Final Captains Update

Hello Captains and welcome to RaceDay Week!

This will be your final update until RaceDay….. Here are a few things to remember.

  1. 22 Dragons will be running our event. They did a great job for us last year, and we are excited to have them back.
  2. On RaceDay morning, the Registration tent will open at 6:30A.M. This is when you can pick up your Captains Packets, and drop off any last minute waivers. All Dragons can start invading the park at this time, so get your team there early so they can start decorating and setting up! There will be a mandatory 7:00A.M Captain’s Meeting. 22 Dragons and myself will be at the Registration Tent to commence the meeting. Any last minute questions can be asked then.

The Captain’s packet will contain; race progression of heats, a safety document, rules and regulation document, a paddle seating chart, and wristbands. I have attached a copy of the day schedule. ALL paddlers must wear a wristband. No paddler will be permitted on a boat without a wristband.

Opening Ceremony & Welcome

  • 6:45A.M we will begin with a fun-filled Warm-Up exercise session to music.
  • 7:00A.M; there will be a Blessing, National Anthem, Drummer Parade, Carnation Ceremony, and Dotting of the Dragon’s Eye. Have your teammates there early to exercise and to partake in the opening festivities. I know it’s early, but we will finish early if we stay on schedule.
  • 7:45; First call for Marshaling on the first Heat. ALL your paddlers should be in the park and ready to GO!
  • 8:10; First Heat begins.
  1. Waivers; anyone paddling MUST SIGN an individual waiver. No group waivers this year. This includes your practice session as well. Make sure you bring them to practice! All final waivers are to be signed, and turned in on Race Day morning when picking up your packet, OR at your scheduled practice time earlier in the week. I have attached a copy of the waiver.
  2. Parking; I recommend asking Google; “downtown parking for Henry C. Chambers WaterFront Park”, and download a map. You can also use; to find a map. For those who do not mind a little walk in the morning after drop off, a walking park was built just across the bridge on your right, called White Hall Park on Lady’s Island. There is plenty of parking and it is FREE!
  3. There will be a “drop off only” area located on Scott Street extension off of Bay Street, just past YoYo’s Soft -Serve. It goes back along Saltus River Grill. Please do not linger. Get it done and move on……. The drop off area will make it easier to get things to your tent. A couple of our local strong Marines will be there to help you take your stuff/equipment to your tent.
  4. Event Schedule; 7:45 Marshaling call for the first Heat, 8:10 First Race on the water. There will be 3 heats, 4 teams per heat. We will not be publishing anything on the website, so listen and pay attention to the announcer as you hear your team’s name called.
  5. Tents; your tent will already be set up and waiting for you with your team’s name on it. I will have a placement chart at the registration table, or you can just walk around and find it on your own. Each team will have their own 10×10 tent. DO NOT BRING ANY ADDITIONAL TENTS. We are booked this year in the park. WaterFront Park is limited for space, and they have staking rules.
  6. Footwear, PFD,s, & Wristbands; please no sandals or open toe shoes. We ask this for your own safety. We will provide life jackets and paddles, but if you have your own that is fine. Waist PFDs are permitted. No paddler will be permitted on a boat without a provided wrist band from the Captain’s Packet. Be sure to bring water, sunscreen, a beach chair, gloves (optional) and a hat.
  7. Food; there will be 2 food vendors available; Rain-n-Bagels and Sunset Slush. WaterFront Park is surrounded by restaurants, but be mindful of your race times. Do not go wandering off without knowing when your next race time will be! I highly recommend that each of your paddlers bring something to eat/snack/drink/ice, etc. Please bring your own folding table to set your food/drink items on.
  8. Speaking of drinking….. NO paddler will be permitted to paddle if intoxicated!!! That’s part of the rules people! Our local fantastic restaurants come with bars, and there are a lot to choose from. So, “Don’t Drink & Paddle!” Save yourself for later!
  9. Practice Schedule; I am reattaching the practice schedule. Please remember to try and arrive a half hour before your actual time. We want to have you on the water at your scheduled practice time. We will have practice rain or shine. If it is raining, we can do the commands and paddle stroke under the pavilion. Start thinking about paddler placements, and who you want as your
    Pacers on your boat. I have attached a paddle seating chart.
  10. Reminders; here is a list of reminders regarding RaceDay.
  • The race distance is 200 meters. We are checking on the tide times as we speak. Remember you are racing on Tidal waters. There will not be any floating docks. Wet -vs- Dry start is totally up to your team Captain. The Steersperson ALWAYS has control of the boat, AND you will be using our provided Steersperson.
  • Please listen and be mindful of the people placing you in and out of the boat. These are our Marshaling volunteers. They are also seasoned DBB Members. NO one is to enter or exit a boat on their own. You will be disqualified if there are any disrespectful deeds done at Marshaling.
  • 20 paddlers and a drummer. We will accept a minimum of 16 paddlers and a drummer, but will not go any lower for safety reasons. Please try your best to fill your boat. If you find yourself needing a paddler or two, find me! I will make it happen!!
  • Mandatory Practice for our local community teams. I know not all paddlers can make their designated time. We have set aside a Friday at 5:30 time slot for paddlers who cannot make their team scheduled time. If this does not work please contact me.
  • MANDATORY: Each racing team must have a minimum of 8 women paddlers, with the exception of the men’s division.
  • MANDATORY: Each Cancer Survivor team must have a minimum of 8 Cancer Survivors. Any and all types of Cancer.
  • MANDATORY: Each Senior team paddlers must be 50 years and older. Drummer included.
  1. FUNDRAISE; please continue to fundraise! Our goal is $80,000. We are more than halfway there. Let’s help these people in Beaufort County. Please remember, this is why we are doing this!
  2. Fun things that will happen throughout the day.. Best Dressed Drummer, Best Decorated tent, Best T-Shirt Design, Best Team Spirit, Top Fundraising Team, Top Fundraiser, Fastest time raced. Cups Awarded; The Apollo Fitness Cup, Heart Beat of the County Cup, and Men’s Competition Cup. AND…… let’s not forget the Taiko Drummers will be performing again this year, and our very own Jeff “T-Bone” Taylor, 104.9 The Surf announcing!

