Every September we don our life preserves and novel headgear for our annual Dragon Boat Festival, in which dozens of intrepid teams commit their energy and enthusiasm to a spectacle that attracts onlookers and supporters from across the county and beyond. 

Dragon boat racing has a rich and mystical history, and it is now participated in across the world. With colourful designs, drumming and furious paddling, here are some of our favourite global boat races.

1. IDBF World Dragon Boat Championship 2015 – 500m Grand Final

The International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) is recognised as the world governing body for dragon boat racing, hosting some of the biggest competitions. Last year’s Standard Boat 500m Grand Final, which took place in Canada, is a great example of the power and skill of some of the world’s best dragon boat racing teams.

2. IDBF World Dragon Boat Championship 2013 – Fastest 200m

From the 2013 World Championship in Hungary, here you can see the fastest 200m time of the competition right up close. The team from Canada accomplished this feat, covering 200m in just 42.77 seconds. If you weren’t convinced how much speed the professionals can accomplish, you will be after watching this!

3. The World’s Longest Dragon Boat

So, this may not be a race, but we couldn’t miss out on featuring such an amazing spectacle on our list. This giant dragon boat is approximately 78 metres long and almost 12 tons in weight. In May 2016, the dragon boat was carried to a river in Shibing County, China… by 1,600 men!

4. Sun Life Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships 2015

The Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships are Asia’s largest dragon boat festival, attracting thousands of spectators in Hong Kong last year. 

5. The DAA Dragon Boat Festival 2015

We couldn’t have a list of our favourite dragon boat races without including our very own festival in Exeter. Congratulations to all the incredible teams who raise tens of thousands of pounds each year to keep our helicopters flying.

One of our Exeter Dragon Boat Festival teams in 2017

So, do you think you have what it takes to leave the competition in your wake? Visit the Devon Air Ambulance Dragon Boat Festival event page for more information about this year's event!