LB festival start line

WHO:  2015 season Guppies (and some Trojans)

WHAT:  500m & 200m races in the Mixed, Open, Women’s divisions

WHEN:  Sat (7/18): 7 am – 6 pm; Sun (7/19): 7 am – 4 pm

WHERE:  Marine Stadium, Long Beach; look for the KG bow flag

WHY:  To test our strength and endurance, both physical AND mental

Where to park


A – Parking for those with VIP pass ONLY

B – Parking for those with red/white permit (access after loading/unloading from 7-8 am only)

C – Curbside parking on Eliot St & at Marine Vista Park

D – Curbside parking on Boathouse Lane (enter from Eliot St & Marina Dr, which turns into Boathouse Lane)

E – Metered parking at Mother’s Beach

F – Alamitos Basin IV Parking Lot (adjacent to the Long Beach Yacht Club)


where to park

What to bring (click image)

what to bring

Lunch (for paddlers ONLY) on Sat…

hole mole logo

and on Sunday!

china road t shirt image

SCDBC General Notes and Race Rules – PLEASE READ & ACT IN ACCORDANCE

I – Captains’ Meeting

  1. Captains’ meeting is on Saturday at 8:30 AM at the Performance Stage area. Be on time, as race loading starts at 9:10AM.
  2. All teams must turn in electronic waivers except for minors. Minors must turn in paper waivers with parent’s or guardian’s signature. No waivers, no racing! Paper waivers will be accepted on Saturday morning but are not preferred.

II – General Notes

  1. DO NOT use Paoli Way for vehicle or pedestrian entrance. Do not use Paoli Way to drop off anything or anyone.
  2. DO NOT sit on the low wall along Paoli Way. The wall is located closer to the residences and is along the west side of beach walk way; it is private property.
  3. DO NOT step on or touch plants on/near Paoli Way. Do not cross the yellow tape!
  4. DO NOT block walkways. No playing of frisbee, football or volleyball on the walkways. It is a fire lane.
  5. Marine Stadium gate for parking opens at 7:00AM (please be patient and keep quiet coming into the lot).
  6. Please comply with the parking plan as posted on DO NOT drive to area A or B to ask where to park. We will not let you in without a permit. Only cars with area A permits may enter to load/unload.
  7. Please keep the noise level down at all times, especially when setting up early in the morning. Loud noises like cheering/yelling/chanting in the starting area is prohibited. Noise from teams interfering with official calls will be penalized.
  8. Each team will be given trash bags (black) and recycle bags (blue). Please keep the tent and the open area clean. Additional trash bags will be available at the registration tent. Your team is responsible for cleaning up and removing trash on Saturday and Sunday. Please separate trash and recyclables. If teams do not clean up their area, their trash deposit will not be refunded.
  9. No sales of food or team products are allowed in the tent area without City of LB permit and race committee approval. Teams are responsible for pre-arranging their own lunch.
  10. Open fire grill/cook tops are not allowed. Alcohol is strictly prohibited.
  11. Swimming is prohibited in the Marine Stadium and at the loading area. This applies to team members and their family members.
  12. Water dunking is prohibited in Marine Stadium. Team leaders are fully responsible for injuries incurred from breaking this rule.
  13. Wearing water shoes or sandals is highly recommended to protect from rocks and other hard/sharp objects. Sandals/shoes may get wet during loading.
  14. Volunteers will coordinate loading and unloading of boats, your team is required to load/push-off and dock/unload on your own.
  15. Please keep the loading area clean by leaving bottles, equipment, or other personal belongings by the exit.
  16. Each team is responsible to bring their own bailers for bailing out water from the boat.
  17. Paddlers shall not bring personal belongings (wallet, phone, etc.) onto the boat. Secure your other personal effects (glasses, hats, etc.). We are not responsible for any loss / damage of personal belongings.
  18. After the race is finished, teams should stop paddling and slowly turn to the launching zone. Crews should not stand up or suddenly shift weight.
  19. All teams are responsible for bringing their own toilet paper.
  20. There will be assigned restrooms for event staff priority usage. Please see signs posted on restroom doors. Please respect and follow the posted instructions.
  21. Extra tents are not allowed to be set up in the concrete area (parking lots and driveways).
  22. 23 medals will be awarded to each winning team. Each additional medal is $5.

