2024 Oriental Dragon Boat Festival Rules and Regulations

1. Administration

a. Waivers and Rosters

All team members must sign a waiver stating (Ages 12-18 must have their parents sign the waiver) that they have read and understand the conditions of the waiver, and are aware of, accept all risks associated with the event. All will waive all rights to take legal action against any of the sponsors, volunteers, Pamlico County’s employees, partnerships, corporations and associations in any way associated with the Oriental Dragon Boat Festival – Race Committee (SFDBF-RC), for injury or death, or for loss and damage to property, howsoever damaged. For insurance purposes, the waivers cannot be faxed.

Team Manager at the time of Registration sends the Team Registration Form along with payment due at time of registration. If Team Captains allow team members to pay with personal checks each check MUST HAVE THE TEAM’S NAME LISTED ON THE CHECK. A team member can be on the roster and race for one team only. The maximum number of team members in a roster is 23. A complete roster of members giving the names and genders of each team member and a signed waiver form for the team members must be delivered by the Team Captain to staff member of the Oriental Dragon Boat Festival at the time of check in for Practice

b. Dragon Boats and Equipment

Pan AM Dragon Boats shall provide dragon boats, paddles, drums, drumsticks and personal floatation devices. All equipments shall be returned in good condition immediately following practices and races. In the event that the committee determines negligence, replacementor repair costs shall be charged to the team responsible. Drum and drumsticks shall be used to signal the strobe rate in addition to the non-electrically assisted voice commands.

c. Teams

All team members must be registered. A registered team member must be at least 12 years old, is registered to one team only and be listed on the team roster. Each Team is allowed a maximum of 23 on rosters: 20 paddlers, 1 Drummer and 2 alternates. The steer person is provided by Pan Am Dragon Boat. The drummer can be either gender. Each team must have a team manager, who might or might not be part of the team roster.

Our Mixed Teams, require an equal number of men and women plus drummer of either gender and suggest two alternates for teams.

Open Team- No restrictions on gender balance, but the Open roster is typically all male and sometimes, referred to as the Men’s Division.

Women Team: All paddlers must be female, no gender requirements for steer person or drummer. Cancer Survivor: no gender balance on team but paddlers must be cancer survivors, family members or supporters.

Senior Teams: All paddlers must be over the age of 50 and require a minimum of 8 females and minimum of 12 male paddlers plus drummer of either gender.

Youth TeamsPaddlers can be between ages 12 and 18 years no gender balance required plus drummer of either gender. Parents must sign the waiver for any youth participating between the ages of 12-18.

Team managers shall ensure that only registered team members participate in on-water activities. Any team who violates this rule shall be subject to disqualification and prohibition from further on-water participation. Furthermore, the committee may disqualify and/or prohibit any team member or team, if such team member or team displays poor conduct.

Team managers’ responsibilities are to promote proper team conduct, to communicate to team members and distribute information needed, to collect all required forms and provide to the Oriental Dragon Boat Festival Organizer/Pan Am Dragon Boat management, to communicate with the committee and finally attend any necessary meetings.

 Team Registration Fees 2024

Community & Corporate Teams


After June 15


Non Profit


After June 15


NC Dragon Boat Club Team


After June 15


Cancer Survivor Teams


After June 15


Out of State Club Teams


After June 15


A team that wishes to withdraw from the race, must do so by writing a letter to the Oriental Dragon Boat Race & Festival Organizer, PO Box 939, Oriental, NC 28571 and the letter must be received by 4:30 pm on July 27, 2023 

No refunds for teams will be made following, July 19, 2024.

2. Procedures

a. Safety

The Pan AM Dragon Boat Team Instructor shall communicate the safety procedure and emergency procedure to the Team Captains and Team members prior to each race or practice. Each team member must wear a (PDF) personal flotation device and shoes during all on water activities, including all practices and races.

During the race, NO ALCOHOL is allowed for all team members until after their last race. All paddlers and drummer shall listen to the Steer Person’s instructions. Any individual or team who violates these safety rules will be penalized and might not be allowed to continue on-water activities depending on severity of the violation.

b. Sanctions

At their complete discretion, Pan Am Dragon Boat and/or the Oriental Dragon Boat Festival Team may dismiss at any time, including but not limited to any practices or races, any person or team from further practices or races for:

    • Violating safetyprocedures
    • Demonstrating poor conduct or behavior
    • Willfully, recklessly or negligently damaging or losing equipment
    • Disobeying reasonable requests or instructions made by officials or their designates

2. Practices

a. Location

Practices will take place at River Dunes, Grace Harbor in, Oriental, NC Unless otherwise notified.

b. Schedule

As part of the entry fee, each team not having practiced previously shall be granted one 60 90 minute session on Friday, August 11, 2023. Teams shall be assembled at least thirty minutes prior to their scheduled practice start time. If a team begins its practice session late because it is not ready on time, make-up time will not be given. In addition at the time of practice the roster of team members, waiver and ID bracelet will be checked. Participants without the ID bracelets will not be allowed in boats for practice or race.

3. Races

a. Location

The race will launch from River Dunes, Grace Harbor, Oriental.

b. Race Schedule

The starting order will be determined Friday before the race day, be issued to Pan Am Dragon Boat Management, and posted to marshaling area. Each race will start as soon as possible followingthe race preceding it, with races to be held approximately every 20 minutes.

c. Pre-Race Procedure

Each team must be prepared to race at least 30 minutes prior to its scheduled race time. The announcer will call the appropriate teams to the marshaling area at least 3 times. If the team is not present or fully assembled after the third call, that team will forfeit that race.

d. Race Procedure

The Starting line official shall have control of the race prior to the start. Only steer persons can communicate with the starting line official. All paddlers and drummer shall obey the steer person’s command. Upon Starting Line Official’s command, the teams shall approach the start line and in the middle of their assigned lane. The Starting Line Official has the responsibility of aligning the boats. Once the teams are lined up, the Starting Line Official shall give a ready signal. The steer person shall then give “Paddle UP” command to the team. The GO signal from the Starting Line Official shall be given 5 seconds or more after the READY signal, followed by the sound of a horn. If a false start has occurred, a second start horn will be heard.

e. Post-Race Procedure

Upon crossing the finish line, all teams shall return to the dock, being very careful to not collide with any other boats. Team members assigned as bailers have the responsibility of bailing the water, using bailing buckets. The boat must be substantially free of water and be ready for the nextrace.

f. Penalties

Each team is allowed to have one false start. If the same team makes another false start in the same race, that team will incur a 5 second penalty.

g. Protests

Any protest must be lodged by the Team Manager within fifteen minutes of conclusion of the protested race. The cost of lodging a protest is $100, payable in cash at the time of the lodging of the protest.

The race committee shall render a decision on a majority basis. There is no appeal of the race committee’s decision. If the application is successful, the $100 protest fee will be returned to the Team Manager.


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