Dragon boat

A dragon boat (Chinese龙舟, Pinyin or Chinese Longzhou龙船, Pinyin Longchuan ) is a particularly long, open canoe, which originated in China. In most cases, it is by painting and / or carvings as well as a decorative dragon head and tail represents a stylized Chinese dragon The boats are now used worldwide as a boat or at events and also referred to as dragon boat, if they are not the decorative elements.

  • 2.1 Association of structures
  • 2.2 associations
  • 2.3 Competitive Sports
  • 3.1 boats 3.1.1 tradition Boats
  • 3.1.2 Sport Boats
  • 4.1 paddlers
  • 4.2 helmsman
  • 4.3 drummers
  • 4.4 Flag Catcher
  • 5.1 starting position
  • 5.2 Water Grasp
  • 5.3 threading
  • 5.4 excavating
  • 5.5 reacting


The movement of boats with the help of Holly paddling has evolved independently in multiple cultures. Typical of originating from Asia paddle boats, to which this section is limited, however, is the stylized representation of the boats as a dragon.


The history of Dragon Boat racing is very strongly influenced by myths, which focuses, however, there is always the dragon. Dragon boat races are part of the Dragon Boat Festival or Duanwu festival, which takes place according to the Chinese lunar calendar, on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. The most popular legend, the Dragon Boat Festival on the test, the Chinese national poet Qu Yuan reminds save in the year 277 BC, from drowning. Dragon boat races are supposedly since then held in honor of the poet. The Duanwu Festival had existed before Qu Yuan was born. The Duanwu Festival is the festival of Wuyue, an ancient tribe whose totem was the dragon. The Wuyue attached to this day sacrifices in honor of the Dragon. Another theory suggests that boats have been used with carved dragon heads to calm the dragons in the waters during floods. And in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, the origin of the race is to the King of Yue, Gou Jian returned, of his troops trained in dragon boat race after a military defeat and with their help could the state of Chu built again.

The origin of dragon boats is believed by scientists in south-central China, particularly in the area of the Yangtze River in 500 BC. Organized dragon boat competitions there were very early. Regulated competition was already during the Sui Dynasty ( 581-618 ) and Tang Dynasty ( 618-907 ) performed in China.

  • About 500 BC In China, dragon boats serve as a means of transportation.
  • About 280 BC alleged ( unsuccessful ) recovery of the Chinese national poet Qu Yuan from drowning

Modern Times

In the 1970s, decided to " Hong Kong Tourist Association " (now the Tourist Board ) to organize a Dragon Boat Festival as an advertisement for Hong Kong. The 1st Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Race, which is considered the beginning of modern dragon boat history, took place in 1976 with ten teams instead. From then on, the festival became a public appeal, the annual international regatta. In 1991, then establishing the International Dragon Boat Federation ( IDBF ) in Hong Kong, which in 1995 hosted the first World Championships. 2005, organized by the International Canoe Federation (ICF ), the first ICF Dragon Boat Club World Championships in Schwerin. Meanwhile, Dragon Boat, an international competitive sport that is operated in over 40 countries.

Since the 1990s, the Dragon Boat Sport in Germany became increasingly popular, as reflected both in the number of races, as well as in the number of organized sports. In the early 1990s, independent dragon boat clubs were founded. At the same dragon boat teams came together in canoe clubs. In Germany the first dragon boat race took place in 1987 in the framework program of the Canoe World Championships in Duisburg. Two years later, an international regatta with 75 teams was in Hamburg harbor on the occasion of the 800th birthday hosted from five continents, to the 1990 founding of the German Dragon Boat Association ( DDV) in Hamburg and in 1991 came the first German Dragon Boat Championships in Dresden. 2005 and 2009 Dragon Boat was represented as an invitation sport in the World Games program.

Large dragon boat races (eg in Dusseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Hamburg, Hanover, Saarbrücken, Dillingen / Saar, Frankfurt / Main) have Volksfest character and sometimes reach five -to six- digit numbers of visitors. In Germany, the dragon boat sport is heavily influenced by regional engagement. Places in which ( combined across ) the dragon boat sport has a high priority, are Mannheim, Potsdam, Hannover, Wuppertal, Schwerin, Neubrandenburg, Wiesbaden, Saarland and Bad Säckingen on the Upper Rhine.



