History and Mission

The Berkeley Racing Canoe Center was formed in January 2004.

Our mission is to welcome paddlers from all walks of life, fitness levels and all abilities to continue to grow the sport while being inclusive, recreational, and competitive.

In November 2004 BRCC transformed into a non-profit organization under United States Internal Revenue Code §501(c)(3) in service to the public, and has been serving the public continuously since then.

Every aspect of the organization including coaching, safety training, equipment maintenance, scheduling and staffing of community outreach events, and administration, is run by BRCC members on a volunteer basis. Members are equally committed to enjoying (and improving, in the case of competitive paddlers) their own paddling experience and serving the community.

BRCC hosts the DragonMax dragon boat team. The founding members of DragonMax come from DieselFish and from the Berkeley Dragons. DragonMax began as a CDBA team, but became independent with the purchase of the two dragon boats. One of the benefits of independence is local control of operating rules, and this allows BRCC to relax CDBA’s strict age limits for participation. BRCC is friendly and accommodating to families and to supervised young children.

In addition to the DragonMax team, BRCC hosts the U.C. Berkeley team, the East Bay “Rough Riders” High School dragon boat team, Team DNA for international competitions, Live Love Survive as the cancer survivor team and occasional corporate teams representing AT&T and East Bay Municipal Utility District.

Located at M-dock in the Berkeley Marina, BRCC owns three “six-sixteen” dragon boats, six OC-1 single-person outrigger canoe, two OC-2 outrigger canoes, five single kayaks, two double kayaks and one stand-up paddle board.

All boats are available for use by qualified members at no charge beyond the annual membership fee.

Dragon boats are close replicas of ancient Chinese river commerce boats. Three of BRCC’s boats are 48 ft long (not counting the ornamental head and tail), with seats for up to 24 paddlers plus a drummer and a steersperson. BRCC also operates a 20-paddler “Champion” model dragon boat, similar to the international competition standard, and one 10-paddler half-size boat.