Are you ready to Race The Dragon in the UK's only

THREE-day Dragon Boat Festival?

The 2018 Bradford Dragon Boat Festival will once again be a weekend of fun and competition

organised by the community for the community.

PLEASE BE ADVISED:  Parking is limited so using public transport (below) is HIGHLY recommended

Downloadable Poster

DAY 1 - Friday   (Start time 09:30)

The Youth Championships where schools and academy's from across the Bradford region are invited to enter teams in three different categories:


  1.   The Junior Category:       For youths in the school years 7 - 9

  2.   The Senior Category:       For youths in the school years 10 - 13

  3.   The Disability Category:  For ages:  11 - 25


Further details Here >>>


DAY 2 - Saturday   (Start time:  10:00)

The Lord Mayor's Appeal Championships where teams will race for the prestige of being recognised as Charity Dragon Boat Champions of Bradford 2018


Each team will pay an entry fee and each team member is challenged to raise money for the Lord Mayor's nominated charities for 2018.   At the prize giving ceremony, there will be trophies awarded to the Captain's of the top three teams and winners medals presented to each member of the winning team by the Lord Mayor.  Further details Here >>>


DAY 3 - Sunday   (Start time:  10:00)

The Multi Charity Championships   Each team will pay an entry fee and the team members fund raise for their team's  nominated charity.  The winners will be recognised as the Multi Charity Dragon Boat Champions of Bradford 2018.   At the prize giving ceremony, there will be trophies awarded to the Captain's of the top three teams and winners medals presented to each member of the winning team.  Further details Here >>>


Teams entering either of the two days above will need to set up an online 'giving' page will need to be set up by each team so that every team member can pay in and to add an extra competitive edge to the day, the 'giving' link for each team will be placed up in the team entry table.  Which team will be the highest fund raiser?   

The racing format:  The races start upstream just beyond the cricket pavilion and takes the boats round a gentle bend as they come into the park.  In order to ensure fair racing, the start positions are therefore on an angle and slightly  staggered (same as on the athletics track).  This has been accurately measured by Bradford's Land Drainage team using incredibly accurate and sensitive GPS equipment to do so. Those measuring the course have taken into account the bend of the river and are allowing much of this year’s racing to take place in the park with the finish around 40 meters from the pontoons. 

Training Sessions

Don’t feel like you’re prepared enough for the challenge?

Get your team registered for pre-race training session so you can paddle past the competition, spaces are limited so be quick if you want to be in with a better chance of becoming the Champions of Bradford Dragon Boat Festival 2018! No previous experience of dragon boat racing is required to take part in the festival but if you want to get the upper hand on the competition, book an hour session with one of our experts!

A typical training session consists of some Olympic style paddling, race start and stop drills, power and speed tactics, dry land safety briefing and generally getting used to the boat.

Training Sessions are taking place at Doe Park Water Activities Centre in Denholme, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 3rd April and 14th June 2018.

Each team training session costs £99.50 for a team of up to 17 people.

NEW for 2018! - Individual paddle sessions

If you’re whole teams is not able to attend your teams training session, or just want to have a go at dragon boat racing? Individual paddle sessions are now available, provided by the world famous Bradford Barracudas Dragon Boat Club, with options of novice and general paddle sessions just £6.00 per session, sessions are held on Tuesday evenings from the 3rd April 2018.      




How do I get to the festival ...

By Car?

The nearest postcode is BD17 5HU, which will take you part way down Coach Road. Continue down Coach Road and Roberts park is on the left hand side just before you get to Higher Coach Road.  Car parks can be found at Shipley Glen Tramway (just before Titus Salts School and accessed off Higher Coach Road) and the overspill is the field at Baildon Recreation off Green Lane.  It is not recommended using the car park on the South side (the NHS/Pub Car Park, or the access road to the Sports & Leisure pitches that side).


By Bus?

Bus numbers 626 and 624 stop just outside Roberts Park on Coach Road. Bus number 660 stops in Saltaire on the other side of the river from the park (a 5 minute walk away). Walk straight down Victoria Road towards Salts Mill. For bus timetable information contact Metro on 0113 2457676 or


By Train?

Saltaire train station is just across the river from Roberts Park. Turn left downhill out of the station and follow the footbridge across the river. Trains stop in Saltaire from Leeds and from Bradford. For train timetable information contact Metro on 0113 2457676 or


What do I do next?

Register your team online today, pay your team entry fee in full or a deposit of £100 secures your team place, we will forward you more details in the build-up about the day itself. Don’t forget to share your festival team entry on social media.

Race the Dragon Ltd will organise the boat racing on the day, you just need to turn up and have fun.