What are the IDBF standards for a Dragonboats?
For every Dragon Boat manufactured, the supplier must follow a certain guideline in order for it to qualify as an IDBF Standard Dragon Boat.
IDBF has a very detailed manual with all the technical aspects documented and today’s topic isn’t about all the nitty gritty stuff of a dragonboat. If you are interested in reading more, here is the manual: http://www.idbf.org/documents/Spec_Boat_Tech_Manual-A.pdf
Basically, the reason behind having a standard Dragon Boat specification drawn and followed is that Dragon Boat as a sport has become very competitive over the last two decades. This has led to the formation of a system and record keeping of events and times. Furthermore as technology has advanced and more people are pushing the limits of Dragonboating, the requirements to build dragon boats using other than the traditional materials has changed. Requirements such as the hull shape and other features has been modified to improve the performance of the dragon boat in competition. Nowadays instead of building a Dragon Boat out of timber (which a lot of countries still do), new emerging suppliers are using fibreglass composites with timber, or aluminum composites with carbon fibre. As you can see, introducing new materials and technology makes the boat lighter, streamline and therefore faster in competition achieving better results. This is not an unusual trait in modern sport.
However, a major part of the attraction and consequent success of dragon boating is due to its Chinese traditions, which include design features on the Dragon Boats, such as, the Head, Tail, Scales and Drum. If these traditional features were to be discarded in the pursuit of performance, then the sport of Dragon Boat Racing would lose a significant part of its traditions and appeal its unique identity.
Therefore IDBF formed common designs for both Championship Races and general development, and this was seen to be the best way to control the ‘technical evolution process’ and to ensure fair competition in Sport Racing. To achieve these common designs, especially in new and emerging ‘dragon boat countries’ it has become necessary to publish IDBF standards.
The IDBF Dragon Boat Models:
IDBF has developed two models of the International Racing Dragon Boat (IRDB). The first is the standard model 1222, which is designed for a crew of maximum 22 people. Just over 12 metres in length, the 1222 is the preferred model for use in Championship Regattas and in Sport and Festival Racing and general development amongst IDBF Members.
The second is the smaller model 912, designed for crews of 12 or less. At 9 metres in length, the 912 is ideal for training purposes, junior racing, recreational dragon boating and general development, as well as a good alternative boat for Festival Races. The Hull shape and design is the same in both IRDB models but the overall dimensions are less for the 912 model.
So as you can see above there are two models of Dragon Boats, which are manufactured by IDBF approved suppliers mentioned in my previous post.