Association structures

Both internationally and nationally the dragon boat sport is organized in parallel in two sports associations: International Dragon Boat Federation in the International ( IDBF ) and the International Canoe Federation (ICF). After an initially agreed cooperation between IDBF and ICF failed, the two associations could not have a right to represent the dragon boat sport at the international level - especially in the world sports federation GAISF and the International Olympic Committee (IOC ) - a few. The International Canoe Federation, which is GAISF founding member, considered as a branch of the dragon boat he represents canoeing. The IDBF also sought to record and was recorded (after two unsuccessful attempts in 2005 and 2006 ) on 27 April 2007 at the Annual General Assembly of the GAISF as a professional association for Dragon Boat Sport. ICF and IDBF arguing ever since about whether thus a claim to sole representation of the IDBF is connected for the dragon boat sport or not. The dragon boat competition at the World Games 2005 and 2009 were carried out under the responsibility of the ICF.

In Germany, the Dragon Boat Racing Association is organized ( DDV) since 1990 in the German Dragon Boat, which organizes since 1991 German Championships. After a pre- negotiated merger of the DDV failed with the German Canoe Association ( DKV) at the vote of the DDV - members, DKV founded in 2004 a private resort " canoe dragon boat " and directed since separate German championships. The DDV is a member of the International Dragon Boat Federation ( IDBF ) and the European Dragon Boat Federation ( EDBF ); DKV is a member of the International Canoe Federation (ICF ) and the European Canoe Assosiation ( ECA). National is the DKV as a professional association in the German Olympic Sports Confederation ( DOSB) organized and regarded there as a representative of the dragon boat sport. The DDV also strives for inclusion in the DOSB, an application to join the predecessor of German Sports Federation was rejected end of the 1990s ( for technical reasons ).


Dragon Boat Teams are both standalone dragon boat clubs as well as departments in other sports clubs. The latter are predominantly canoe clubs, since there the appropriate infrastructure is in place (boat house near the water, locker and weight rooms, storage facilities). Z.T. also rowing and multi-branch sports clubs Dragon Boat departments. In October 2007, 11 clubs and the German Canoe Association were organized 94 teams with a division " canoe dragon boat " in German Dragon Boat Federation.

In addition to the organized club in dragon boaters take - especially in the context of summer festivals - in large numbers and non-represented in dragon boat clubs operating teams or other sporting groups at regattas.

Competitive sport

The organized competitive sport in the associations listed since the 1990s, an increasing professionalization and regulation. This process was particularly driven by the creation of associations and their organization in associations. Example, it was established in 1994 by the IDBF standards for racing dragon boats and by the EDBF standards for racing dragon boat paddle.

In Germany, both the German Dragon Boat Association ( DDV ) and the German Canoe Federation have adopted ( DKV) own competition rules that govern the running of competitions within the relevant association, differ in the core but only a little. Both associations organize their own German championships and national championships.

International aligns the IDBF since 1995 every two years the "World Dragon Boat Racing Championships " ( WDBRC ) for the best national teams. In the years between the World Championships, the IDBF Club Crew World Championships ( CCWC ) will be held for the best club teams. The same rhythm have, since 2005, the World Championships of the ICF, which take place in exchange for club and national teams.

The aim of the competition is to cope with a certain distance as fast as possible. As path lengths to 200/250 m ( Sprint ), 500 m ( short-haul ), 1000 m/2000 m ( middle distance ) and 3000-10000 m ( long distance) have been established. In amateur sports events and the traditional race tracks are not normalized in general. Competitions are often held on the existing regatta courses for canoeing and rowing or on suitable water areas near city centers.

Both the IDBF and ICF distinguish the following team categories: Open (men ), Woman ( women) and mixed. In addition, the associations still distinguish age classes.


