fbpx
Menu Close

South Island Dragon Boat Festival

Race Format | Registration | Accommodations | Volunteers | Paddlers’ Village | Festival Cancellation/Refund Policy | 2023 Results

Our 2024 Victoria-based races feature a full two-day 500m festival, and guarantees a minimum of 4 races for everyone, and includes open-access 1500m Guts-and-Glory championship races and a Sunday Survivor Challenge for survivor teams. The weekend has broad western representation, with teams from BC’s lower mainland; from Alberta, including Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge; from Oregon and Washington State; and from Vancouver Island. 

For visitors to the island, we’ve sourced and obtained discounts for local accommodations, as well as partnering arrangements with Victoria teams to help you with tent amenities and tips and tricks to enjoy the south island area. For island teams, we know you’ll enjoy the event and recognize the same friends you’ve met at the start and finish lines for many years. 

Sunday-only options for Vancouver Island mixed, women’s and survivor teams. The 2-day South Island Festival is making its second race day available to mid- and north-island teams who want to participate at a local 1-day event planned for Saturday in Nanaimo. This option is being offered courtesy of the Nanaimo Paddling Centre and FGPC in recognition of the Nanaimo community’s effort to help rebuild the Nanaimo festival for 2025 and the years to come. The Sunday-only choice provides mid and north island teams with an opportunity to join South Island Festival’s visiting teams for a final day of racing on Sunday in Victoria if they choose.

Island-based survivor teams: Island-based survivor teams who choose to attend Nanaimo’s one-day Saturday event can join with the South Island Festival’s survivor teams on Sunday, free of charge. This option allows mid- and north-island survivor teams to join full-weekend survivor teams in Victoria on Sunday for the final day of racing, including 500m women’s heats and participation in Sunday’s Survivor Challenge. See below for details.


Location: Fairway Gorge Paddling Club, 2940 Jutland Road, Victoria

July 13 and 14, 2024

Registration Fees

This weekend of 500 M racing includes Women’s and Mixed categories. Everyone is guaranteed 4 races, weather permitting.

  • Early Bird (until April 22, 2024): $1200 including GST
  • Early Bird for Breast Cancer Survivor Teams (until April 22, 2024): $600 including GST
  • Early Bird for Sunday Only for Mid and North Vancouver Island Teams (until April 22, 2024) : $600 including GST
  • Sunday Only for Mid and North Vancouver Island Breast Cancer Survivor Teams: $0.00
  • Regular (after April 22, 2024): $1600 including GST
  • Regular for Breast Cancer Survivor Teams (after April 22, 2024): $800 including GST
  • Sunday Only for Mid and North Vancouver Island Teams (after April 22, 2024): $800

Race Format

For the 2024 event over the 13-14 July weekend in Victoria, we have lots in store for visiting and local teams!

1. SATURDAY 13 JULY

  • 500M Heats: On Saturday 13 July, full-weekend teams get the race course to themselves. Each team will advance over two full 500m races, beginning with a “time trial” heat in the morning followed by a head-to-head heat in the early afternoon. Each team’s combined race times will place them in the semi finals on Sunday morning’s 500m races. 
  • 250M Flag Relay: Saturday isn’t over yet! Each full-weekend team’s combined times on Saturday will qualify them for a position in FGPC’s novel “flag relay” to be held for full-weekend teams on Saturday afternoon. Each team’s times over their first two races will rank them against other teams in their division (women or mixed). If mixed, for example, the fastest will be paired in the afternoon flag relay with the slowest team, followed by the second fastest with the second slowest, and so on. Each pair of teams will be share one of three relay race lanes, with one team racing 250M down the race course to come to a hard stop, nose-by-nose, alongside their partner team, where a flag will be exchanged from drummer to drummer, triggering the partner team’s race back to the start line. Each pair of teams will share in their effort to win 1st, 2nd and 3rd fastest overall in each division, with the combined teams’ names recorded on a dedicated trophy. Note that separate steers’ meetings will be held for all Flag Relay participating teams, and FGPC will supply steerspeople for teams whose sterns may be uncomfortable with the format but who still want to participate. 

2. SUNDAY 14 JULY

  • 500M Heats: On Sunday 14 July, full-weekend teams will advance to the semi-finals and arriving Sunday-only teams from mid- and up-island will join through a modified repechage format in lower divisions for the semi final heats. Sunday-only visiting teams can then earn spots in the finals based on their semi final times, advancing earning as many as two lanes in each final race from recreational to platinum levels. Full-weekend teams are guaranteed a minimum of 2 lanes in each each final race based on a combination of time and placement over their previous 3 heats. 
  • 1500M Guts & Glory: On Sunday afternoon, all teams are eligible and can choose to compete in the final Guts & Glory heats, running 8 crews in each 1500M heat. All full-weekend and Sunday-only teams are eligible to participate, and will be ranked based on their times from the semi-finals. 
  • AWARDS: Medals will be awarded to teams who place 1, 2 and 3rd in the 500M finals in Platinum, Diamond, Gold and Jade categories in both mixed and women’s divisions. Medals will also be awarded to the first place finishing crews in mixed and women’s Guts & Glory Championships. 

Volunteers

We’re looking for people to do something great and volunteer at the South Island Dragon Boat Festival. Not only will you be helping to facilitate one of the island’s signature summer festivals, you’ll be an invaluable part of a summer event featuring athletes and spectators, beer gardens, music and more.

To become one of our valued volunteers, click here for more information and to sign up.


Site Map


Paddlers’ Village

SIDBF’s paddlers’ village will run on either side of Jutland Road adjacent to FGPC’s facility at 2940 Jutland Road. Tents are provided, and pre-assigned. Tent numbers will be provided to team captains when they check in. Teams must locate themselves at their assigned tent number and location for the purposes of marshalling and safety. Note that security staff will patrol the race site and Paddlers’ Village after-hours, but the tent area is not fenced or secure. Paddlers should not leave valuables and personal items unattended. FGPC is not responsible for lost or stolen items. 

Location: Refer to map for location of Paddlers’ Village and event parking 

Canadian Springs water coolers will be available in the Paddlers’ Village area and at locations around the event site. Please bring reusable water bottles. 

Paddlers are encouraged to bring their own paddles and PFDs, but a limited quantity of “club” equipment will be available for racing. Note: FGPC-provided PFDs and paddles must be returned by paddlers after every race. Club-supplied paddles and PFDs are not permitted in the Paddlers’ Village.


Accommodations

We have a selection of hotels & motels who have a special paddlers’ rate for our festivals. If you contact a hotel please be sure to mention the “South Island Dragon Boat Festival in July”.

  • Sandman Hotel – speak with Sylvia Wong (walking distance from event site and on a good bus route for travelling and visiting) 
  • Vic Boutique Motel – speak with Storm Jesperson (walking distance from event site and on a good bus route for travelling to downtown)
  • Accent Inn – discount code “PADDLE” (not quite walking distance – but nice and easy for transportation) 
  • ZED Motel discount code “PADDLE” (walking distance from event site and on a good bus route) 

We have a couple of hotels in downtown Victoria by the Inner Harbour:

Both of the downtown hotels are close to stops for the harbour ferry system, which has a stop at our venue. A group rate can be arranged. Click here for more information.


Food Vendors

The festival will feature a wide variety of vendors including food truck, retail, and informational vendors. Click here to apply to be a vendor at this festival.


Festival Cancellation/Refund Policy

There will be 25% administrative fee for all withdrawals. The final date to withdraw a team from the festival is June 21, 2024. There will be no refunds of any type after this date, including if the festival is cancelled due to safety reasons.