About Santa Barbara Dragon Boat

Recreation and Good Clean Competition


About Jon Durrah / Founder

Born in 1955, founder Jon Durrah was raised in Santa Barbara and a second generation commercial fisherman. “My father had a passion for sailing and my family and I sailed to Hawaii and Mexico. As a teenager, I remember living on our boat for a year in Mexico.

I continued my love of sailing and purchased Kelpi, an 83 ft. schooner. Visiting San Francisco  is where I first saw dragon boats racing across the bay. Retired from commercial fishing after forty years, I continued my research on dragon boats and discovered different boating and breast cancer organizations. It brought women together which formed a warm and friendly feeling among comrades. I found out how paddling actually helped speed up the recovery by reducing fluid building up in the chest.

When I retired, I decided to purchase a dragon boat and bring it to Santa Barbara and start a breast cancer organization. My goal is to have woman who have had a mastectomy and those who are now battling breast cancer to come together and train on the boat. We can invite other teams from different cities to participate in training together and have their own regatta in Santa Barbara harbor.

About The S.B.D.B. Organization

The Santa Barbara Dragon Boat Organization is a new non profit to our area. Dragon boating is a very old tradition that began in China over 2500 hundred years ago. This non profit will start using this type of canoe. This organization will be using this type of boating perceiving for women who are battling breast cancer and recovering from having a mastectomy. These types of groups are being done across the United States. Benefits are from having a team held together by accommodating those who are all battling breast cancer. The sport itself does not have a paddling level to reach and benefits will help speed up recovery from surgery. Organizations like this often compete against each other on the west coast. Race lengths are between 250 – 500 meters long. When teams get together, they include exercise, support and friendship. We want to increase the public awareness of breast cancer.