foster city race

The 4th Annual 2018 Foster City Novice Dragon Boat Race will be held on
Sunday, June 10, 2018 at Leo Ryan Park Lagoon in Foster City, California

Powered by Bay Area Dragons (BAD)



2017 Race Results & Pictures

2016 Race Results & Pictures


What is the Cost?

Registration fee is $575 for each team entry ($475 for early bird discount until April 15, 2018) and $30 for an individual entry, which is tax-deductible as BAD is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (EIN 94-3308173).  You are guaranteed a minimum of 2 races.  If your team does well, you will keep advancing and get more races. Pay for the individual entry if you are not affiliated with a team and you want to join a team that needs paddlers.

Your team will get 2 free coached practices before the Novice Race Festival.

History of this race

This novice race for newcomers and beginners to the sport of dragon boating started as a charity race called Paddle For Life, organized by the Bay Area Dragons Club (BAD) based in Foster City.  Its goal was to introduce the sport to novices while giving back to the local community charities at the same time.  Paddle For Life ran successfully for 10 years until 2010 and then it was moved to other states.  In 2014, the Bay Area Dragons Club decided to revive the novice race in Foster City, to help build a novice race circuit for beginner teams and corporate teams.  Participation is exclusive to newcomers and beginners, to local community and corporate teams.  This is a wonderful and fun opportunity for companies to encourage team building participation, for people to get outdoors and get active, and to meet people in your community across the Peninsula.  People have come from all over the Bay Area to join this race.  It is also the starter race to introduce teams to what a dragon boat race is like, to help them prepare for the big CDBA San Francisco race in September where novice teams can also participate.

The Foster City Novice Race is a 1-day race, focusing only on newcomers to the wonderful team sport of dragon boat racing!  Get a group of friends together to form a 20-person crew, register for the race and your team will get 2-3 free coached practices before race day.

Where is the Foster City Novice Race?

The race will be held at the Leo Ryan Park Lagoon in Foster City.  Racing will run from 9am to 4pm.  The race schedule will be announced a week before the race day.  The water is very calm and not that deep.  There is excellent visibility from all parts of the lagoon, you will get great viewing and great photographs!  There is a Safeway, a CVS and restaurants just across the street.

When is the Foster City Novice Race?

The novice race will be held on June 10, 2018 (Sunday).  Weather that time of year is usually sunny, warm, with nice winds.  You will have the wind at your back as you race down the water and get a zoomed-in selfie!

Past Participants List

There have been many companies and organizations that joined the novice/charity race in previous years, including but not limited to: AACI, AT&T, BART, Bank of the West, Clorox, Children’s Creative Learning Centers (CCLC), East Bay MUD, Foster City Rotary, Foster City Lions, Frito Lay, GE, Genentech, Gilead, Google, IBM, Intel, Independence High School, McKesson, Oakland Police Dept, PG&E, Pepsico, San Francisco Police Dept, Santa Clara Water District, Shell, Visa, Xilinx

What is a Dragon Boat?

A dragon boat is a long boat with a dragon head and a tail, with 10 rows of 2 paddlers per row.  You see these boats practicing in the lagoons of Foster City.  You see them on TV during the big Northing California International Dragon Boat Festival every September.  You see them on YouTube showing racing from all over the world!  Now is your chance to actually try it!

What is a Dragon Boat Team?

A team is made up of 20 people in a boat (8 women and 12 men for a full mixed crew), plus a drummer at the front and a steersperson at the back.  For the Foster City Novice Race, each team needs to have a minimum of 8 women and at least 18 paddlers. We will provide a drummer and steersperson for the race. This is a NOVICE Race, which means all members of the team can have only 3 practices or less in the last 6 months.  Each team can have an exception of only up to 2 veteran (experienced) paddlers.  The minimum age is 12 and there is no maximum age as we have senior masters paddlers who are over 65 years old and counting!  Everyone is WELCOME!

What is a Dragon Boat Race?

The standard local competitive race is 500 meters long.  A race festival will run several heats (qualifying races) throughout the day.  Each heat will have between 4-8 boats racing at the same time.  Teams advance to the next heat based on placement.  In a big race, there will be various categories for team to race in, such as mixed, women, open (men), college, high school, and corporate divisions.  Most teams are recreational or competitive, racing various races throughout the year.

What is a Novice Race?

The Foster City Novice Race has a shorter race course, about 300 meters long.  For most teams, it will take less than 3 minutes to finish a race.  The boat is provided along with paddles, life jackets, and an experienced steersperson.  We can also provide a drummer or you can use your own.  There will be 4 boats in each heat, racing to advance to the next round, until the finalist teams make it to race in the finals!

What is the Team Building Special?

For a company or organization with 4 or more teams, you get 1 team entry for free (register 3 and get 1 free).  You may also get an extra race for your own division.  The top teams will advance to compete against your industry competitors.  This is a great way to have some healthy and fun competition within your company!  Who’s gonna win, the R&D department or the QA department?