We are the Texas Dragon Boat Association

Take a look around and see what we are about!

Save the Date

15th Annual Houston Dragon Boat Festival

May 2, 2015 | 808 North York Street in Downtown Houston

We Need you!

You can be a – Sponsor. Volunteer. Vendor. Paddler. Entertainer.

Contact us today if you are interested!


Gulf Coast International Dragon Boat Regatta Race Results

Who We AreA little bit of our history and the board members behind our organization

The Texas Dragon Boat Association is a 501(c)(3) Texas non-profit corporation. Our mission is “To promote the tradition of dragon boating, increase awareness of Asian and Asian-American culture, and enhance cross-cultural understanding.”

The Texas Dragon Boat Association has fulfilled its mission over the years by hosting dragon boating festivals during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, featuring cultural performances, food, and artisans. Due to the popularity of this event in May in downtown Houston, we added a second event in October. Initially that event (the Gulf Coast International Dragon Boat Regatta) was held in Clear Lake, but it was moved in 2008 to Sugar Land, TX.

The Houston Chinese American Lions Club held the first Houston Dragon Boat Festival in October 2001 with eight teams competing and the second Houston Dragon Boat Festival in May 2002 with twelve teams. In 2003, the Texas Dragon Boat Association incorporated as a Texas non-profit to promote the tradition of dragon boating, increase awareness of Asian and Asian-American culture, and enhance cross-cultural understanding. The two co-founders, Eugene Lee and Caroline Long, became Chairman of the Board and President/Executive Director, respectively.

Houston Dragon Boat Festival 2003 welcomed an estimated three thousand Houstonians, representing a myriad of cultural backgrounds, including twenty different Asian countries. The event featured eighteen teams, ten cultural performances, celebrity emcees from the major television stations, food vendors, and participation by the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and Houston Texans. Each year since then we have had a successful Festival in May on the historical Buffalo Bayou. Our attendance has increased to over 5000 people and for our 10th annual May 2010 Festival we had 30 teams participate.

Due to the success of dragon boat racing in Houston, we added a second event in 2004 and the Gulf Coast International Dragon Boat Regatta held in October in the Clear Lake area. The inaugural Regatta featured 41 teams competing over two days. Speakers included Honorary Co- Chairs Sylvia R. Garcia, County Commissioner Precinct Two, and astronaut Dr. Edward Lu; Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Texas Gregory Buchai; Mayor of Houston Bill White; Mayor of Pasadena John Manlove; State Representative Martha Wong; and Dr. Thomas Buchholz of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Teams arrived from as far away as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Ukraine.

In 2005 we were awarded the honor of hosting the U.S. Central Region Championships in conjunction with our 2nd annual Gulf Coast International Dragon Boat Regatta presented by Wal-Mart. Many competitive teams from Canada, the Midwest, and the West Coast arrived to win our event and represent the United States in the World International Dragon Boat Championships to be held in Toronto in summer 2006. Over 50 teams were able to compete including divisions for breast cancer survivors, youth teams, and municipalities. Speakers included Honorary Co-Chairs Sylvia R. Garcia, County Commissioner Precinct Two, and Jim Reinhartsen, President, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership; Tiffani Mendivil of Wal-Mart; Hua Jinzhou, Consul General, People’s Republic of China; State Representative Martha Wong; Mary Connelly of Canadians Abreast; and Dr. Tse-Kuan Yu of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The Texas Dragon Boat Association possesses a fleet of eight boats, and plans are underway to build two boathouses (one in the East End on Buffalo Bayou and one in Sugar Land, Fort Bend County). Funds raised from our events help to develop these boathouses for public use. The Houston boathouse will be the first-ever boathouse along the downtown Bayou for non-motor boat craft, as well as serve as a home base for dragon boating in the Southern United States. The boathouses will facilitate a year-round youth education program, breast cancer survivor program, and corporate/community teambuilding program.

Houston, Texas now has several year round teams, from leisure teams all the way to professional traveling teams. If you are interested in finding a team that works for you, please check out the TDBA Year Round Teams in this area.

We are now accepting team entries forms and event sponsors for the 2015 Dragon Boat Season Festival and Regatta. Please download our sponsorship proposals or contact our Executive Director, Eve Marie Ruhlman, at director@texasdragonboat.com.

