September 16, 2006 - 11:00am to 7:00pm
South Side Riverfront Park


Welcome to the 5th Annual Pittsburgh Dragon Boat Festival. We thank all of the competitors who have joined us to make our festival a true celebration of Pittsburgh’s rivers and of community spirit.



The Pittsburgh Dragon Boat Festival will take place at the South Side Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh, PA. The race course will run along the park on the Monongahela River just upstream from the main intersection of the Three Rivers in downtown Pittsburgh.



Registration window is open from JULY 1st to SEPTEMBER 6th

Registration must be completed on-line via prior to the entry window deadline listed above.

  • Registration should be completed only once the team is confirmed and final. Individuals who are interested should register via Regatta Central ( Contact Chris Tator: or 412.231.8772 for any questions.
  • A team must designate 1 team manager and/or 1 captain, who may or may not be crewmembers.
  • Teams should consist of 1 steersperson, 1 drummer, maximum of 20 paddlers and 2 alternates.
  • The Team Manager/Captain shall be responsible for the conduct of her or his team and for communicating and distributing all practice and race information to the team. S/he alone is responsible for collecting and submitting all forms and waivers and liaison with regatta. The Team Manager/Captain will ensure the team’s conduct is consistent with good sportsmanship, friendship and respect for the traditions of the Dragon Boat and culture of participating countries, organizations and individuals.
  • Each participant MUST sign and submit a waiver form (see TRRA website for copy) prior to participation in any practice session or race.
  • Entries accepted after the deadline are at the discretion of the race director and will be assessed a $45 late fee per boat.

Note: For all community teams that participate in TRRA’s QuickStart program, TRRA will assist with registration for your team. TRRA will work with your captain, sponsor, coach or coordinator to ensure we have the correct information by September 6.


Entry Fees:

  • $440 for Experienced and Student teams.
  • $40/person (minimum 16) for the “Quick Start.” Includes two (2) fully coached practice sessions plus race registration. (Contact TRRA to learn more about the “Quick Start” package.)

All fees are based on having a boat comprised of twenty (20) participants.

Festival organizers will provide use of a dragon boat on race day, paddles, PFDs, and awards. Those who want to wear their own PFDs or bring their own paddles may do so as long as the equipment is USDBF & Coast Guard approved.

Payment & waivers are due no later than September 11. Payment options include:

  • Payment through Regatta Central. Check or Credit Card is available. Please make sure to read the RC invoice thoroughly. Consult Scott at Regatta Central for any payment concerns or questions.

On-site Check In:

Each team’s captain or coach is required to check in at the registration desk located next to the Athletes Village area under the small pavilion behind the stage. Check in will open at 10am. A copy of the final race heat sheet will be provided at check in.



All races are open to paddlers with the following criteria:

  • Heat sheet with lane assignments will be provided the day of the event and will also be posted on TRRA website (see links section at end of document) the Wednesday prior to race day.
  • For Mixed Races, a minimum of ten (10) paddlers must be women.
  • Final race schedule is set up based on number and type of teams that have entered events.
  • Races are subject to change based on participation levels.


Teams can enter in the following categories:

Women's all female paddlers; men can drum and/or steer Final only, no heats Plaque to 1st place team
Men's all male paddlers; women can drum and/or steer Final only, no heats Plaque to 1st place team
Masters mixed boat; all paddlers over 40 as of race date Final only, no heats Plaque to 1st place team
Community novice paddlers; at least ten of the paddlers must be women; no more than two of the paddlers can be experienced or premiere class Community Teams will race in Mixed Division 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place plaque in each final
Youth paddlers under 20; steersperson and drummer can be of any age Youth teams will race in Mixed Division Plaque to 1st place team in finals
Premiere Experienced paddlers (at team’s discretion: most paddlers have been in a dragon boat at least 20 times); at least 10 of the paddlers must be women Premier Teams will race in Mixed Division Plaque to 1st place team in finals

Race Progression:

Women's Final only, no heats n/a
Men's Final only, no heats n/a
Masters Final only, no heats n/a
Mixed Division Heats first; finals based on heat times. Heats will occur during first part of race. Final races will be based on the ranking of ALL heat times with the fastest 3 times being seeded 1, 2, 3 and so on. A winner will be declared in each final race.


