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Synergy Dragon Boat Racing


2014 Synergy Series
Ice Breaker – 18 January 2014
Fall for Dragon Boat Racing – 20 September 2014
Season Finale – 6 December 2014
Topeekeegee Yugnee Park
3300 N. Park Rd
Hollywood, FL 33021

Gather 8 to 15 of your closest friends, family members, enemies, coworkers, neighbors and whoever else would make a fierce or fun paddlers, and come out to notsoquiet waters park for a day of competition, food, and newfound friends at the Synergy Series Dragon Boat Racing. You provide the people; we'll provide the paddles. And the boat. And the drummer, steers person and life vests. No teammates? We will match you up with a team with a space for you.

No experience? Not a problem! As a corporate/community division team you will also receive two practice sessions before the event, so you and your new found crew can enjoy the excitement and friendly competition of the world's fastest growing water sport. You will have a great time at the practice sessions, as our experienced trainers teach you the fundamentals of the sport, help make you into a cohesive team and show you the keys to success.

Been there, done that? Well, join the elite division and get ready to make waves!

Register Today
For more info contact Will Murphy at or call 954.232.7434

Registration deadlines: See Captain’s Packet

*Synergy Outdoor Adventure Resources (SOAR). The Synergy Series benefits the Fort Lauderdale Children's
Theatre, a charity founded in 1952 providing programs and services to youth and adults

Here is a list of downloadable material for the race:

  • Captain's Packet-16 page document which includes all the documents below.
  • Team Registration Form
  • Team Roster Form
  • Team Captain Check-Off List
  • Rate Sheet with payment instructions
  • SOAR Waiver (make a copy for each member of team)
  • Basic Commands Starting Line Commands and the Race
  • How the Competition Works and Series Points Competition
  • Where is Everything
  • Rules

SynERGy Racing

Competitors battle for the title of Best Paddler in South Florida using the state of the art Multi-Stroke ergometer.  You can enter with this form.

Synergy After Dark

Race after the sun goes down.  You can enter your team with this form or as an individual with this form

Dragon Boat Racing History and Legend

Dragon boat racing traces its roots back to southern China more than 2,000 years ago. Originally, boats were decorated with dragon heads and used in a fertility rite to help bring rains for a good harvest. Around 227 B.C., Qu Yuan, a senior minister, diplomat and poet in the kingdom of King Ch’u, became the target of angry political rivals for his truthful advice to his king. Exiled and despondent over his government’s decline, Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Mi Lo River. Local fisherman beat their drums and splashed their paddles in an attempt to scare away the fish and water dragons from Qu Yuan’s body. This tragic event is now commemorated through the use of drums and paddles during dragon boat racing festivals. Over the past 25 years, dragon boat racing has rapidly spread to more than 50 countries and is now one of the world’s fastest growing water sports. Participants race in long boats that are beautifully decorated with fierce dragon heads, scaly bodies and elaborate tails. Teams usually race along a straight course in an assigned lane varying from 250 to 1,000 meters, with all 20 paddlers working together at top speed with synchronized strokes. A drummer helps to keep the rhythm and urge the crew on to victory. A seasoned dragon boat crew can travel over the water at three to four meters per second. Teamwork is the key.


Dragon Boat Racing Returns to Broward County -- Synergy Series in Seventh Year

The seventh annual Synergy Dragon Boat Racing Series will kick off on the 18th of January.  We hope you have stayed in shape over the "off season."  The Fall event will be on September 20th,with the Finale set for December 6th. (In each case, the following day is reserved in case of delays, such as due to bad weather.)  Each event will feature sprint races.   Download Captain's Packet here. Download waiver here.

Teams of 8-15 will paddle colorful boats that resemble stylized Chinese dragons and are more than 30 feet long. Paddlers are led by a drummer who helps them stay on the beat and remain motivated as arms burn and the water flies. Dragon boating is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. The last full regatta in Broward County was in 2003. Will Murphy, president of Synergy Outdoor Adventure Resources (SOAR), and an avid dragon boat paddler himself, decided that was too long, and in 2008 SOAR presented the inaugural Synergy Series.  The Series is better every year and we hope to continue that trend in 2014.

Typical dragon boats seat 20 paddlers, plus a drummer and a steersperson. However, SOAR is using special "mini" dragon boats that seat only 10 paddlers, plus drummer and steersperson. "Using the minis makes the sport accessible to smaller companies and community groups", Murphy said. “As the captain of a dragon boat team myself, I can tell you that the logistics of getting 22 people all on the same page can be daunting. We think this event will help introduce lots of new people to this fast-growing and exciting sport. We expect many will go on to paddle in the local festivals that use regular boats, hopefully by associating with other small teams in their community."

The Series features three races. Teams receive points for their participation in each event. When the spray settled on the 2013 Series in November, Puff had repeated as Series Champions in the Elite divisions holds each of the three coveted, seven-foot tall floating trophies.  MASTer Dragons won the Community Division.  The champions are back to defend their titles in 2014 -- it's gonna be intense!

The Series benefits the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre, a charity founded in 1952 providing programs and services to youth and adults. According to Murphy, dragon boating has gained popularity in part due to its great team-building characteristics. “Dragon boat teams succeed when all members are synchronized in their efforts, and when everyone is committed to the success of the team. Cohesive teams can defeat teams of stronger athletes," he said. The regattas have a division for competitive teams with categories for coed, men's and women's teams, and another division for coed corporate and community teams. Except in the Spring event, Elite teams race 250 meters and 500 meters, and Corporate and community teams will race at 250 meters. Steerspersons, paddles and personal flotation devices are provided (but those having their own that meet standard regulations will be permitted to use them).

For more information please contact Will Murphy at (954) 232-7434 or