III – Racing Rules

  1. Team members with special medical conditions (especially heart conditions or asthma) must carry their medication with them at all times.
  2. Lane assignments for the first race of each division are drawn by lottery by officials. Lane 8 is the lane closest to the spectators.
  3. A minimum of 14 paddlers and maximum of 18 paddlers are allowed per boat.
  4. All divisions except for Open, Women, Breast Cancer Survivors, and All Female Cancer Survivors are mixed divisions, and need to have a minimum of 6 female paddlers.
  5. Paddlers can only paddle for one team within Mixed divisions.
  6. Wrist bands will be provided for paddlers of some Divisions. Wristbands are to be worn on the right wrist. Photos will be taken randomly of crew members. If a paddler is caught paddling on 2 different teams in the Mixed divisions, both teams will be disqualified for the entire race. Wrist bands will be distributed on Saturday morning at the marshalling tent before your first division race.
  7. Local Teams MUST use Long Beach certified steers. If you need a steer, please E‐mail with your team name and divisions. Visiting team’s steers must be proficient and have racing experience and submit a steering resume to
  8. Request for a tournament certified steersperson through the SCDBC must be made at least one month before the race. We will provide an experienced SCDBC certified steersperson to assist your team, but cannot guarantee performance. A Team leader & Captain need to sign the waiver to release all liability from the race organization.
  9. Team Captains and Coaches must read and follow the race grid in order to be on time for races. Please check-in 40 minutes before the published heat time.
  10. In order to keep races on schedule, the dock crew will not wait for any teams. Make sure your entire crew is ready to marshal and check in at the loading area. It is your responsibility to check the posted schedule. We will not to use Twitter to remind teams for marshalling.
  11. In case of time conflicts for your races (e.g., back to back races, concurrent races), please notify the officials at the marshaling area before your race. Teams will be disqualified if they are not prepared to marshal on time as a full team.
  12. Teams will be disqualified if they are not prepared to marshal as a full team from back to front on time.
  13. There will be no changing of drummers, steerspersons or paddlers between continuing heats (back to back races). Please prepare and coordinate for sufficient drummers and steerspersons for all your heats.
  14. During the marshaling process, teams should line up in two straight lines from back to front facing the launching area. The steersperson should be in front reporting to marshals and the caller behind the paddlers. All persons on the boat must properly wear an approved PFD at all times. Inflatables are not allowed. All clothing must be worn under PFDs for easy visual confirmation of proper PFD usage.
  15. Teams at the loading area MUST follow the officials’ directions. Teams that do not load properly (e.g., no show until 20 mins before race, waiting for missing paddlers, etc.) will be disqualified immediately. This rule will be strictly enforced.
  16. At least 2 team members from each boat need to help push their boat off from shore for their race. Other non-paddling team members shall not enter the loading area.
  17. After the boat leaves the beach, it cannot stop for any personnel changes. All launched boats are required to head immediately to the starting dock. Detours are not permitted. Boats that delay the starting of a race will be penalized or disqualified.
  18. Absolutely NO Drumming before 10AM. Also, Do Not drum on the way to the starting line. During the race, drummers must have active drumming action. If not done so, team can receive a time penalty of 30 seconds.
  19. Drummers may not use improper drumming methods to interfere other teams. If done so, the team can be disqualified or receive a time penalty of 30 seconds. Drummers, steers and race paddlers cannot use other devices to make noise during the race.
  20. When heading to the starting line, stay close to the shore as other teams may be racing. Your team must stop paddling 50 meters before the lead racing boat. Restart paddling immediately after the racing boats passes. Please pay attention to officials for instructions. Teams ignoring official’s call will be penalized by 6 seconds or will be disqualified.
  21. Go behind the holding buoy (flag) in your own lane as soon as you enter the starting area. You are not allowed to back out past this buoy once you enter the area. Once officials ask you to move in-to the holding cage, do so immediately but slow down when getting close to the gate. Teams purposely avoiding holding with the dragon head in the cage will be penalized.
  22. The starter commands will be “Are you ready?” “Attention” and horn. If your team is not ready at the “Are you ready?” command, your drummer should wave both arms to get the starter’s attention. There is no guarantee that the starter will wait. There are 4 speakers that will simultaneously sound the start while the cages sink.
  23. False starts will be penalized: ex. pushing the cage down before the start is +20 seconds. If a re-race has been called for false start, a penalty will not be applied. If any team false starts in the re-race, they will be disqualified for that division.
  24. If a boat crosses lanes during the race, course empires will warn the boat and a minimum of a 20 second penalty may be applied. It is advised to stop the boat immediately and start the boat again in order to avoid collision.
  25. Disregard of starter’s or umpires’ instructions may result in disqualification.
  26. Upon finishing a race, each team must promptly return back to the launching dock without causing delay for the next heat. A penalty of 6 seconds may be imposed to the boat causing the delay. Follow loading official’s commands to return the boat to a specific location. When returning, WAIT for boats leaving the loading area as they have the right of way. Not following the official’s commands will also result in penalties.
  27. All steers must guarantee that their boats are not running into the sand when docking.
  28. All ICEA life jackets and paddles must be returned and must not leave the marshaling area after each race (penalty: 6 seconds).
  29. Penalty for ICEA equipment damages (e.g., paddles, life jackets, drums, steering oars, and boats) will be applied to offending parties in the form of added seconds to their race time.
  30. All other penalties are decided by the race jury. Teams ignoring official’s call will be penalized by 6 seconds or will be disqualified.
  31. 200M races are not mandatory. If your team opts not to stay for the 200M races, they must notify an official on Sunday before 12PM.
  32. Additional racing details are available online at: under Race Rules Regulations.

