Your Complete River Regatta Race Guide plus Important Dates for your Diary

On November 4, 2014 by Jean-Benoît_Delpy_Bourcart


Here is your complete guide to the upcoming 2014 Singapore River Regatta.  Whether you’re a veteran of Boat Quay or a first-time racer please read this guide carefully.

Date: ….. Weekend of 8th and 9th November 2014
Reporting Time: ….. Saturday at 07.30am (report to the British Dragons tent)
Location: ….. Boat Quay (adjacent to UOB Plaza Atrium)
Map: …..
Getting there: ….. Raffles Place MRT on the East/West line (Exit G – then a 2 minute walk to race site)

The British Dragons will have a tent on the waterfront adjacent to the UOB Plaza Atrium overlooking the waterfront and at the end of the race tents (towards the StanChart Bank end I understand).
Upon arrival please report to Fabien or Mel and pay your $40 race fee (if you have not already done so).  This fee covers race entries, personal registration, water and 100 Plus drinks on both days, lunch sandwiches on the Sunday and the team dinner at London – Boat Quay on the Sunday evening.

If you are running late or have any “problem” that would benefit from some well-chosen words of last-minute personal “encouragement” then please advise Philip before 07.30am on the Saturday.

All team members must be wearing a team racing shirt and team bandana (or cap) in order to race.  No other shirts or headwear are acceptable.  Please wear British Dragons shorts or dark blue or black shorts.  Remember that footwear is compulsory in the boats.

If you need to buy kit for the race then email Gill at so that she can bring your order along to the race.

Please limit valuables to absolute essentials as our tent will not be fully secure.

Due to the monsoon season we always experience very heavy rain at some point over the weekend so plan for this and ensure that your bag is waterproof (or a drybag) and that important personal items – phones, cameras, purse, wallet, change of clothes, etc.- are stowed in ziplock plastic bags to keep them dry.  You may find an ‘S’ hook might come in handy so you can hang your bag off the ground if the weather is really severe or perhaps a spare bin liner to wrap your bag to prevent the ingress of water.  Also bring your team jacket along – I am certain you’ll need it!

Times and line-ups for races are subject to constant change so always:

  • Know which event you’re competing in (look at the posted team boat layouts);
  • Stay close to the team tent;
  • Let the Committee know your whereabouts at all times when NOT close to the team tent.

The weekend is usually a stressful time for the Captains as they have to juggle race logistics and organise boat layouts (a tricky task with many factors such as prior experience, training, injuries, paddling side, gender, weight, other race commitments and giving newer paddlers race experience all playing a role as to whether an individual paddler is selected to a particular crew and where in that crew their contribution can be best deployed to win a medal).  Boat layouts can and do change for all sorts of reasons so please maintain the usual good humour and stiff upper lip that the British team are well known for.  If you do have any feedback then the Captains will be pleased to receive it – but preferably when the races are out of the way.

Boat Quay is certainly an exciting place to start if you are new to racing – and you’ll also get to experience having a drummer onboard.  But it is jam packed with people and often hectic.

If you are new don’t be tempted to wander off to get a coffee or whatever if you think that you are not in a race – things can quickly change and you might find that you are needed in a boat RIGHT NOW!  Plus you will want to attend all the warm-ups, briefings and visualisations so that you are ready to race if you are suddenly called (and also gain valuable experience about what racing entails).  If you do need to go anywhere – even for a couple of minutes – then tell the Captains or a committee member.

Do remember that if you are racing then your commitment is to be present for the whole weekend – regardless of whether you have any more races on a particular day or whether or not your boat got through to finals.  We all stick around until we are released by the Captains on each day so as to be on call for reserve duties and to support our team mates and the wider International dragon boat community.  The Regatta is the final big race of the year in the Singapore calendar and so we usually pay visits to the other International teams over the weekend to pay our respects and toast our rivals so please ensure you are present for this celebratory tradition!
Please eat well in the next few days.  Carb load the night before the race (pasta, rice, etc.), get plenty of protein and make sure you bring along your choice of Berocca, Hydration Salts, Energy Gels and Bars, etc.  Also have a hearty breakfast before setting out so that you will be in good shape for the all-important heats where we have to come first.

