How We Race

String bags and medals for our special 10th anniversary celebration at the 2017 Boston Dragon Boat Festival

Our team members join the Wellness Warriors for many reasons. Some join us for the exercise or recreation only. Others thrill to that extra challenge of racing. Not everyone on our team races; we enter up to three boats in races. Dragon boat races are typically 250 or 500 meters, depending on the course, but can be as long as 2,000 meters.

Who Do We Race Against?
There are over 50 cancer survivor teams in the United States and 63 in Canada. The Wellness Warriors currently race in a variety of festivals against teams from all parts of North America.

Hong Kong and Taiwanese-Style Races
Most of the races we enter are in Hong Kong-style boats. One race – the Rhode Island Dragon Boat Race in Pawtucket, RI – uses Taiwanese-style boats and race rules. This style of racing includes an added element of excitement that is not included in other races. Here, a flag-catcher rides on the dragon head and must catch a flag at the finish line.

Race Festivals

  • Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (Boston, MA) – June
  • Springfield Dragon Boat Festival (Springfield, MA) – June
  • Ithaca Finger Lakes Dragon Boat Festival (Ithaca, NY) – July
  • Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival and Sisters at Heart Celebration (Burlington, VT) – August
  • Riverfront Dragon Boat Festival (Hartford, CT) – August
  • Rhode Island Dragon Boat Race and Taiwan Day Festival (Pawtucket, RI) – September
  • Worcester Dragon Boat Race (Worcester, MA) – September


Cancer steals, paddling heals!