlers. A registered paddler is any person listed on the team roster who has completed a waiver. A team member under eighteen (18) years of age must have the signature of a parent or guardian on the waiver.
  2. A paddler on a mixed team may only paddle for one team. A drummer or steersperson may participate on other teams in the role of drummer or steersperson and may also paddle for one team.
  3. Teams are encouraged to steer their own boat but the Training Team reserves the right to substitute an experienced steersperson on race day if a proficient level of control is not demonstrated. e.g. a zigzag course during the last 2 weeks of training.
  4. Should a written protest be received by the Referee questioning a team member’s eligibility, the Referee will request verification from the Team Captain/Coach. Confirmation of ineligibility or failure to produce verification could affect the team’s standing in the challenge series and divisional awards.  


1st Round – Heats:

Saturday morning starting at 9:00 am (+ or -). Most races will have 5 boats (lanes) and occasionally 6 when necessary i.e. an extra team in the heat or a re-run. Teams will be grouped by their Challenge Series Category. Teams will advance to their 2nd round flights based on their times in this round.

2nd Round – Semi-finals:

In this round, teams will be grouped into 3 flights based on their 1st round times. Each of these semi-final flights will be seeded so that the better times advance to the higher divisions in the 3rd round.

3rd Round – Finals:

Each division in this round is comprised of teams of reasonably equal ability. Division I is the fastest and Division XII is the slowest. Paddler medallions will be awarded to the winning team in each division.

We will post a detailed Format/Advancement Chart once we know how many teams we have.


  1. Team conduct. Communicating and distributing information to the team.
  2. Gathering and submitting all necessary forms.
  3. Attending the managers’ meetings – refer to the Team Information Calendar.
  4. Arranging security for competitor’s belongings during the race and practices.
  5. Ensuring that all team members are able to swim.


  1. Attend the Coach Training Clinic – only required for novice coaches.
  2. Plan the team lake training practices.
  3. Communicate with the Team Manager.
  4. Be in charge of the team during practices and races.
  5. Liaise with Race Officials if necessary.


Registered teams are entitled to:

  1. A novice coach clinic – see ‘Team Calendar’
  2. A steering training clinic for novice steerspersons.
  3. Four lake practice sessions plus a dock training session.
  4. Additional practices can be booked at a cost of $40.00 per session.


All boats, paddles and PFD’s will be provided. The Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival owns 5BuK Hong Kong style boats and rents 6 additional boats from GWN Enterprises for race day. Official drums drummer seats will be provided for the last week of training and for the races in July. Only the drum and drumstick provided shall be used to signal the stroke rate. Whistles, horns or any other devices are prohibited.


Please see the safety sheet attached


Teams must supply their own race attire which typically consists of a t-shirt with the team name and/or sponsoring organizations logo.


  1. The Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival Committee retains all rights to advertising, sponsorship and commercial representation for the event.
  2. The Organizing Committee is under no obligation to individual team sponsors, and may refuse commercial representation on the festival site and the on water venue.
  3. Representation of the team and its sponsors shall be limited to:
    1. Clothing: t-shirts, sweat suits, hats, headbands, athletic bags.
    2. One team flag to be displayed at the team’s on-site assembly area.
    3. Other appropriate items approved in advance by the Festival Organizing Committee.


  1. The official race course is 500 meters long with lane widths of 10 meters.
  2. Each lane is marked with coloured buoys spaced at 50m intervals.
  3. Teams will enter their boats at the docks located at the main beach and paddle to the start near the amphitheater and finish at main beach.

*On race day, race schedules and results will be posted as they are available under the “Races” tab of the website. Refresh your page regularly to ensure you’re seeing the latest post(s).