The HSBC Life Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival celebrates its 14th year!

China’s traditional sport is Hong Kong’s beloved Spring and Summer festivals!

It’s all about running the race in the Year of the Rat, and athletes who love to paddle, will love returning to the 2020 HSBC Life Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival!

UPDATE 17 February 2020:

In the lunar calendar, the rat is the first sign. For those unfamiliar with the legend of the order of the Chinese Zodiac, it was based on the “great race” legend. The Jade Emperor, the ruler of the gods, wanted 12 animals to be his guards. He hosted a race and said that whoever comes first would get a higher ranking. On the day of the race, the rat started his journey early and through cunning, convinced the ox to carry him the length of the course with the promise to sing and entertain the ox during the race. The ox agreed, not suspecting that nearing the finish line, the clever rat would leap off his back and cross the line first!

Any paddler that has experienced a team creeping up on them to suddenly surge and win at the finish line can relate to this story; especially if that team has “ridden on their wake” before the leap to victory!


A history of amazing sponsors

Sponsored by HSBC Life, KPMG, Hill Dickinson, and Hongkong Electric, as well as HIGHLIFE and Gweilo Beer, the HSBC Life Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival (HSBC Life Lamma 500) is one of the most hotly contested events in the Hong Kong Dragon Boat circuit, offering medals and awards in Open Men’s, Women’s, Premier Mixed and Mixed Youth (Under 18) divisions.

“We are delighted to have our sponsors return year-on-year” said the Event Director, Brad Tarr. “HSBC Life and KPMG have been entering crews in the HSBC Life Lamma 500 for the past few years. We are thrilled that they believe in the event enough to keep coming back and competing against such amazing competitors, and we absolutely couldn’t do it without them” he said.

Damien Laracy of Hill Dickinson has been an event sponsor for over a decade and is the title sponsor for the Mixed Youth (Under 18) Championship Trophy. “The HSBC Life Lamma 500 is one of the most exciting, colourful and friendly sporting events of its kind in Hong Kong but gives away nothing in competitive spirit.” said Laracy.


Making it easier to be green

Every year, the HSBC Life Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival has sponsored a charity, and in 2020, the event is sponsoring Plastic Free Seas ( Plastic Free Seas is a Hong Kong based environmental charity dedicated to advocating change in the way we all view and use plastics in society today, through education and action campaigns.

As the first Hong Kong Dragon Boat event to aggressively pursue a “Green” agenda, the HSBC Life Lamma 500 has offered free water stations – commonly offering reusable water bottles for sale – for the past 8 years. The event also offers a paperless programme and has supported the Green Dragons in their efforts to encourage other dragon boat teams to “go green” since their origin in 2017


Competitive, friendly and fabulous

Since its origin in 2007, the HSBC Life Lamma 500 has been one of the most challenging and competitive races on the Hong Kong dragon boat calendar. It offers a deep, fast-water course, set against the incredible backdrop of one of the territory’s highest peaks, Mount Stenhouse, and the weirdly dramatic landscape of the Hong Kong Electric Company.

The HSBC Life Lamma 500 is also a crowd favourite, staffed and managed by a team of volunteers known best for their year-on-year friendly hospitality. Expect to see toddlers perched above dragon boat drums during the lunch break, guests and locals enjoying food and drink from the beer tent and food tents, and photographers taking cheeky photos of fit paddlers as they run through warm-up stretches.

In 2009, the HSBC Life Lamma 500 first offered its crowd-pleasing 1,000m race, as a fun challenge. This single-lane event features boats starting at 10 second intervals and crews chasing each other down around the 1,000m course; fighting for the best time overall to declare victory in the Open Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed Premier categories.



New and returning teams interested in joining the HSBC Life Lamma 500 in 2020, can take advantage of the Early Bird fees up until February 16th. (All other registrations will close on May 8th). Event organizers encourage teams to enrol early so that they don’t miss the opportunity to race.

“The HSBC Life Lamma 500 has become terrifyingly popular,” said Race Convener Gina Miller. “For the past several years we’ve had waiting lists of crews anxious to see if they can get a spot in the event.”

“The Mixed Premier Category is the first to fill, with only space for 40 teams available” said Miller. “Team Captains don’t want to miss their chance.”




Let the games begin! The day doesn’t end after the medals are distributed. The HSBC Life Lamma 500 has a long history of celebrants dancing their way through the Village of Yung Shue Wan at the end of the day; stopping at one of the great local restaurants for a hearty meal; or toasting their victories at one of the local pubs.

For further information contact:

Brad Tarr (Event Director) at or call (+852) 9824-4577

Gina Miller (Race Convener) at or whatsapp at (852) 9121-3648


Posted in News.