Rules for Year 2002

( revised 19 May 2002)

The rules below are the only applicable rules for race day and they override any other rules or instructions that have previously been issued.


1.1 Any crew that fails to observe the Rules and Regulations herein may be disqualified.

1.2 A crew should compete only by racing in accordance with the recognised principles of fair play, good manners and sportsmanship. In particular any act of this nature against any of race officials, Judges or another competitor or other serious breaches of these principles will result in disqualification. Any offending team may be denied entry in the following years event.

1.3 A crew must follow the directions of the Race Officials within 15 minutes of their starting time.

1.4 Each crew must have a Team Captain, who must be present in the Crew Assembly Area during the time that the crew is under the control of the Race Officials.

1.5 The entry fee paid is non-refundable should the crew decide to withdraw from the races or should some or all of the races be cancelled for reasons beyond the Organiser's control (e.g. bad weather).

1.6 The Organiser reserves the right to refuse entry of any crew in the races at its sole discretion.

1.7 Each crew is entirely responsible for its own conduct and for complying with the race rules.


2.1 It is the responsibility of the person or organisation making the entry to satisfy himself or itself that all crew members are physically fit and are able to swim. The Race Organisers (Stanley Residents Association) cannot be held liable for any injury (or worse) of any competitor as a result of his or her lack of fitness or inability to swim. Each participant's capacity and skill should not be overstated. Each competitor must be able to swim at least 100 metres wearing light clothing.

2.2 Each competitor is solely responsible for his or her own safety during official practice sessions and during races and no responsibility will be accepted by the organiser or any other individual or organisation connected directly or indirectly with the races for any death, injury, damage or loss incurred or borne by competitors or members of a team.

2.3 It is the responsibility of the team manager and of individuals to decide for themselves whether or not they wear life jackets which are to be prepared by the participants themselves. The organizer recommend wearing buoyancy aid (conforming to British Standard BSI 3595) at all time.

2.4 For safety reasons, all members of the team must be familiar with the essence of the "Capsize Drill" (may opt for different formats, e.g. call out numbers or memorize the one sitting next to each one before setting off, and in case of incidence each member should be accounted for as such ). After sinking, all crew members must return to the shore and line up right in front of the Official Stand for Team Captain/ Manager to take roll call and report to the organiser's officer-in-charge before dismiss or carry on with the remaining race or practice.


3.1 Each boat may carry up to 18 paddlers [ and not fewer than 12] , and must carry 1 steersman and 1 drummer.

3.2 No men may participate in the Ladies crew except as steersman or drummer. For expatriate teams, over half of the crew must be Non-Chinese. For the Chinese teams, over half of the crew must be ethnic Chinese. Ladies may enter Men's races, but must not exceed half of the crew.

3.3 There is no gender restriction for drummers and steersmen.

3.4 Each paddler may only compete in ONE team. (If an organization register 2 entries, each entry is considered a separate team !) Each steersman or drummer may race for more than one team but only "of the same organization". However, prior approval by the organizer is necessary.

3.5 There is no limit (ceiling) for reserves, but "full list" of team members should be submitted after entry, in case it is instructed so. The team manager must also prepare a full team list (including all spare athletes and team officials) in hand on race day to be submitted to the Race Control Panel in occasions he/she is asked to do so.



4.1 A crew must be assembled in the Crew Assembly Area and be ready to board their allocated boat 15 minutes before the race time.

4.2 A crew is not permitted to choose which boat to use and must use the boat allocated to it by the Organiser.

4.3 Each boat will carry a number indicating the lane in which it is to race. A crew must race in the lane allocated to its boat.

4.4 After a crew has embarked, it must immediately leave the beach and proceed to the starting area without delay.


5.1 A crew in the starting area must obey the instructions of the starter, umpires and other race officials under the control of the starter.

5.2 A crew must immediately take up its correct position in the starting area in the lane allocated to it. Any crew that deliberately paddles or edges forward on the start line to gain an advantage will be disqualified.

5.3 When instructed by the Marshal, a member of the crew must pick up the bow-line in order to hold the boat straight to its course. Lines attached to the starting line (stern-rope) must be picked up and held by each steersman. (see diagram)The steersman may release the line ONLY when the starting signal is given.

5.4 When the starter is satisfied that the crews are correctly aligned, he will alert all crews with the verbal warning "READY" and a red flag will raised. A gun will be fired and the red flag lowered to signify the start of the race.

