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 Home > MLDB / Mercer County / FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions - Mercer County Dragon Boat Festival

Who can paddle?

Racing is open to all men and women over the age of 16.  Mixed crews must have at least 8 women paddlers in the boat at one time.  Your drummer and steersperson can be of either sex.  You are allowed 26 people on your roster, which gives you room for 4 spare paddlers.  Paddlers can only paddle on ONE mixed team in the regatta.

Do we need our own boat?

No, GWN supplies the dragon boats both for practices and for racing.

Do we need our own paddles and 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.  Approved paddles and PFDs are available for sale from GWN.  Click here to access the GWN ProShop.

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.

Do we need a steersperson?

Yes.  Each team should designate their own steersperson.  This skilled position is an important part of your team.  They not only steer the boat but also assist the coach and/or dummer in calling the race commands.   GWN does supply back-up steerspeople for the race weekend in case of emergency.  GWN reserves the right to replace your steersperson if they are deemed incapable of handling your boat in a safe manner.

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.  Click here to access the GWN ProShop.

RULES & REGULATIONS:

Overriding Rules
No paddler can participate as a paddler on more than one crew in the same racing class. Steerspeople and drummers can be members of other crews, including a paddler on another crew, within the same racing class or on a crew participating in another racing class.
A Women's or Open Crew can be comprised of members of a combination of Mixed Crews.

Mixed Racing Class
The Mixed Racing Class is comprised of crews that meet the following requirements:

  • At least 8 paddlers must be female

Open Race Class
The Open Racing Class is comprised of crews that meet the following requirements:

  • Any combination of paddlers (May be all one gender)

Women's Race Class
The Women's Racing Class is comprised of crews that meet the following requirements:

  • For this regatta, all paddlers and the drummer must be female however the steersperson may be either female or male

Women's / Mixed Race Class
The Women's / Mixed Racing Class provides all-female crews the opportunity to race in both the Women's and Mixed Race Classes. It is comprised of crews that meet the following requirements:

  • For this regatta, all paddlers and the drummer must be female however the steersperson may be either female or male