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The International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) recognises that there are different designs for dragon boats and traditional long boats throughout the world, but have regulated two models for IDBF-sanctioned competitions.
The larger boat model is 1222, which is 12.4m long, 1.16m wide and 0.54m deep. It has 10 benches and is used by a 20-person crew. Benches are 12.5cm wide and 80cm apart. The small model 912 is 9m long, 1.13m wide and 0.54m deep. It has 5 benches placed 87.5cm apart and is use by a 10-person crew. All benches are angled at five degrees to facilitate paddling. Paddlers are allowed seat pads (cushions) made from a soft material that can be easily compressed. They should fit the width of the boat bench.
Paddles comprise of three parts; the blade, shaft and handle. The front and back of the paddle should be identical, although the length of a paddle can range between 105-130cm. The varying length accommodates paddlers of different arm length.
The shaft should be cylindrical with a handle across the top. The shaft must also be straight and the surface of the blade smooth; paddles with their shafts bent in any way or blades with a rough or concave surface will be excluded from use in competition. Paddlers must have their paddles approved before they can be used in competitions.
All boats must be propelled by paddling and only the steering paddle (oar)
used by the steersperson can be rigged to the boat. The steering paddle can only be used to direct the boat and may not be used to help with forward propulsion.
All competing boats must have a boat number board, no smaller than 60cm high x 46cm wide, fixed to the bow in a manner that can be seen clearly by the finish line official. All other equipment and accessories like the dragon head and tail, drummer seat, drum and drum sticks, bailers, and buoyancy vests must be approved before they can be used in competition. No modifications or additions to boats and accessories are allowed after they have been approved. Any crew found to have disregarded regulations will be excluded from competition.
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