Supporters and friends are very welcome so do invite them to drop by and say hello!  The regatta is always an exciting event to visit so wear your team kit and bring a camera along too.

Remember to bring sunblock and spare water along to the race and please make sure that you hydrate well before and during the weekend.


Boat Quay racing is renowned for its “thrills and spills”.  The lanes are tightly packed, the waters choppy (and churned further by passing Bum boats and Water Taxis), racing over 200m is fast and furious and the quay is thronged by several thousand paddlers and countless other supporters and spectators.  Collisions and capsizes are quite routine and sometimes even spectacular.

If you are in a boat which does capsize then it is no big deal so long as you remember the following crucial words of advice from our Captains:

a)   Do Not Panic!

b)   Check that your row buddy has bobbed to the surface and is okay (if not raise the alarm and feel under the overturned boat)

c)   DO NOT swim to the shore – wait for the safety boat to take charge and instruct*

(* This last instruction may leave you thinking “Huh?”, especially if you are in a boat which capsizes just a few metres from the shore and you could swiftly step onto dry land.  But a capsize – especially if it involves boats with paddlers from different teams pitched together into the water – can be a very confusing situation for a few minutes.  Once a paddler swims off to shore and disappears into the massed crowds watching then the whole thing becomes much more serious as it will be assumed that the person may be missing and this will cause great concern and likely trigger a frantic rescue search.  So if you do end up in the water simply stay with your row buddy and check that the paddlers in the rows around you are accounted for and not injured.  In this way it will be easy for the Captain and Cox to do a headcount for everyone and let the safety boat know that the whole crew is okay). 

Remember: stay with your team in a capsize until instructed otherwise by the safety boats – DO NOT swim to shore.


Things are a little different this year (due to a cunning tactical plan by the Social Secretaries to avoid us having to carry tupperware and pots and pans to London on the Sunday evening!)

Saturday will now be our traditional “Pot Luck Lunch” so please plan to make and bring along some nutritious food to share with your team mates.  Breads, cheeses, salads, pastas, pizzas, fruits, cakes, dips, etc. are all very welcome to make it a great buffet spread for us all.

Sunday lunch will be Sandwiches provided by “Freshly Baked” (including vegetarian choices).

Our Team Dinner will be held at London (Boat Quay) on Sunday 9th November at 7.00pm right after the end of race and prize giving ceremonies (so you might wish to bring along your change of clothes and a towel to freshen up).  The dinner is included in the race fee for those that are racing (if you are not signed up to race but would still like to come to the Team Dinner then you can register online below and pay $20 on the night).

Whether or not you are coming to the Team Dinner (either as part of your race registration or by paying the $20) then you MUST register YES/NO  before the end of Thursday 6th December so that we can book food for you (or not!):

Please wear your drinking shirt on the Sunday evening and bring along your London membership card so that we can get our discount and rebates.


Because of the 2014 Regatta – and our usual training break – we will have NO TRAINING sessions on the following dates:
Weekend of 8th and 9th November
Wednesday 12th November
Weekend of 15th and 16th of November

Training will restart with Pool Training at 7.00pm on Wednesday 19th November 2014 at Farrer Park Swimming complex.  We will then begin our training for the German Maneuver Cup.

A quick heads-up on some important dates:

Saturday 29th November – the German Maneuver Cup (basically an obstacle course for dragon boats) at Kallang in the afternoon followed by the IDBC annual party (food and beers on the beach at Kallang).  I will send more details on both events – and a sign-up form – in a future bulletin.

Saturday 6th December – our Christmas Paddle (this is a fun event where we paddle in Santa hats, sing carols and generally make a spectacle of ourselves with the general public and tourists on the Duck boats!).  This will be followed by an evening of Karaoke (so no ‘Silent Night’ on that evening it would seem…).

Saturday 13th December – our annual Team Christmas Dinner (which will be held at the British Club).  Again I will let you know further details and how to reserve your ticket(s) in the coming weeks but in the meantime do save the date and I am happy to let you know that you can bring a guest.
See you bright and early on Saturday morning at 7.30am at Boat Quay.  In the meantime do email me if you have any questions.

All the best,

Philip N. Morgan – Team Secretary
British Dragons
– Singapore

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