Sunday 7th June 2020




Sunday 7th June 2020 is the date for the 16th annual Chester Dragon Boat Festival and will be held on the River Dee at Sandy Lane (CH3 5UL).  Over £250,000 has now been raised for 73 local and regional charities since the event started.


The Chester Dragon Boat Festival is a charity fund raising, team building event that is quick to pick up, progressive in nature and ideal for both novices and experienced crews alike.


Teams will race in 40' long Chinese dragon boats and a dragon boat team is made up of between 13 - 20 team members. To reduce the risk of a capsize, a maximum of sixteen paddlers and a drummer will be able to race in any one dragon boat.  

Before each team's first race, you will be given a full safety briefing and also instruction on the technique used. Teams will then compete in three timed qualifying races during the course of the day where your single fastest time only will count for Grand Final qualification.


Team work is vital if a fast time is going to be achieved and for this reason, the instructors will also give further 'on the water' training to help with technique.  Over the distance we race, fitness is not a key factor - technique however is.  So it does not matter if your team is made up of just 12 paddlers or the full 16, because it's a team sprint where team work and timing is everything.  


What you will be aiming to achieve is an opportunity to compete in the last race of the day ... the Grand Final.  This will be a race where all the dragon boats that can be safely raced together will race one last time and first across the finish line will be declared:

Dragon Boat Champions of Chester 2020.

The event will finish with our award ceremony where team trophies will be awarded to the Captain's of the top three teams and Winner's Medals to each member of the winning team.  

Have you got what it takes to 'Race The Dragon' for Charity?


Fund raising link



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Charity of the Year 

Our Charity of the Year for 2020 is again The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.  Based on the Wirral near Bebington, the hospital is dedicated to providing outstanding cancer care to around 27,000 patients each year at their centre in Wirral, their satellite radiotherapy centre in Aintree and at their network of chemotherapy units in local hospitals across the region.  

£350 from each team entering via the corporate route will go to the Charity of the Year.


The money raised helps the hospital to offer the most up to date treatment, support vital research, treat patients with world class equipment and provide life-changing support services that would otherwise be unavailable.

Festival Sponsors:  


The Chester Dragon Boat Festival would like to thank the following companies for their invaluable help in supporting this event:

M&S Bank


Next-Winners-20 GF-Winners-wide

Programme for the 2020 Festival:


07:40   -   Site opens for teams to drop off kit

08:00   -   Busses from the off-site parking to start.

08:30   -   Registration open

09:55   -   Registration closes

10:00   -   Welcome and festival introduction

10:05   -   Team photo-shoots to begin

10:33   -   Start of Race 1

12:07   -   Start of Race 2

13:22   -   Start of Race 3

14:07   -   End of Qualifying Heats

14:32   -   1st Knockout Race

14:47   -   2nd Knockout Race

15:02   -   3rd Knockout Race

15:27   -   Grand Final Race

15:35   -   Award ceremony and prize giving

15:45   -   Festival End


Please note: Event times after Round 1 are dependent on final numbers and so subject to change.