AND….. I leave you with this;

“May the river rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back!
May the Sun shine warm upon your face, and pray to the rain god’s to stay away from my race!”

It has been my pleasure serving you and our Community…..

Paddles Up!

Darlene McGrath

RaceDay Teams Coordinator

Captains Update June 6

Hello Captains!

Two weeks until Race Day! Thank you again for pulling your teams together, and making this happen. Speaking of teams….. We now need to do some more work, in order to make this day a successful day for all.

First, get your paddlers on your roster! You need a minimum of 16 paddlers and a Drummer. I am seeing a lot of teams with very few or no names at all on your roster. Which also means you are not fundraising!!! This is what this day is all about. Fundraise! Fundraise! Fundraise! I am seeing some teams with a full roster, and hardly any money raised. Then…… I see a team of “Just Friends”, and they have raised over $10K. Due to being “Just Friends”, Shark Attack, and
Captain Charlene Pinherio have just WON a primo tent spot on Race Day along the WaterFront wall! Congratulations, and keep that money coming!!

We need to hit that $80K in order for us to be successful with our OutReach Program. The cancer patients of Beaufort County need our help. So please remember this is what this day is all about.

Beef up your Bio! “Just Friends”, tell us more about what makes you such great friends! “Paradise Paddlers”, tell us more about living in Margaritaville and how y’all came together! “Sun City Synchronettes” what makes you social??? Give Jeff “T-Bone” Taylor something to play with when he announces your team name throughout the day! You have until 6/13 to get this done!

It is now time to pick your practice day and time slot. We will be putting 3 boats on the water in each time slot, equalling 9 teams at a time. Give me your first and second choice. We will be practicing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of Race Day week. Time slots are 4:30, 5:30, & 6:30 at WaterFront Park. We gather back in the corner where you load for a tourist carriage ride.
We try to reserve the Friday practices for the Out-of-Town teams, since they will be traveling. Let’s see how that plays out. Please arrive a half hour before your time slot for a brief overview of water & boat safety, boat commands, along with a lesson on paddling. I will also need your waivers signed by all paddlers before going on the water. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes that can get wet. This is a water sport! DO NOT wear flip-flops. Shoes must be attached to your feet for safety reasons. You also may want to consider sunglasses, sunscreen, a big YES to drinking water. Gloves are very helpful for your grip when paddling. I use weight lifting gloves. We are not doing one waiver per team, but one waiver per paddler. Please let me know if you need another copy of the waiver, so each of your paddlers can have one.

Hopefully, by now Y’all have your creative team jersey, Drummer costumes in the works for competition, and getting those decorations for your tent. Speaking of tents, please remember no extra tents permitted in the park. Set up and location of your tent to follow in the next captain update. I will be sending out a final update on everything later.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Until then…..