Board Members

The Texas Dragon Boat Association Board Members are the foundation of our organization.


  • Jim Travlos – Board Chairman
  • Eve Marie Ruhlman – President/Executive Director
  • Caroline Long, D.C. – Secretary

Honorary Chairmen

  • Michael Jhin – St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System
  • Eugene Lee – Chairman Emeritus, Essex Commercial Properties

Board Directors

  • Brian Chiu – MD Anderson
  • Caley Eichenlaub – MHMRA of Harris County
  • Curtis Tipton – Walmart
  • Dena Peavler – Community Volunteer
  • Gary Liu – Ernst & Young
  • Huang Quan Vu – Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
  • William A. LeSage – OFS Portal, LLC

What is Dragon Boat?

What is dragon boat?

Dragon boat racing is the world’s fastest growing water sport. It combines tradition with modern day teamwork, enthusiasm, and strategy.

What all is involved in the sport of dragon boating?

We provide traditional Hong Kong style BuK Dragon Boats for our event. These boats measure 40 feet in length, 4 feet in width, and carry 20 paddlers, 1 drummer, and 1 steersperson. On average, these boats weigh 500 pounds.

Teams will race down course ranging from 250m – 1000m on the day of the regatta. Teams are provided with practice sessions prior to race day.

No prior experience is necessary to race dragon boats! The important thing to have is a competitive spirit and the ability to work together as a team. Synchronicity is more important than strength.

What is the purpose of the May Festival and October Regatta?

The purpose of the annual Dragon Boat Festival and regatta is to promote the tradition and sport of dragon boat racing, sharing this dramatic aspect of Asian culture with the greater Houston community. In addition, the Dragon Boat Festival will showcase the remarkable renovations happening along our own Buffalo Bayou. Proceeds from the festival and regatta will go towards promotion of dragon boat racing in Texas and charitable activities. It is also a way of encouraging Houstonians to become more physically fit, while enjoying the outdoor opportunities of our city.

How can I find out more information about dragon boat?

Looking for leadership and team building activities that focus on unique athletics and diversity. Dragon boating is a great way for corporations, organizations, and youth groups to get involved in a dynamic setting. Our colorful presentations and videos showcase our organization, vision, and mission. We would love to come out and talk with your group about the rich tradition of the sport and discuss how you can get involved!

Please email us at: director@texasdragonboat.com to set up a talk.

Our EventsThe Texas Dragon Boat Association currently hosts two events every year – the Houston Dragon Boat Festival and the Gulf Coast International Dragon Boat Regatta. Take a look at our next event and we hope to see you there!

Houston Dragon Boat Festival

The Houston Dragon Boat Festival is held at our new location on North York Street by Tony Marron Park the first Saturday of May.

You can expect energetic competitive teams racing throughout the day with colorful cultural performances, educational cultural booths, delicious cuisine, and fun games for kids and adults alike.

Please check back as we get closer to the event. If you would like to start a team, please take a look at our sponsorship section. We are always looking for volunteers and vendors as well!

You can also follow us on Facebook to see what’s going on in the dragon boat community!

15th Annual Houston Dragon Boat Festival

Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM at 808 North York Street in Downtown Houston

808 North York Street (across from Tony Marron Park)

Gulf Coast International Dragon Boat Regatta

11th Annual Gulf Coast International Dragon Boat Regatta

Saturday & Sunday, October 18-19, 2014 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Brooks Lake @ Fluor in Sugar Land, Texas

Pure dragon boat racing! Finish your season in style with the last dragon boat race of the year at the Gulf Coast International Regatta.  This year our focus is on Breast Cancer Survivors and we’re trying to lure as many BCS teams to Houston to compete as possible.

Held on the calm waters of Brooks Lake at Fluor Corp. in Sugar Land, we will have divisions for amateur and experienced teams of men’s, women’s, mixed, BCS and junior crews. Brooks Lake in Sugar Land, Texas, a beautiful suburb right outside of Houston is the new home for the October Regatta, provides an ideal venue for a large – scale dragon boat regatta.

Corporate and Youth teams will be competing on Saturday for such awards as the International Cup and Texas Cup on a 250m course while community and visiting teams will also be racing on Saturday and Sunday in 500M and 1000M races. Our teams will be welcome with some good ole fashion Texas hospitality at the Hyatt Place Hotel which is 400 feet away from the race site and overlooks the whole race area.

