This is your guide to leading your team on and off the water. You get the chance to bond with your team while competing for the win! Event day, Saturday, August 17, 2013, at The Gadsden Riverwalk (behind Chili's), will feature competitive racing and lots of fun. You can decorate your tent, show off your cool team T-shirts – enjoy the experience!
- You may have a maximum of 24 team members. The minimum age for participation is 15.
- 20 paddlers and 1 drummer (ONLY 3 alternates can be added to your team). The steerer will be provided by race management. You may have a minimum of 16 paddlers to participate on race day. Your team may consist of fellow employees, friends and family. You don't need experienced team members. Dragon Boat paddling is easy to learn; the techniques and logistical information you need are taught during practice.
- Each team must race with a minimum of eight (8) women paddlers. Your team will receive a time penalty of three (3) seconds for every female your team is short. The only exception to this rule – leave the seat empty for every female required.
- The drummer must weigh 160 pounds or less. For safety reasons, there is a weight limit for drummers. Your drummer receives instruction in practice to keep the beat of the stroke. It is also ideal for this person to yell loudly and have rhythm. Drummer can only use provided drumsticks and their voices to direct team members.
- Sound devices including radios, electronic signaling devices, bullhorns, air horns, whistles and other noisemaking devices are prohibited.
Each team receives
- Team Tent space in Athlete's Village (bring a 10'x10' pop-up, coolers welcome)
- Use of Dragon Boats and equipment (includes life jackets/PFD, paddles, and drum)
- Life jacket/PFD (team members may use their own Coast Guard approved PFD)
- One 90-minute on-water scheduled practice prior to race day (contact office to schedule your practice)
- Sponsoring company/team name posted on the www.habitatdragonboat.com and other materials.
Practices are vital to the Dragon Boat experience. Practice time will help your team become familiar with the boat and learn the technique, as well as master timing. The more team members showing for practice, the better your team performs on race day.
Each team gets to practice at the Gadsden Riverwalk (behind Chili's) with trained coaches the week leading up to race day. The deadline to register your practice schedule request is Friday, August 9, 2013. Keep in mind – requests will be filled on a first come, first served basis.
Team Captain's Meeting
Team Captain's Meeting ~ Two to choose from – Tuesday, August 6, 2013 or Thursday, August 8, 2013 – both will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Habitat office – 3804-A Rainbow Dr., Rainbow City, just south of the RBC Library on the left. This meeting is required for team captains or a representative of your choosing. Important safety information will be discussed, your teams' race schedule will be distributed (if available at that time), along with your unloading passes for two cars to be granted short-term close access to the festival site to drop off items such as your tent – chairs, tables, decorations, etc. Click here to download a team roster that must be filled out before the Team Captain's Meeting.
What to wear for practice and race day
- You WILL get wet. Wear clothing you do not mind getting wet.
- Comfortable, quick drying shorts and dri-fit shirts are most convenient (cotton tends to stick to your skin).
- Sport sandals, or water shoes are recommended such as Tevas, Crocs, etc. (Tennis shoes are too heavy).
- You may wear your own U.S. coast Guard approved life vest (or use those provided at practices and on race day).
- Hat or visor to keep the sun out of your eyes.
- Sunscreen/ sunglasses
- In case of rain, bring rain gear
- Consider bringing a towel and extra change of clothes
What to Bring
- Your team should bring a tent for shade at the festival (10'x10' pop-up canopy) is best.
- Each team will have tent space labeled with your team name in the Athletes' Village.
- We will provide water and other beverages, but you should bring extra to insure that your team has plenty of water. Healthy snacks would be a good idea, too. Food & cold drinks will also be available at concession stands.
- Chairs, tables, decorations, snacks, footballs, sunscreen, hat, garbage bag for your tent area, towels, comfortable shoes, change of clothes if you do not want to be wet all day.
- Report to your Team Tent an hour (8:00 a.m.) before the race. This will allow you enough time to unload your belongings, park and sign in at the registration table to receive your wrist band.
- The first heat is at 9:00 a.m. so your team should be registered at least one (1) hour prior to their first race.
- Marshaling officials and volunteers will instruct your team to line up, then alert you when it's time to load boat.
- Shuttles will be available on race day so you can park at Convention Center and Tourism parking lots.
- Judges will decide the winners for "Best Drummer Costume" and "Best Team Spirit" and "Best Decorated Tent".
Each team will race at least two times on race day. You will get a race schedule at the mandatory team captain meeting showing what time your team races in the first heat. After the first heat, all teams will be seeded according to their race time for the second heat. After both heats, the top 12 teams with the best overall times (based on average of two races) will race for the championship. The best times from the final races will determine Gold, Silver and Bronze winners.
Your team may fill out waiver forms at their practice, however, turning in all signed waivers at the Captain's Meeting would be appreciated. There is no other participant registration process necessary.
What Not to bring
Alcohol. It would severely dehydrate you and make paddling dangerous. Hydration is very important. Read more about it on WebMD.com. Please learn more in the rules and regulations.