Race course will be 500 meters in length starting below the Hot Metal Bridge just above launch site and finishing towards the end of South Side Riverfront Park.



There will be Asian food vendors available during the day. In addition there will be Asian vendors and performances going on all day. The races are part of a larger festival celebrating the Asian art of Dragon Boating that makes for a great family outing.



Special rates have been arranged with various local hotels. Contact TRRA for more information


Parking and Directions:
Note: For more detailed directions, please click here

  • From East Carson street turn onto 18th street going toward the river (right turn if street numbers are going down/ going into town).
  • For Mixed Races, a minimum of ten (10) paddlers must be women.
  • From 18th Street: After you cross the railroad tracks and enter the park, continue straight until you reach the end of the park.
  • If you come across the 10th Street Bridge, turn left on to Muriel Street, make a left on to 17th Street, pass Wharton Street and take the next right. Make a left on to 18th Street and proceed into the Riverfront Park.
  • From town across the Hot Metal Bridge to South Side, park in one of the garages off Hot Metal Bridge (fee to park), and walk down the new bike trail to the park (15 minute walk depending on your walking speed).


TRRA has arranged to have Pittsburgh EMS on-site from 11am till the last race in case of any medical emergencies. EMS will be positioned near the Athlete’s Village area.

  • Races may be cancelled due to hazardous weather or marine conditions. This will be at discretion of head race official and regatta director and will be communicated to all those on water and land if required. In this case, attempts will be made to wait and continue racing when safe.
  • A safety boat and referee boat will follow each race. If your dragon boat veers off course or becomes swamped, please remain with the boat and wait for the referee and/or safety boat to arrive. Follow their instructions!
  • All participants will behave in a safety-conscious manner at all times. Unsafe behavior such as standing up in the boat away from the dock, splashing with paddles, etc. can be grounds for disqualification and ejection from the festival.


The following information will assist your team during day. A copy of this will be also available on race day and provided to each team captain/manager at check-in.


At the dock:

Competitors will be called by event and are expected to be on time! Please note that calls will be made via the dock announcer, as well as posted on the schedule board. Expect the races to be on time and you should arrive at the staging area ready to load into your boat at least 45 minutes from your race time.

To facilitate a timely launch, please observe these rules:

  • Race times on posted schedules indicate actual start time of race on water, not arrival time at dock area.
  • Be dressed to paddle and ready to go when you arrive at dock area
  • Look for your team and stay together as a team
  • Teams and captains are responsible for seating order, dockmaster and dock hands will ask for teams to line up in their seating arrangement 5-10 minutes prior to launch, all teams are to respond quickly to the commands of dock hands. Teams who fail to comply with dock commands will be assessed a 10 second penalty on their race.

Paddling to the start:

  • Direct your boat away from the dock and along shore
  • As you approach starting line, look for race officials to provide starting instructions
  • Be sure to stay pointed upstream and do NOT turn your boat till instructed by an official.

Warm ups:

Competitors may use this time traveling upstream for warm-up, however please note there are only 3 boats per event and if you are the last boat, keep the warm-up to a minimum and move your boat up to the start line quickly so the race can start quickly. As water warm up time is limited, please use the trail and open space on land to warm up prior to loading into boat.


At the start:

  • Upon arrival to starting area, all competitors must follow the directions of the officials who will assist arranging boats in lane sequence.
  • It is the responsibility of each team to arrive at the start on time. The race officials will not delay the race for teams arriving late to the start. Teams that arrive late to the start and miss the start will race exhibition and will be disqualified for remaining progression races.

On the course:

  • IDBF rules will govern all racing activity.

After the finish:

  • After crossing the finish line, paddle your boats directly back to the docks.
  • Once docked, quickly and carefully exit the boat for the next race, exit boat one seat at a time from front to back.
  • Leave your paddles in the boat blade down for the next group of competitors. Pile your life jackets on the dock or hand to the next team according to directions given by the dock master. It is the team exiting the boat that is responsible for bailing the boat.