Dragon Boat Race & Festival

Saturday, May 11, 2019
Point Mallard Aquatic Center


Registration is open for the 8th Annual Decatur Morgan Hospital Foundation Dragon Boat Festival! Get the Ride of your Life Saturday, May 11th, at Point Mallard Aquatic Center Beach.

The Dragon Boat Race and Festival is the premier sporting event of the year! Participants rave about the excitement, diversity, friendly competition and community spirit surrounding the event. Teams of all ages, skill levels, sizes and shapes take part. This all-inclusive event is the ultimate team building sport - requiring rhythm and finesse rather than brawn to succeed.


Sponsorship Packages

3 Dragon Boat team entries(25 Members each team)

2 Dragon Boat team entries(25 Members each team)

1 Dragon Boat team entries(25 Members each team)

Thanks you! 2019 Sponsors


Paddles Up!



Paddlers competing in the Decatur Morgan Hospital Foundation Dragon Boat Race & Festival are asked to raise donations in support of our community hospital. Each paddler can help achieve this goal by asking friends and family for small (or large) donations, which can add up quickly. This money is vital to help the hospital treat the more than 75,000 patients annually who need its services, regardless of their ability to pay.

We encourage all teams to set their team goal of raising $2,500. There will be an award for the team that raises the most money. Each paddler raising $100 in donations or $2,500 per team will receive an event t-shirt.

Once your team has registered, you will be able to create a fundraising page. Each team can create a page and each team member is encouraged to join in. It’s easy and only takes about 10 minutes. Just click here and you will be taken to the FirstGiving Decatur Morgan Hospital Foundation Dragon Boat Race and Festival event page. Click the Join button and get started. FirstGiving offers tools and expertise to connect with friends and family and make fundraising simple and fun.



Volunteers are integral to a successful event. We need volunteers for the 7th Annual Decatur Morgan Hospital Foundation Dragon Boat Festival who help with a variety of pre-event positions as well as event day needs.

Some of the areas we need volunteers for are:

  • Set-up Crew

  • Volunteer Check-in

  • Team Marshaling

  • Boat Loading

  • Boat Holding

  • Clean-up Crew

You may volunteer online through the Volunteer Center of Morgan County website. Click the button below and follow the registration process



Dragon Boat Racing

“It’s the ride of your life.” ~ Emily Breeding, long-time dragon boat paddler in Chattanooga

Once you hear about dragon boat racing and become involved in this world of sport, community and fun, there is no turning back from it. There is much more to it than a great day on the water. There are different and interesting ways to experience the sport for both team members and spectators. Whether you’ve paddled in a festival or regatta, or you paddle regularly in a dragon boat, you feel connected to it. That’s the beauty of it – from the moment you pick up a paddle, you’ll love dragon boat racing!

Traditional Hong Kong style dragon boats are 46-feet long, with 10 seats and 20 people. A drum seat in front of the first two paddlers (seated beside each other) holds a drummer – you want the smallest, loudest, most rhythmic person you can find. A steerer guides the boat with the steering oar in back. These 22 people make up a dragon boat team. The stroke is unlike any other (the most similar is outrigger canoe) and taught in practice.

With origins dating back 2,300 years, dragon boat racing is the most fun, unique cultural event featuring adrenaline-pumping action. Teams race in authentic 46-foot long Hong Kong style dragon boats. They rave about the excitement, friendly competition and community spirit surrounding the sport. All ages, skill levels and physiques perfect their stroke and timing for the ultimate teamwork experience!

Every paddler plays a specific role. They sit next to each other, and against the gunnel to balance the boat as they paddle. The strokers occupy the front three seats of the boat, while the fourth seat is a transition place where, ideally, the paddlers have rhythm and power. Then, seats four, five, and six consist of the “engine room,” where the largest and strongest team members sit. The last four rows of a dragon boat are filled with strong paddlers who are also typically shorter and able to paddle faster. Paddlers at this location in the dragon boat are considered “rockets,” because the water is moving faster to them, from the first 14 seats since they’re scooping water back. The paddlers are taught to watch up the middle of the boat and two seats across – when that paddler has his or her paddle up in the air, ready to engage the water, it’s the cue for the person watching to get his or her paddle up, as well. While the drummer plays keeps the rhythm for most of the boat, it can be difficult to hear on race day. It’s also a very visual sport, and if everyone is watching the right person, magic absolutely can happen in a dragon boat. Teams have to follow the strategy, and then execute: the team members in the front must paddler in perfect timing as an example for the back half of the boat. When the power from the middle is mixed with the speed and capabilities of the athletes in the back, a dragon boat can glide quickly through the water like a bullet.

Teams feel a connection to the racing. They feel connected to the experience.


What is the catch?

Dragon boat participants are passionate about this sport. People love it – the thrill, the teamwork, the adrenaline, the interaction in the boat – everything. People are drawn to this sport, to each other in a setting that exemplifies human connectivity on a level comparable to nothing else. People who never thought of themselves as athletes can thrive in a dragon boat. People who are athletes discover a challenging alternative to general sports.

For more information about dragon boat racing, visit www.racedragonboats.com.


2017 Dragon Boat Race & Festival