About the British Dragons, Singapore
The British Chamber of Commerce Dragon Boat team was started in the millenium year of 2000 with the full assistance and support of the British Chamber of Commerce.
Over the years we have gone through many transitions, lost & won a few medals on the way but we are getting stronger and stronger every year.
We practice 3 times a week on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays so there is always a suitable day to train and fit in to your busy schedule.
The team is a great way to meet new friends and find other new interests.
We participate in several races during the year, including the MR500 (March), Singapore Dragon Boat Regatta (June), SAVA Sprints (Sept/Oct), the Singapore River Regatta (Nov), as well as other International Team races and fun events.
Although we’re called the British team you don’t have to be British to join us. We have members from Australia, Holland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden and even Poland – to name a few!
We are also a registered affiliate of the Singapore Dragon Boat Association, which is the main organising body for Dragon Boating in Singapore.
About Dragon Boating
Dragon Boating originated in China during the 3rd Century when the Chinese practiced it during the summer solstice to ensure prosperity in the growing season to sustain a good harvest.
The tradition of Dragon Boat festivals started following the death of the much loved and respected Qu Yuan. He was a great Chinese statesman, patriot and poet. He committed suicide by throwing himself into the Mi Lo River in despair of the downfall of the Chu Kingdom and his subsequent exile.
On hearing of his death anxious fishermen & villagers of the Chu Kingdom took to their boats and sought to save him by beating their drums and splashing their paddles on the water to drive away fish and water demons that might harm him. They scattered rice into the water to ensure the spirit of Qu Yuan would not starve.
This tradition is continued today in the numerous Dragon Boat festivals & races around the world. Being the 2nd largest participative sport in the world it is estimated that 20 million people take part in Dragon Boat festivals in China alone! Dragon Boating is also now one of the fastest growing sports in the world and festivals take place all over the world including London, New York, Singapore, Sydney & Vancouver.
About Dragon Racing/Regattas/Festivals
A dragon boat team usually consists of 20 people (some races differ): 18 paddlers seated 2 aside, a drummer beating the drum to keep everyone in time and a cox or steer who guides a long boat carrying a dragon’s head and tail. The 18 paddlers work together, paddling (known as stroking) in time, moving toward a finish line, while the steer ensures that the boat stays in its lane and doesn’t collide with any other dragon boats.
A dragon boat race or regatta is when you take 5-6 of these boats brimming full of people, line them up at a start line and then set them off at the sound of a horn. The boats then race like crazy to the finish line in the hope of getting there first!
The distance raced is most commonly 500m, but can vary anywhere from 250-1000m. We even have some fun races as long as 10K!
It is at these Regattas or Festivals where all the fun begins!
Dragon boat festivals are often a full day or weekend filled with paddling and partying. The paddling usually begins relatively early in the morning and the partying goes on into the late hours. Regattas are filled with competition, cheer, laughter, tears, and generally lots and lots of beer.
Dragon boating is a serious sport and dragon boaters are serious athletes… but they are also serious party animals so be warned!