mākaukau means competent, capable, efficient, prepared, skilled, an expert and is used to imply a state of readiness.

In the last few moments of every race, when the win is in sight, our caller yells "mākaukau" Then, in unison, we roar the reply “hai” Meaning Yes! We're ready! We can do this!

Over the years we have won many trophies, but more importantly we have become a powerful group of dedicated people and we just keep getting stronger every year.

We practice 3 times a week in the evenings on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.We also have a morning outrigger canoe practice on Saturdays so there should always be a suitable day and time to train that will fit in to a busy schedule.

We participate in many races during the year including large scale competitions in Nanaimo Canada, Seattle, Kent Washington as well as local Portland races. We are a competitive team but we also welcome paddlers new to the sport and strongly encourage anyone interested in trying it out to come paddle with us.

About Dragon Boating

A dragon boat racing team usually consists of 22 people but can also include 12 person teams. Teams can be all female, all male, mixed (as long as there are a minimum of 8 female paddlers) and can include paddlers of all ages.

During most races the boat will have 20 paddlers as well as a drummer (also called a caller) who sits in the front of the boat and a tiller who sits (or stands) in back steering the boat. The goal in a race is to get to the finish line first while staying in your lane so you don’t come into contact with other boats.

A dragon boat race is an adrenaline rush as you paddle to the starting line, then excitedly wait for the starter to yell “We have alignment!” and then, the gun (or whistle) goes off and you're racing! Everyone on your boat paddling in perfect synchronicity, thrusting deeply into the water, propelling the boat forward to the beat of the drum and the cheers of the crowd!

However Dragon Boat Racing is not Just About the Race!

A dragon boat race lasts about 2 minutes and during a racing event you may race 5 or more times to narrow the contenders down to the winners. A race isn't JUST a race it is also an event with booths, events, raffles, prizes and an after party!

Dragon boat festivals are often a full day or weekend filled with paddling and partying. The paddling usually begins bright and early in the morning and the partying goes on into the late hours. Competitions are filled with laughter, joking around, camaraderie with other paddlers and generally lots and lots of fun.

There is also not a lot of serious rivalry between teams. This is due in part to the tradition of borrowing a paddler from another team if a team is short a paddler due to illness or injury. This intermixing of teams leads to bonding and long term friendships and ongoing partnerships.

Dragon boating is a serious sport and dragon boaters are serious athletes. The bonds you form out on the water will last a lifetime.