Paddles Up!
Darlene McGrath

May Captain’s Update

Hello Captains and Paddlers!

We have hit the middle of May and less than 6 weeks until Race Day. We have 25 teams registered, and two teams in the pipeline awaiting check approval. We now only have ONE SLOT AVAILABLE, and then the field is full. Team registration deadline is June 3rd. Let me know as soon as possible if you are coming! “First come, first served.”

To all my teams that have already registered, I need you to complete your team-bio! We need more than just a one line sentence. Our announcer, “Jeff “T-Bone” Taylor from 104.9 The Surf, reads your bio throughout the day. So tell us a little more about you, your team, and especially if your team was sponsored. Make sure you mention their name as well. They helped get you there.

Keep building your team. Some teams already have a full roster and that is great! Let me know if you need paddlers, I may be able to help you out, but you need a minimum of 16 paddlers, a drummer, AND don’t forget at least 8 females paddling in each race. Men’s Division is exempt, of course, to this rule. Let’s fill those boats up with 20 paddlers and a drummer!

This year everyone has to sign a waiver before paddling. We are in the process of getting that together. When I get them, you will get them.

A practice session will be set up the week of race day, but I cannot set the schedule until registration closes. Most likely it will be Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. 9 slots (3 boats on the water) each day.

To all my teams that are traveling, we are hoping to firm up all hotel plans by the end of this week. We are talking with Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, and Holiday Inn for blocks of rooms and special rates. Please do not contact them yet, until I give you the go ahead. I may be able to give you a special link to book your room, so hang tight….

To ALL my paddlers, FUNDRAISE, FUNDRAISE, FUNDRAISE!!! This is why we do this, to provide assistance for cancer patients that live, work or receive treatment in Beaufort County. We help mitigate the financial stresses that can impede treatment, medically and emotionally.

Put together a little correspondence about you and why you are doing this, then send it to all your friends, family, and co-workers. Be sure to put it on social media. You will be surprised at the responses you’ll get back! Our goal this year is $80,000. We can do this!

If you have any questions feel free to email, text, or call me! I am here to help you.

Paddles Up!!!

Darlene McGrath
Race Day Teams Coordinator

Out of Town Teams

Hello Captains, and welcome to “Dragonboat Race Day 2023”! We have already started planning for another successful fundraising event, and we hope y’all will be a part of it again this year.


The website is up and running; and you can start to register your team NOW!! Take advantage of the new early bird discount. If you register your team by April 15, 2023, you will receive a $100 discount. That’s right! $100’s off the regular registration fee of $1000. (Cancer Survivor Teams are not eligible as their fee is already discounted). We are limiting the total number of teams this year to 28 due to the capacity of the park. Be sure to register as soon as possible! I have a couple of new teams who have already inquired and are looking to travel and participate. I think this year is going to book-up fast.

To form a team you will need–

  • 20 paddlers, and a Drummer, (1-2 alternates, optional, but recommended).
  • Fundraising is an option. Please remember why we do this – to help our local cancer patients living, working, or receiving treatment in Beaufort County with needs such as paying bills – water, electricity, rent, mortgage, gasoline, and food while undergoing treatments. THEY NEED YOUR HELP! You can make a difference. Our fundraising goal this year is $80,000….

Teams must have at least 8 women paddling in each race (Men’s Div excluded). Cancer Survivor Teams must have at least 8 cancer survivors paddling in each race.

Senior Teams, all paddlers & the drummer must be at least 50 years old.

Men’s Division. A new category this year limiting it to 4 teams. We have three teams already talking about it. So if you have a team in mind let me know.

Note: when registering your team please make sure to register under the proper category– i.e. Community/Club, Cancer Survivor, Men, or Senior team. This will help us place the correct teams together, in the same heats on race day, and make racing a fun and even battlefield!!

Welcome Captains

Hello Captains, and welcome to the DragonBoat Race Day 2023. We are excited to get this year kicked off and started.
Attached is your opening letter, what is needed to form a team, and to let you know registration is open. So, sign your team up!!
Please let me know if you do not want to be on this emailing list. I have included some teams that we have had in the past but did not sign-up last year. All are welcomed.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. My email and number are attached.

Thank You,
Paddles Up!
Darlene McGrath
Race Day Teams Coordinator


A big thank you to all our sponsors!