Boats and Accessories


Dragon boats are open boats with a long, slightly curved keel. It is driven by paddle. Dragon boats are designed so that they are by painting or carving and decorative Chinese dragon head and tail of a stylized dragon.

The following boat types can be roughly distinguished:

  • Traditional Chinese Dragon Boat
  • Hong Kong Dragon Boat
  • Singapore Dragon Boat
  • International IDBF dragon boat racing standard
  • European EDBF standard dragon boat

Tradition boats

The tradition boats include the traditional Chinese dragon boat, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat and the Singapore Dragon Boat. Together you is the heavy teak design. They are fitted with ornate, large dragon heads that give them a very colorful look. Moreover, show painted Chinese characters on the particular advantages of a boat. Great Tradition boats can be up to 25 feet long and manned by up to 100 paddlers. Traditional boats are made ​​of wood. Her hull is built typically without frames and air boxes.

Sports boats

In contrast, there are the sports boats, including the internationally standardized racing standard dragon boat and the European standard dragon boat belong. The standards of these boats are from the International Dragon Boat Federation ( IDBF ) was fixed for the first time in 1994 and since then there are (as of 2006) in the 4th version before. Sport boats have very little in common with the traditional boats, even if the crack of sports boats originally based on the Hong Kong Dragon Boat. The same for all boats dragon head and tail is removable and will only use at events. The standardized boats are 12.49 m long, 1.16 m wide and 250 kg ( European standard ) without the head and tail. The body is usually made ​​of glass fiber reinforced plastic ( GRP) in two shells. A standardized boat has seats for up to 20 paddlers.


The Canoe Paddles consist of paddle blade, shaft and handle. The leaves vary in length and width. The shaft connects the blade to the handle. When knob at the upper end of the shaft there are two different types of grip, the spade grip ( T handle ) and the palm grip. The range of materials used in the bladed paddle extends from conventional wood to more modern materials such as aluminum / plastic or carbon. In competitive sport, the length of the paddle is as regimented as the shape and width of the paddle blade.

Long rowing

The long rudder is used to control the boat, is generally fixed at the control block, and projects mostly to port into the water. Just like the Paddle is the long oars from leaf, stem and knob.


The crew of a dragon boat consists of paddlers in pairs sitting on benches next to each other and move with holly paddling the boat forward. A drummer in the boat takes the rhythm of the foremost paddler pair (" batting order or shock people " ) that provides with his punches for a steady beat of all paddlers in the boat and the paddlers motivated by shouting to give their best. The helmsman stands in the stern and steers the boat with a long oar. In some race belongs to the team of so-called "flag catcher".


Depending on the type of boat sit between 10 and 50 paddlers in the direction of travel for two on a bench. You can paddle, depending on their seating position, with the bladed paddle either on the right or left side of the boat. The impact people mentioned paddlers on the first bank set the pace and determine impact speed and racing tactics. All other paddlers in the boat paddling in sync with them to blow that takes up the drummer of the shock people.


The helmsman is at the rear end of the dragon boat and steers the boat with a long oar, which is run by a control block attached to the rear. A good helmsman to keep the boat with minimal control movements on a straight course. Weight shift of the helmsman heel of the dragon boat is balanced around the longitudinal axis. As the helmsman is also responsible for the safety of the boat with the whole team, he must be familiar etc. well with the safety rules and with the local conditions regarding weather, rights of way, current, waves, shallows. The helmsman can contribute significantly by loud instructions, commands and motivation calls to the success of a race.


The drummer sits with most types of boat front of the boat. He sits on a special seat, facing against the direction of travel to the rest of the crew, took the clock sitting on the impact paddlers and proposes in this clock with a wood on the attached drum in front of him. He carefully monitored the course of the race and your team and coordinates the race tactics with the shock people. At the finish of some traditional dragon boat races, a bell on the finish line must be struck. This task is performed by the drummer or another person front of the boat. In traditional dragon boats with up to 50 paddlers the drummer is often placed in the center of the boat. In traditional dragon boats rhythm is sometimes given instead of a drum by means of a brass gong.

