Practices for the Walgreens Chicago International Dragon Boat Festival Presented by PepsiCo will be held on Lake Arlington, from July 7th to July 25th. GWN will contact teams, who have registered for a practice, to book a session.
Practices can only be confirmed once event fees are received in full. Teams in need of a steers should let GWN know that they require a coach. One will be provided, free of charge. Equipment such as paddles and lifejackets will be provided.
Teams should arrive at the park at least 15 minutes before their practice time. A GWN representative will be on site to check teams in, provide assistance and to collect waivers. There is no parking at the venue.
Parking for practices is available at the entrance lot to Lake Arlington (2201 N. Windsor Drive).
A practice scheduled will be available once days and times are confirmed.
Do We Need Our Own Paddles & PFDs (lifejackets)?
No, GWN supplies paddles and pfds at both practice sessions and at the race weekend. Paddlers are permitted to use their own paddles and PFDs provided they meet the required specifications. An approved full-vest personal flotation device (“PFD”) is required to be worn by all participants at all times while on the water. Approved paddles and PFDs are available for sale from GWN.
Do We Need a Coach?
Hiring a GWN coach is not mandatory, but highly recommend for teams new to dragon boat racing, or teams that are looking to improve on their racing skills. GWN coaches can lead practices, assist in training your steersperson and provide both group and one-on-one paddler training.
When Should I Arrive For My Practice?
Your team should arrive a minimum of 20 minutes prior to your scheduled practice time. This allows time for parking, warm-ups, etc. Please be respectful of any teams practicing after you, and return to the docks a few minutes in advance of your finishing time to allow for unloading.
What Should I Wear for Paddling?
Wear comfortable clothing that does not absorb or hold moisture. Tighter fitting clothes are more appropriate than a baggy fit that will catch water and drag. Fabrics such as Dryfit or Coolmax are recommended. Bringing a dry change of clothes for after practice (and racing!) is also recommended.