Vermont Dragon Boat Crews

Dragon boat racing originated in China over 2,000 years ago, and has risen to become one of the most popular water sports in the world. Every two years nations meet on the water to see who is best in the world. No World Championship event is ever the same. There are always surprises, upsets, and lots of incredible paddling to awe and inspire spectators.

Races are typically held in four distances. 200m, 500m and 1000m events are on a straight course, with 4-8 boat heats in individual lanes. The longest race, 2000m, is typically on an oval 500m course with turns, and boats jostle for right of way in a single lane.

Vermont may be a long way from China, but conditions for dragon boat racing here are superb. There is a huge paddling community just north of Burlington, where we practice, particularly in Montreal. In the USA, we have plenty of competition in the Northeast — teams from Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC keep us on our toes. And we get to meet teams from further afield every year at US National Championships.

2018 Programs

Circuits begin Wednesday, Nov 7, at the Edge in Williston, 6:45-7:45 pm.

Winter Season Membership
November thru mid-May +/- $150
Price includes weekly group circuit training, an off-water fitness/gym program, plus paddling tank sessions in Montreal in early 2019. (That breaks down to about $5 or the price of just TWO coffee-shop lattes/week.)

Full Season Membership
Mid-May thru mid-September – +/- $250
You get two practices a week, an off-water fitness/gym program, entry to two races, 2 scrimmages, and more. No equipment? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Dive right in, you won’t regret it. (Yeah a bit more expensive per week than winter season ($14) but you get like 300% more!)

Competitive Crews

Myth: This is a women’s sport, there’s no room for men.
Fact: This is everybody’s sport!

Myth: It’s only for cancer survivors.
Fact: Far from it. While there ARE a number of survivor clubs, ours is not one of them. Our focus is on the sport as a whole and the joys of competition. Whether you’re a survivor (of any sort) or not.

Myth: It’s a once-a-year thing.
Fact: It’s a weekly, all-year long thing! We’re moving, lifting, running, pushing ourselves year-round so that we can be fast on the water in the summer.

There are two crew levels: sport and community. Sport crews are competitive crews who aspire to race their way to the regional and national championships, with an ultimate goal of vying for a berth to the World Championships. Community crews are newer crews who aspire to become sport crews, but don’t have sufficient experience to do so just yet.

We have single- and mixed-gender crews of various ages (18-39; 40+; 50+).

We are currently in our winter training season. We’re taking October off to try other things. Winter circuits start on November 7. Join us — your first two are free!

All participants must complete a waiver/release of liability before joining in. You can do that online here.

Email us at, or reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram and we’ll take it from there!


About Us

Malia (mahl-yuh) is an inclusive community of competitive Vermont dragon boat paddlers—passionate about our sport, our environment, and one another. A culture of teamwork, accountability, and healthy competition is at our core. We believe in being true to yourself and your crew.


Anyone can be an athlete, whether or not you’ve grown up participating in sports or are just discovering them now.

We’re lucky to have coaches who have both paddled with and coached championship teams — from elite club crews in Montreal to Team USA.

We train in both standard (20-paddler) and junior (10-paddler) boats on beautiful, temperamental Lake Champlain.  We race primarily in Montreal, Canada and in the Northeastern USA. Many of us also cross-train on (and race) outrigger canoes (OC1 and OC6).

We work hard and have fun (and winning doesn’t suck)!

Join us!