Flag Catcher

In some race belongs to the team of so-called "flag catcher". Its mission is to seize a flag from a buoy in the target. Will race with Flag Catcher discharged, has won the team whose flag Catcher first holding the flag in his hand. In Europe, this type of racing is rarely aligned.


Dragon boating is one of the cyclic sports, that is, go similar movements in exchange flowing into each other. Shock or beat cycle is called (also known as drive and freewheel phase) the two phases, main and intermediate phase, existing motion. After the main phase, the passage, the intermediate phase begins with the excavation and ends after transplanting and fill up with water, which is followed by the next main phase. The beat frequency is in a race between 70 and 80 beats per minute. In the starting phase, a team can reach up to 150 beats per minute, however.

Starting position

The paddler sits on the bench in the dragon boat with a pool side on the outer wall of the boat. The bladed paddle is held with the hand facing away from the water above the handle. The water-side hand reaches approximately a shoulder width lower on the stem at. The water-side leg is called the pillar and should be firmly wedged between boat wall and floor with horizontal as possible thigh. The pelvic axis is perpendicular to the boat axis, ie transversely to the direction of travel. The upper body is perfectly screwed on the observed pelvic girdle to the tension side and slightly bent forward. The tension arm, the arm that is on the water side is stretched, the pressure arm slightly bent, hand pressure is slightly above and in front of the head of the athlete.

Fill up with water

The paddle is as far forward submerged (approximately at the height of the seat of the next front man ) without a break in the water. For this, the paddle blade pushes the draw hand over the extended arm with the help of hand pressure quickly and spritzerlos completely into the water. The Printing is located at the onset slightly above the head; the angle of the paddle blade is between 50 and 80 degrees.


Only when the paddle blade is completely submerged in water, the paddle is passed close to the outer wall of the dragon boat and kept as vertical as possible to the center line of the boat and the water level. The passage begins explosive (the force curve rises steeply ), then the passage is carried out with a further increase in speed by turning back and simultaneous lifting of the upper body, coordinated with the pulling movement of the towing arm. The press arm and hand pressure to make static holding work and act as a hinge and guide element for the bladed paddle. Pelvic girdle and legs secure by maintaining the basic attitude of the transmission of the force pulse generated by the paddle stroke on the boat.


After the drawing hand has reached the thigh of the standing leg, raise train and Printing the paddle swiftly and spritzerlos straight up out of the water. The lifting of the piercing paddle out of the water should be terminated at the level of the pelvis of the athlete.


The drawing hand leads the paddle in a slight curve in the direction toward the bow, the sheet stays about 5 to 8 cm above the water surface. The Printing leads the paddle knob easily into the boat and forward and upward from the head to the starting position. In temporal and spatial coordination between train and pressure arm of the hull supports the applicant by an optimal rotation of the shoulder girdle to the tension side with a corresponding curvature of the entire upper body to the pelvic girdle. The lower body acts as an abutment and should stand as firmly as possible and ensure the power transfer to the boat. The head is held in extension of the spine, the view is directed obliquely to the front seated paddlers.


Tactics play in dragon boat racing in comparison to other sports a subordinate role. It is limited in general to determining a classification of the forces on the track. Each race can be in a starting phase, divide a track phase and the final sprint. Depending on the length of the route, the start-up phase lasts 20 to 30 strokes. The start phase is used to speed up the first boot as effectively as possible at race speed. In addition, can be crucial to the later course of the race by the waving of the dragon boats a favorable starting position. The optimal form of the initial phase becomes more important if you know that in the past in the starting phase occurring residues could be reversed only in exceptional cases. At the start sprint tactic is trying to take the lead immediately after the start. For this purpose it is necessary to start sprint either to prolong or intensify. The target position in the track phase is to have an effective impact frequency - propulsion ratio to achieve a high speed level. Velocity fluctuations are unavoidable, due to biomechanical point of view, since the water resistance grows with the square of the velocity. In the final sprint stage, it is important to exploit the remaining anaerobic- Lactic metabolic capacity to the maximum possible acidosis.