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Club Milestones

Our Dragonboat Club has done some amazing things over the last 10 years and we'd like to show you a few.

2019 Season

Circa late November 2018 after the taster session with the VDC

Friends: How did you find the dragon boating?

Me: The paddling technique for the dragon boating was weird (i dare say it’s quite akin to digging) but will most likely join the club – it felt good on the few  occasions I did (ie dug) it right.

Said taster session lasted an hour and the few occasions I was somewhat in sync lasted about three full strokes each but no more, the rest of the time I was having a fencing competition with the paddler in front of me and the one behind. Good thing I was given a wooden paddle; otherwise, I do not think it would have made it through that sesh in one piece.

Circa mid January 2019 – start of the season

Eight weeks, eight sessions, one Fun Day, one Festival Day and that’s the season over. Sure I can handle this. Plus, my position in the boat is right at the very back so no need to worry about exiting on time and going too far back. Those assumptions were clearly very, very flawed but they were nipped in the bud when soon after the first few sessions I was presented with video footage of my paddling, the thought of which still makes me go crimson in the face. But it was so very helpful too! It was shocking to see how wrong I was doing everything and that is everything. Anyhow, Dave, our coach, gave me a lot of feedback and did not seem to be worried that I would eventually get there.

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Trip to the 2018 China International Festival

In September 2018 our “oldies” team were invited to race in the Shanghai International Dragon Boat Tournament. The races were held in Zhujiajiao Water Town, with a history of more than 1,700 years, it is also known as Shanghai’s Venice and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although the team had visited the town in the days leading up to the event, racing through there was a challenge as it was difficult to concentrate on paddling whilst ever more interesting sights appeared as the team progressed up and down the Dianpu River.

A few of our friends in the Taranaki Dragon Boat Club and Centreport teams joined the Silver Dragons to make sure we had a full boat. Knowing that they’d be up against much younger crews, Silver Dragons trained hard and were determined not to come last. They did achieve that goal in both the 500m and 3k races. In the 3k race, they managed to beat the young whippersnappers from Malaysia by just 1sec!

Most of the team had never been to China before and spent a few days exploring Shanghai after the racing and then dispersed to visit a variety of places such as Great Wall, Yangzhou (where our carbon fibre paddles are made), Terracotta Warriors in Xian, and Yellow Mountain.

Trip to the 2017 Bali International Festival

In 2017 the Hutt Valley Heat women and 4 Silver Dragon men competed in the very first Bali International Dragonboat Festival. In the women’s divisions HVH bought back bronze and the mixed team (The VCD Taniwhas) came 6th.

First Gold medal for the club

In 2016, the club’s Women’s team, the Hutt Valley Heat took home the gold medal at the Wellington International Dragonboat Festival. Even in the challenging weather conditions, they did us proud as this was our First gold medal!

Wellington Festival Results in 2015

A Great Day at the 2015 Wellington Festival. All four VDC teams performed well in the 2015 Wellington Dragonboat Festival with all qualifying for the Grand Finals in their Division. Hutt Valley Heat finishing 5th in the women’s division, Thunderstruck and Green Machine coming 3rd and 4th respectively in the mixed open grade, and Silver Dragons 3rd in the masters. The Wellington Festival is NZ’s largest Dragonboat Festival with the best venue, most participants, and most spectators.

First Overseas Festival

2013 was the first time a VDC team competed overseas, bringing home two trophies from the Darling Harbour Dragonboat Festival in Sydney.

First Silver

In 2011 the VDC teams won silver medals in the Grand Dragons (mixed 50+) and Premier divisions (women).

First Bronze

In 2012 the club entered a Mixed team in the Premier (Sports) Division and VDC teams won two bronze medals and a 4th place.


The club was registered as an incorporated society with the Ministry of Economic Development in August 2009 but teams were first formed for the 2011 season.