5.5 Once the boat is at the starting line waiting for the starting signal, all paddles must be out of water as a "ready" position. (see also rule 6.10)

(N.B. It is the responsibility of each team captain to make sure that each team member is familiar with the starting procedure. The starting signal is the gun.)

5.6 In the event that the starter considers that any crew has started before the gun is fired, a second gun will be sounded to signify a false start and all crews must stop and return to the start. The race will be restarted. The starter will issue a warning to any crew that causes a false start.

5.7 Any crew that fails to return immediately after a false start or that causes a false start may be disqualified. Any crew that causes 2 false starts will be disqualified.


6.1 Each team must have an experienced steersman who is registered with the Stanley Residents Association and must wear their Steersman Identity card at all the times while steering the dragon boat. The association can provide a registered steersman if notified in advance. A fee is to be paid in advance for this service through proper procedure.

6.2 The proper course for each boat is a straight line from its starting position to a corresponding point on the finish line. Each boat must remain in its allocated lane and must not interfere with other boats.

6.3 Any boat failing to keep to its proper course may be warned by a Race Official and may be required to replace the steersman with one provided by the Stanley Residents Association for any future races at the prescribed fee. Boats should not pass outside buoys marking the edge of the course.

6.4 In the event of a boat failing to keep to its proper course and thereby interfering with the course of another boat which is on its proper course or in the event of a collision between two or more boats the Race Controller may disqualify the offending boat or boats or order one or more boats to re-row the race, or both, where, in the Race Controller's opinion, the result of the race has been materially affected.

6.5 If, in the opinion of a Race Controller, a boat has been swamped or capsized deliberately by the crew, the Organiser reserves the right to disqualify the competitor and to refuse such crew's entry in future races. The crew of a swamped boat must assist the Organisers in getting the boat back to the beach and bailing out all the water and ensure no paddles or equipment are lost.

6.6 If, in the opinion of the Race Controller, an Umpire or any Crew Marshal, a boat or its equipment is damaged deliberately by the crew the team will be disqualified and the Organiser reserves the right to impose a penalty of HK$50000 on the organisation entering the crew. The Organiser also reserves the right to require such organisation to pay for the costs of repairs to the damaged boat.

6.7 All teams must race to the best of their ability. Any team deliberately slowing down or wasting time will be disqualified. This applies to teams deliberately slowing down to obtain a poor result in order to enter the plate competition.


6.9 Each steersman can only race for the team he/she is registered for in that year as shown in the card.
(see also rule 3.4)

6.10 From the moment the crew line up and get ready for a start, till cross the finish line, the steersman must keep the blade of the steering rudder stay in water, and must not cause any forward propelling force for the boat.

6.11 The drummer shall sit and remain in the designated drummer's seat throughout the race and shall have the drum-stick(s) [in total one or two] held in hand(s) during the race.


7.1 The finish line will be defined by a line between the finishing boat and an outer distance mark on the other side of the course.

7.2 The finishing order of a race and the time taken by each boat will be determined by the Finishing Judges whose decision shall be final.

7.3 Each crew must return immediately to the Beach Assembly Area and disembark after the race..

7.4 Each boat must immediately stop paddling and slow down after the bow of their dragon boat crosses the finishing line. Any boat that continues to paddle or approaches the beach at speed risking injury to spectators and damage to boats will be disqualified.


8.1 No protests will be allowed. The Judges decision is final.


9.1 All boats and paddles used by competitors shall be provided by the Organiser and must be returned in good order after use. The allocation of boats and paddles to individual crews shall be at the sole discretion of the Organiser. The Organiser will not be responsible for any failure of equipment during the race and each crew is advised to carefully check the boat and paddles allocated to it before the racing.

9.2 No modifications or additions to the boat or the equipment within the boat may be made or carried by any competitor or crew. In particular:

(a) Any pad or device for the rower to sit on should be of flexible material to the extent that it should be able to be folded over double and should not be thicker than 2 inches uncompressed.

(b) No equipment for removing water from the boat is permitted except plastic hand-held bailers with which the water is picked up and scooped out of the boat by a crew member. No pumps of any kind are permitted.

(c) No electrical, electronic or radio amplifying equipment of any kind is permitted in the boat.


10.1 Boat allocation of the "first round" will be by random draw. But allocation in subsequent rounds all be determined by finishing places in previous rounds.



(The End)