Dragon Boat Racing could be for you
As the weather warms up, people are flocking to Victoria Harbour to learn more about the sport of dragon boating. If you’re looking for a social sport to join or even a unique team building activity for your workplace, then dragon boating may be the answer.
What is dragon boating?
As the national sport of China, dragon boating has a long history dating back thousands of years. Essentially, you have a team of 22 people in a 12m long canoe. Each team is made up of 20 paddlers who must work together to help their boat move through the water efficiently. In addition, one person (the timer) sits up the front of the boat keeping time for the paddlers by beating a drum, with another person (the sweep) at the back responsible for steering. For smaller teams, smaller boats of ten people plus the timer and sweep are also available.
Who can join a dragon boat team?
There are six metro teams based in Victoria Harbour who have a training schedule that revolves around the use of shared equipment owned by Dragon Boat Victoria. Throughout these clubs there are teams of different ages, including Juniors (12- 18), Premiers (18 to 49) and Masters (50 and above). In other words, dragon boating welcomes most ages.
How do I join a dragon boat team?
Most metro clubs offer ‘come and try’ sessions to potential members, where you can trial a couple of sessions before committing to a team. Contact the clubs directly to enquire about their next available trial session. To get the most out of this fun sport, it’s important to do your research to find the right club. Some teams are highly competitive and run compulsory training sessions several times a week, while others are more social. Information about the different teams can be found on the Dragon Boat Victoria website.
How often do they train?
It depends on the team’s objectives, but most metro clubs will train one to two times per week, while more competitive teams will train three to four times per week, which may include team gym sessions. Training sessions usually take place in the early morning on weekends and between 5pm and 7pm on weeknights, depending on the club’s training roster.
Are there competitions?
Dragon Boat Victoria maintains an events calendar of upcoming regattas around Australia. Competitions take place on a local, national and international level, with the main international competition period occurring between August and November. The final Australian regatta of the season is the State Championships in Canberra in April 2019.
What should I know before my first session?
Dragon boating is the ultimate team sport. Winning doesn’t come down to the performance of an individual, but everybody in the boat working in complete harmony. In terms of what to bring, paddlers should wear quick-dry sportswear as it can get a little bit cool on the water if you get wet. Quick-dry shoes or Crocs are also advised for both inside and outside the boat. Bring a change of spare clothes and wear a hat and sunscreen, especially during the warmer months.
You can get in touch with Dragon Boat Victoria for more information about upcoming regattas or local clubs.