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Events in Traditional Boat Race

Traditional Boat Race 5

Image credit: Ng Chrong Meng/SportSG

The traditional boat race is commonly known as a dragon boat race because the boats possess an ornately carved dragon head and tail.

Their hulls are also painted with scales and the paddles represent the dragon's claws. It is a straightforward sport, with the first boat to cross the finish line declared the winner.

At the SEA Games, the events are split into categories for men, women and mixed.

Men

 

Women

 

Mixed

 

No. of crew members

Race distance

No. of crew members

Race distance

No. of crew members

Race distance

5

500m

5

500m

10

500m

10

500m

10

500m

10

1000m

10

1000m

10

1000m

20

500m

20

500m

20

500m

20

1000m

20

1000m

20

1000m

20

2000m

20

2000m

20

2000m

 

 


The International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) has set some standards for the boats and paddles used. The standard model 1222 for boats is 12.4m long, 1.16m wide and 0.54m deep. It has 10 benches and is used by a 20-person crew. The small model 912 is 9m long, 1.13m wide and 0.54m deep. It has 5 benches and is used by a 10-person crew. All benches are angled at five degrees to facilitate paddling.

Paddlers must be above the age of 12 to compete but there is no upper  age limit. In the Men and Women category, all members in a crew, including the reserves, must be of the same gender. Besides the allotted number of paddlers in the boat, there are two additional members - the drummer and the steersperson.

In the Mixed category, the boat must comprise of a minimum number of female paddlers:

5-person crew - A minimum of 2 and a maximum of 3 female paddlers are required.

10-person crew - A minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 female paddlers are required.

20-person crew - A minimum of 8 and a maximum of 12 female paddlers are required.

Unlike rowing, paddlers face the direction they are moving towards and their paddles are not attached to the hull of the boat. Paddlers are allowed to use their own paddles provided they conform to the standards set by IDBF.

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