1989 was the first year of the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race. In that year, there were 31 teams registered. In 1991, the event had grown to 60 teams competing. In years
2004-2007, there were 96 teams registered with teams on the waiting list. In 2008, there were 94 teams competing. The PKSCA owns eight Taiwan-style dragon boats; each boat
accommodates 16 paddlers, 1 tiller, 1 caller, and 1 flag catcher required for each race heat.
The Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race is unique in that local teams have a 10-week practice season in preparation for the June race weekend. This 10-week practice season has
contributed greatly to the growth of this sport in the Pacific Northwest. This race is also unique in that each teams flag catcher is required to pull the flag from a buoy in that
teams lane which is what signals that the team has finished the race heat.