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Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival Rules & Regulations


Print the Rules & Regulations so that you may bring them with you.

This event is a smoke free community event.

For the purpose of these Rules and Regulations, the following terms will be used: "Event Organizer" shall mean the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival. "Race Officials," "Race Controller," "Judges," "Starter" and other assistants shall mean those officials appointed by the Event Organizer to sanction and officiate in the races.

The interpretation of any of the following Rules and Regulations shall be the final decision of the Event Organizer.

1. General

  • 1.1. Any crew that fails to observe the Rules and Regulations herein may be disqualified.
  • 1.2. A limited number of credentials will be issued to each crew. These are for the use of the crew and its officials only and are not to be used by other persons.
  • 1.3. Each crew must have a Team Captain, who must be present in the Crew Assembly Area during the time that the crew is under the control of the Race Officials. The Team Captain will be responsible for liaison with Race Officials and will represent the crew at ceremonies.
  • 1.4. Each team must complete all registration information and submit payment of all applicable fees.
  • 1.5. There is an entry fee as per the Registration Instructions for the race. We will provide the boat and steersperson, paddles, and personal flotation devices for everyone. The entry fee is non- refundable should the crew decide to withdraw from the race or should the race be canceled for reasons beyond the Event Organizer's control. One ninety (90) minute practice session is included for community teams.
  • 1.6. The Event Organizer reserves the right to refuse entry to any crew in the race at its sole discretion.
  • 1.7. All matters not specifically addressed in this "Rules and Regulations" will be determined, at its sole discretion, by the Event Organizer.
  • 1.8. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated and the Event Organizer may suspend teams from competition.
  • 1.9. Event Organizer reserves the right to seek legal action against a team or crew member for damages caused by failing to follow the Rules and Regulations or negligent or wrongful acts or omissions.
  • 1.10. Event Organizer reserves the right to waive, amend and add to any of the Rules and Regulations.
  • 1.11. In the event of strong winds, waves, or lightning, the Event will be cancelled for safety reasons. There is no rain date or refund of race fees.

2. Safety

  • 2.1. Crew members must be able to swim. It is the responsibility of the organization or individual entering a crew to make sure that all members of the crew comply with this rule.
  • 2.2. Each crew member is solely responsible for his or her own safety during official practice sessions and during races.
  • 2.3. Personal Flotation Devices (PFD's) will be provided to all crew members and must be worn in the proper manner at all times while on docks and in the dragon boat.
  • 2.4. Any federal, state or local rules and regulations applicable to the racing course shall be fully observed.
  • 2.5. Crew members may not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs so long as their team remains in the competition.

3. Waivers

  • 3.1. A "Registered Crew Member" is any person who is listed on a race roster.
  • 3.2. All crew members must sign a waiver/release/assumption/indemnity in a form required by Event Organizer ("Waiver") stating that the crew member has read the conditions of the waiver and is aware of the risks associated with Dragon Boat racing, and accepts and waives any right or course of action he/she may have against the Event Organizer, the event sponsors, supporters or any organizations connected with the event for injury or death to person(s) or loss/damage to personal property. Crew members must be at least sixteen years (16) of age or older. Crew members who are under the age of eighteen (18) years must have the Waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian prior to participating in any dragon boat activities.
  • 3.3. All crew members must sign and return a waiver to the Event Organizer prior to the Practice Session and Festival Day.
  • 3.4. Event Organizer may require signing more than one Waiver.

4. The Crew and Crew Composition

  • 4.1. Each boat may carry between 16 and 20 paddlers for the Dragon Boat races. In mixed boat races, at least 10 paddlers must be women. Each boat must also carry one drummer.
  • 4.2. At the time of entry, each organization entering a crew shall have the required minimum of 16 paddlers plus one drummer. The drummer must be actively drumming during the race.
  • 4.3. Event Organizer specifically reserves the right to waive or amend Rule 4.1 or 4.2.
  • 4.4. Each paddler shall only be registered under the name of one team and may not compete for any other team. In no case shall any crew members paddle for more than one team.
  • 4.5. Each crew is entirely responsible for its own conduct and for complying with the race rules.
  • 4.6. Each crew must wear team uniform or festival shirt while under the control of race officials.
  • 4.7. Each crew must wear a Personal Flotation Devices approved by the Coast Guard while in the boat.
  • 4.8. Each crew must be made of paddlers who can swim.
  • 4.9. Each crew must wear identifying bracelet provided at time of registration.
  • 4.10 Each community team may have no more than two paddlers who are members of Dragonheart Vermont or another club team.
  • 4.11 No more than 2 paddlers from an established dragon boat club crew can race on a community team.

5. Marshalling, Embarking and Proceeding to Start

  • 5.1. All registration material, waivers, rosters, and payments must be received by race registrar on or before a paddler may take part in Practice Session or Festival races.
  • 5.2. A list of participating crew members (team roster) must be submitted to the Race Officials by the Team Captain before each race.
  • 5.3. A crew must assemble in the Marshalling Area and be ready to board 30 minutes before the time of its race.
  • 5.4. A crew must follow the directions of the Race Officials from the time it is called to the Marshalling Area.
  • 5.5. A crew must board the dragon boat in accordance to instructions given by Race Officials.
  • 5.6. A crew is not permitted to choose which boat to use and must use the boat assigned by Race Officials.
  • 5.7. Each boat is assigned to a lane in which it is to race. A crew must race in the assigned lane.
  • 5.8. After a crew has boarded, it must leave the dock area and immediately proceed to the starting area.

6. Starting Procedure

  • 6.1. A crew in the starting area must obey the instructions of the Starter, Judges and other Race Officials under the control of the Starter.
  • 6.2. A crew shall not cross the race course to its assigned starting position until after the preceding race has been started and it is clear that a false start has not occurred.
  • 6.3. A crew must take up its correct position in the starting area in the lane assigned to it. It is the responsibility of the team and not the Judge, to maintain its correct position before the start.
  • 6.4. When the Starter is satisfied that the crews are correctly aligned, the Starter will alert all crews by raising the horn and give the verbal warning "Attention please". After a 3-4 second pause, a horn will then be sounded to signify the start of the race.
  • 6.5. It is the responsibility of each team captain to make sure that each crew member is familiar with the starting procedure. The starting signal is the horn.
  • 6.6. In the event that the Starter considers that any crew has started before the horn is sounded, a second horn will be sounded to signify a false start and all crews must stop and return immediately to the start. The race will be restarted. The Starter will issue a warning to any crew that causes a false start.
  • 6.7. Any crew that fails to return after a false start or that causes two false starts may be disqualified.

7. Race Conduct

  • 7.1. The proper course for each boat is a straight line from its starting position to a corresponding point on the finish line. Each boat must remain in the middle of its allocated lane and may not interfere with other boats.
  • 7.2. In the event of a boat failing to keep its proper course and thereby interfering with the course of another boat which is on its proper course, or in the event of a collision between two or more boats, the Race Official may, after consultation with other Race Officials, disqualify the offending boat or boats or order one or more boats to re-race the race, or both, where, in the Race Official's opinion, the result of the race has been materially affected.
  • 7.3. If, in the opinion of the Race Officials, a boat has been swamped or capsized deliberately by the crew, the Event Organizer reserves the right to disqualify and refuse such crew's entry in this year's and future races. A penalty of $500.00 will also be imposed on the team.
  • 7.4. If, in the opinion of the Race Official, after consultation with other Race Officials, a boat is damaged deliberately by the crew, the Event Organizer reserves the right to impose a penalty of $5,000.00 on the organization entering the crew. The Event Organizer also reserves the right to require such organization to pay for the costs of repairs to the damaged boat.