Team Conduct and Race Preparation Guidelines


We are a large group of people. Please be considerate of your teammates by being punctual. There is nothing more stressful and distracting than locating crew so you can go to the marshalling area.

KEEP YOUR LEADERS IN THE LOOP – During the tournament always let Catherine Yu (team captain), Vincent Wong (head coach), and/or your boat captains and bench partner know your whereabouts.

NO BLAMING – We win as a team; we lose as a team. Please keep comments positive and directed at the entire team. If you feel a teammate could make an adjustment, please speak to Head Coach Vince Wong only and have him handle it.

BE A GOOD AMBASSADOR – You represent the Killer Guppies Team and Southern California dragon boating. Let’s show everyone we are a fun, class act!

Race Preparation

These are some suggestions for how to prepare and perform your best on race day!

Rest up – Athletes taper their workouts in the days leading up to a race – they reduce the intensity of exercise to rest their muscles. Avoid doing any new or strenuous activities in the week before, and especially the day before a race. Also, avoid walking around too much on race day – the hot sun can take a lot out of you!

Sleep well – You know how much sleep you need to feel rested the next day. Plan to give yourself a little bit more – often you’ll be excited about racing and won’t fall asleep as easily.

Eat well – Moderation is the key! Before the races, try not to eat anything that will upset your digestive system. During the races, eat enough to keep you going, but don’t pig out. You can eat all you want once the races are over!

Drink well – Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages before and during the races. Both are diuretics – they cause your body to shed water, and can leave you dehydrated. Also, it will be hot, and you’ll definitely be paddling hard, so be sure to drink plenty of water during the day.

Know your limits Fri and Sat night – The tournament is a FULL DAY of intense racing. So while we hope you relax and enjoy yourselves Saturday night, keep in mind what we do Friday and Saturday night has an effect on Sunday.

Before the Race – on land

Try to stay near the tent (and in the shade) when not warming up or racing. Stay alert for instructions. If you leave the tent to watch races or to use the bathroom, please tell your boat captain and bench mate. The team meets approximately 45 minutes before each race (or set of races) to warm up.

Stay focused; listen to the team leaders for instructions on lining up and loading the boats.

Before the Race – on the water

There is no talking on the boat. Stay focused and listen to the drummer and steers person for instructions. You will paddle the boats to the starting line; use this time to warm up, loosen up, and focus.

Visualize your perfect form; feel your power. You are prepared, mentally and physically.

Keep your eyes inside the boat to avoid distraction. You should not be looking at or listening to other boats. Yours is the only boat in the race. The drummer and steersperson will give you exact instructions to move the boat into position on the starting line.

The race officials will also be giving the boat instructions.  Wait and listen for commands from the drummer & steersperson and act accordingly.

The Start

The Starter will start the race when all boats are in the “cages” of the new start system. The start commands from the race official (in RED); our caller commands (in BLUE):



Horn (anytime after “ATTENTION” [GO!]

Keep your head up, eyes on the drummer and strokers. The timing at the start should be perfect. Do not stop paddling. Sometimes our boat will pass next to a buoy at the start of the race – if it gets in your way, paddle through it or push off of it!

During the Race

Keep your eyes on the strokers or on the person in front of you. Do not look around at the other boats. Timing is more important than anything! COUNT! Stay focused on our program and listen for calls from our caller and steersperson ONLY. Sometimes boats will veer very close to each other during the race. Trust in the steersperson & focus on the paddling — he/she will yell the “CHECK” command if deemed necessary.

After the Race – on the water

No matter what the outcome, stay positive. There is no blaming. Pass the fives. Stay focused and quiet. Listen to the drummer and steersperson – you may have to make quick maneuvers to avoid hitting other boats and to move back to the docking area.

After the Race – on land

Unless otherwise instructed, head immediately back to the tent for a team meeting to discuss the race.