Here are your Frequently asked questions
1) What is Dragon Boat Racing?
Dragon Boat Racing originated in China 2,000 years ago. It involves teams of rowers sitting side by side in a 30 foot long canoe, with a helm (provided!) to steer and a drummer sitting up front, beating out the rhythm. The boats are fitted with a colourful dragon’s head and are a truly impressive sight at speed.
2) Do I need to build my own boat?
No we supply the boats, arranged through a reputable organisation called “Race the Dragon” (www.racethedragon.com) who have been successfully organising events around the UK for many years. They provide all the necessary equipment (including life jackets) helms, race officials and safety back up boats. They will also provide all competitors with a full safety briefing.
3) How many rowers do I need in my team?
You will need a team of 10 plus a drummer who sits at the front of the boat, facing your team, beating out a suitable rhythm for you to row to! If you would like to support the event but feel you might have difficulty putting a team together or are short of a couple of crew members we might be able to help through our contacts with local youth groups. All crew members need to declare that they can swim 50 meters in light clothes with the help of buoyancy aids. The minimum age to take part is 16 years old and there is a minimum height requirement of 130cm.
4) Where are the races being held and how long do they take?
The races will be held on the main lake at Cosmeston Country Park. The course will be approximately 250 meters long starting from the foot bridge end and parallel to the boardwalk finishing at the slipway adjacent to the lake walk entrance. There is ample car parking, plus eating/drinking facilities, toilets etc.
5) How many races does each team take part in?
This will depend on the number of teams who enter, but each team will have at least 2 races. The top 6 teams then go into 2 semi-finals, and the top 3 then proceed to the finals. The event will start at 10.30am and will be finished by 3.30pm. All teams will be given instruction in how to row the boats successfully plus a full safety briefing.
6) What are we racing for?
Apart from a great day taking part in this unusual event in the beautiful surroundings of Cosmeston Country Park, you will be helping raise much needed funds for local good causes. Your pledges will go to support Rotary Club of Barry charities or can be divided on a 50/50 basis so that your own chosen charity can also benefit from your efforts. The choice is yours. There will also be prizes for the “best turned out” team – it can be fancy dress or matching T shirts or whatever bright idea you have and the best mixed team of female/male rowers.
7) How is the money raised?
The entry fee is £400 for a team of 10 rowers and a drummer. This fee is to cover the cost of hiring the Dragon Boats and paying for all the costs involved in holding the event – there is no surplus for our charities. We ask for an initial non-refundable deposit of £150 to secure your team’s place with the balance payable three weeks before Race Day. In addition and this is vitally important, we look to teams to raise money through sponsorship/donations and ask that you guarantee a minimum of £250 per team (not per person) and it is understood that this is a condition of booking. Of course if you can raise more so much the better for the good causes that will benefit from your efforts. To encourage you in your efforts we will be offering a “highest money raised” prize.
8) How do I book?
Attached is an entry form. You will need to complete this and return it together with your deposit cheque, made payable to Rotary Club of Barry, for £150. Your place will then be confirmed and you’re ready to race!
9) What about the Rotary Club of Barry charity work?
Our Rotary Club works tirelessly throughout the year to raise money to support worthy causes, mainly in the Vale of Glamorgan. Up to now our biggest fund raiser for the past 35 years has been the Barry Firework Fiesta, held annually on November 5th. While this will continue we hope that the Dragon Boat Regatta will become equally as popular and go on to become an established and successful event.