VISITOR INFORMATION - 2023
ENJOYING THE RACING
With 32 teams of 16 fancy-dressed paddlers in Dragon Boats competing in heats throughout the day from 10.00am , and culminating in an exciting final in the afternoon, the York Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge is one of the City's premier events, drawing great support from local residents and visitors alike, who want to share in the excitement.
When is the event?
The 2023 event is being held on Sunday July 9th
Where is the event?
The racing takes place on the River Ouse in York, between Scarborough Bridge and Lendal Bridge.
What time is the racing?
The first races start at 10am, and continue through the day, with the Grand Final taking place at around 4pm.
Where can I watch?
The public are invited to watch from the North Bank of the river, or from the bridges. Please avoid the South Bank, as this is for the teams and can get very crowded.
Are children welcome?
Yes of course - but please ensure for safety reasons they do not get too close to, or sit on, the embankment edge. If children (or adults) are in a potentially dangerous position, Rotary Stewards are empowered to ask them to move to a safer location.
Is there an entrance fee?
No, but we would welcome any donations you wish to give; all proceeds from the event go to local charities.
How do I follow the racing?
Printed Race Cards / heat timings will be available free of charge. You can check which Heat is currently on, and which is about to start, on our twitter feed at #YorkDragonBoat
Where can I park?
The closest public car park is in Marygate (fee) and there are other car parks locally. Please note the Esplanade car park is closed to the general public during the event.
Can I get there by bus?
There are lots of services that run through the city centre with stops very close to the event. To find the best bus route for you, try the Journey Planner (https://www.firstbus.co.uk/york/plan-journey/journey-planner/).
Is food available?
Some of the stalls on the North Bank supply food and drink, and local cafes and commercial stalls are also open.
Are there toilets on site?
Yes, portable toilets are available on the North Bank (by Marygate) and South Bank (by Esplanade Car Park)
NORTH BANK GALA
In conjunction with the racing event, we also have a Gala on the North Bank of the River, where the public can watch the racing and enjoy the fun of stalls, competitions, music, food and drink; and learn about local charities.
If you are a charity and interested in taking a stall at the 2024 event, please see more details here