What is Dragonboating?

A dragon boat (also dragonboat) is a very long and narrow canoe-style human-powered boat. It is now used in the team paddling sport of dragon boat racing which originated in China over 2000 years ago. While competition has taken place annually for more than 20 centuries as part of folk ritual, it emerged in modern times as an international "sport" in Hong Kong in 1976. For competition events, dragon boats are generally rigged with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails.

Due to the long history of dragon boat racing in China, participants in cultural and sport racing events there today number some 20 million people (on a population base of over 1 billion). Over the past 30 years since 1976, and especially since the formation of the IDBF and its Continental Federations for Asia and Europe in the early 1990s, dragon boating as a sport with regularised rules and equipment has rapidly spread beyond Asia to Europe, North and South America, Australia and Africa, becoming a popular international sport for a growing global base of participants. The sport includes many divisions and now includes men, women, and kids ranging from 11 to 90+ years of age.