If you are not paddling as part of a team, then you are missing out on a truly wonderful experience. Check our sponsorship and volunteer opportunities on how you can get involved.

2014R Logo Only

15Registered Corporate Teams
9Registered Competitive Teams
13Registered Community Teams
14Registered Youth Teams

Sponsors & Teams

We could not be as successful as we are without the sponsors and teams that support us every year. Take a look at this year’s official Regatta Sponsors and Teams!



All Hands Abreast
Austin Coolers
Cajun Invasion
DUC Delite
Exmar Offshore Company
FYP Island Warriors
Houston Heat
Team Skittles


Bona Fitness
Texas Chiropractice College
City of Sugar Land Sweet Ride
First Colony Association
Houston Gavel Dragons
Lone Star Veterans
MD Anderson Super Heroes
Medical Fitness Pros
Orange Theory Fitness
Houston Baptist University
Texas Chiropractic College
University of Houston-VAPSS
University of St. Thomas


Awty International High School
Awty International Middle School (2 Teams)
Chinese Youth Society
Clear Lake HS National Chinese Honor Society
Dulles HS National Chinese Honor Society
Glenda Dawson High School
Houston Parks and Recreation
Shape Up Fort Bend
Sharpstown International School
St. John’s School – East Asian Affinity Group
Strake & St. Agnes

Brooks Lake @ Fluor in Sugar Land, Texas

Recent Blog PostsRead what we've been up to!


Getting InvolvedThere are many ways that you can be part of the Texas Dragon Boat Association. Take a look at the opportunities available and contact us!


Volunteers are the key to our success as a safe and fun event that continues to attract people year after year. Volunteering activities cover both land and water duties.

Be a Volunteer!

Pick-Up Paddler

Have you ever wanted to paddle on our boats? Well, on Race Day, there are opportunities where teams may need you to paddle your heart out with them

Be a Paddler!


We would love to have your business to be part of our events! Share your amazing goods with all of our participants! Sign up online today to reserve your spot!

Be a Vendor!

SponsorshipTake a look at our sponsorship packages and see which one best fits you.

The Texas Dragon Boat Association offers several sponsorship levels.

  • CORPORATE TEAM SPONSOR: (limited to 30 sponsors) $2,700
  • FESTIVAL SPONSOR: (limit of 4 sponsors) $5,000
  • PADDLE SPONSOR: (limit of 1 for the Festival) $7,500
  • BOAT NAMING SPONSOR: $10,000 per boat
  • FESTIVAL TITLE SPONSOR: $30,000 for the Festival

Sponsoring a Texas Dragon Boat Team

As the sport and tradition continue to evolve here in Houston, we are seeking both returning and new teams for our featured events in May and October. Dragon boating offers:

  • Corporate Team-Building – Two practice sessions and multiple races on race day boost team morale and create a high-performing team. Effective teamwork is the key. International appeal – Dragon boat racing is one of the fastest growing outdoor sports in the world. New to Texas, dragon boat festivals have been held for years in Asia, Europe, Canada, and other parts of the U.S.
  • Downtown Rejuvenation and Economic Development – The Festival showcases the recent renovation of Allen’s Landing Park, the historic birthplace of Houston. The Regatta will become a major international event in the Bay Area.
  • Diversity – The Festival is one of the largest multicultural gatherings in Houston.
  • Charity – Proceeds benefit local Houston charities in three areas: health and fitness; parks and waterways; and cross-cultural awareness


Community Team
  • 25 team members
  • Races in the 250m, 500m, & 1000m
  • 1 advance practice session
  • *Early Bird Pricing by 8/15 of $1000


Corporate Team
  • 25 team members
  • 3 Races in the 500m race track
  • 1 advance practice session
  • *Early Bird Pricing by 8/15 of $2500


Visiting Team
  • 25 team members
  • Races in the 250m, 500m, & 1000m
  • 1 advance practice session
  • *Early Bird Pricing by 8/15 of $600


BCS Team
  • 25 team members
  • 3 Races in the 500m race track
  • 1 advance practice session
  • *Early Bird Pricing by 8/15 of $500


Youth Team
  • 25 team members
  • 3 Races in the 250m race track
  • 1 advance practice session
  • *Early Bird Pricing by 8/15 of $500

Year-Round Teams are just around the corner!

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