Rose City Rockets Paddling Club

Portland’s first dragon boat team for men and women with a cancer diagnosis is recruiting new and experienced paddlers.

Rose City Rockets are fostering amateur cancer survivor paddlers to compete in national and international competition demonstrating that there is a quality of life after surviving cancer.

Rose City Rockets

Rose City Rockets is a new all-cancer thrivers dragon boat team in Portland, Oregon.

We paddle three times a week on the Williamette River in downtown Portland. We are recruiting men and women. No experience required – we provide the paddles, life vests, and experienced coaches.

“All Cancer Paddlers” is a new national program sponsored by the United States Dragon Boat Federation to provide competitive opportunities for men and women who have ever been diagnosed with cancer to move from “survivor” to “thriver” with exercise and support of twenty paddlers paddling together.

Rose City Rockets is an all-cancer dragon boat paddling team in Portand, Oregon
What is a dragon boat?​

A twenty person canoe

A dragon boat is a long narrow canoe with ten rows of paddlers, a drummer on the front of the boat, and a steersperson on the back of the boat.

Dragon boating is a TEAM sport where everyone paddles together with one mission. There are no all-star paddlers. Everyone paddles together with the same technique and rhythm to move the boat.

Dragon boat paddling started in China over 2,000 years ago and is a world wide sport with national and international competitions.

Portland has had dragon boat paddling for over thirty years on the Williamette River and has had teams for women with breast cancer for over 25 years. Rose City Paddling is the first team in Oregon for men and women with any cancer diagnosis.

We are recruiting men and women

Men and women cancer thrivers

All Cancer Paddlers (ACP)

ACP is an inclusive sport welcoming all adult ages, all genders, for those who have been diagnosed with any cancer.

We welcome new paddlers who just want to try us out – and we have veteran paddlers with more than ten years of experience.

River Place Marina public dock at 315 SW Montgomery St

Downtown Portland

Dragon boats are moored at the River Place Marina public dock at 1510 S Harbor Way, Portland, OR 97201 in downtown Portland on the west bank of the Williamette River in front of the River Place Hotel in Tom McCall park.

Meet at the flag pole.

We practice three days a week from March to October

Practice Schedule

We practice Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 7:15 and Saturday morning for 9:30 to 11:15 AM.

Please let us know in advance if you want to try us out at so we can arrange paddles and life vests for you.

Dragon boating encourages healthy living, physical activity, camaraderie, and friendly competition as a cohesive team, working toward a shared goal.

For cancer survivors it is about more than competition. It is about conquering the beast, supporting each other, and taking pride in both personal and team accomplishments.

Studies of people with breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers suggest that physically active cancer survivors have a lower risk of cancer recurrence and improved survival compared with those who are inactive.

The first dragon boat teams for cancer survivors started 25 years ago for women with breast cancer. Now men and women with any cancer diagnosis can paddle on an all cancer paddling team in Portland.

The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health Sciences University is a sustaining sponsor and helped launch Rose City Rockets Paddling Club this year.