Berlin Dragonboat City Cup

Berlin Dragonboat City Cup

Jun 15, 2024Jun 16, 2024
Regattastraße 211, 12527,
2 euro, free for children under 14 years old

Come and feel the drums pounding out the heartbeat of the dragon as the rowers compete for victory in the various heats of the Dragonboat City Cup in Berlin.

Berlin Dragonboat City Cup

On June 15-16, the Olympic Regatta Course at Berlin-Grünau will become like a small outpost of Hong Kong as teams gather from all over Germany to compete in the Berlin Dragonboat City Cup. There will be snack stands for viewers and the Saturday night always ends in a big party.

What are dragon boats?

While dragon boats have a long history, stretching back 2.000 years in China, the modern incarnation of city cup races was launched in 1976 in Hong Kong. The events traditionally take place on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, or on the closest weekend in this case, and while the big event is in Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, there will be over 70 teams right here in Berlin.

The boats have a colourful prow, carved as a dragon's head, and rather than rowing, each boat is paddled by paddlers sitting two abreast. One of the most striking things about dragon boat racing to viewers on the shore is each boat has a drummer to set the pace, giving an evocative and tense backing track to every race.


The programme of the Berlin Dragonboat City Cup

The event takes place over two days, but you can dip in and out as you please. The Saturday is an all-day event, from 9am until late, and the races are shorter 200m sprints. Sunday runs from 9am until about 3pm, and features the longer 500m and 1.000m races. Part of the programme is also given over to fun and the so-called "Beat the WannSea's", where a range of traditional and unusual games are played out against the local hosts for cash prizes. 

Key times

Saturday, June 15

  • 9am-1.30pm: Various elimination heats
  • 1.30pm-2.30pm: A supporting programme of games and unusual competitions such as kite pulling
  • 2.30pm-5.30pm: Finals of the various 200m races
  • 5.30pm-6pm: A further supporting programme of games
  • 6pm: Victory ceremony
  • 7pm: Chill out and warm-up party
  • 9pm: A final round of fun and games
  • 9.30pm: Party time!

Sunday, June 16

  • 9am-12pm: Time trials and heats
  • 12pm-2pm: Finals
  • 3pm: Victory ceremony

How to get there

The Berlin Dragonboat City Cup takes place at the Olympic Regatta Course at Berlin-Grünau. To get there by public transport, the closest train stations are S-Grünau, which is a 15-minute walk from the Regatta, or Köpenick, from which you can take tram 68 to Regattatribünen which is right by the event.