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Pōneke Watersports

With five different teams - you're sure to find the right fit

As the largest Dragon Boat club in the Wellington region, we have more than one team so you can find a place to fit no matter your fitness level or age. Our club is made up of people from all over and from all age groups, with teams ranging from the Open (mixed) division, the Women’s division, social division and, Masters (40+) divisions.

Pōneke Watersports members also act as coaches, sweeps, or provide general support and advice for teams that are not in the club.

The Teams

Silver Dragons

- mixed, masters team

This team consists of paddlers of 50 years and over (half are 60+) The Silver Dragons team is the first Grand Dragons team in Wellington and New Zealand and competed internationally In Australia in 2013.

Training: Thursday’s
Coach: Ewen
Manager: Trevor Vickers


- women's team

This team is open to women of any age and paddling experience. Heat won the Gold Medal at the 2016 Wellington International Dragonboat Festival and the Silver in 2017. They also competed for internationally in Bali in 2017 and came home with a Bronze.

Training: Tuesday’s
Coach: Baz
Manager: Lia May Crone

Green Machine

- mixed team

This VDC Mixed Team is for all paddlers male or female. It’s a strong team that has been going for a few years now. One of the hardest divisions is the mixed open division and Green Machine rise to the challenge.

Training: Wednesday’s
Coach: Eugene Metreveli
Manager: Elizabeth Claridge


- women's team

This is our social women’s crew

Training: Monday’s
Coach: Joe Sione
Manager: Ciara Mitchell


Ika Moana

This Mixed Team is for all paddlers male or female. This team is our competitive crew who is attending Nationals in 2024

Training: Thursdays
Coach: Aubrey Nepia
Manager: Kathryn Park

The People

Rachel Calvert

Club President and Paddler

Rachel has been dragon boating for over 10 years and has been paddling with the club since 2013. Rachel took over management of the women’s team VDC Heat in 2015 and in 2019 she became Club President. She has a huge passion for dragon boating and is very dedicated to the development and growth for the sport in Wellington and New Zealand.

Kathryn Park

Club Secretary, Nationals Manger and Paddler

Kathryn has been paddling for many years and joined the club 3 seasons ago.

David Lundon

Sweep, Coach and Paddler

Dave started paddling as a stroke in the mid 90’s then took up sweeping when he realised it is easier to yell at paddlers instead of paddling yourself. Dave has swept at the 2007 World Championships. He has also steered UHC and several corporate teams safely across the finish line in Wellington and at National championships.

Ewen McDonald

Sweep, coach & paddler

Ewen has been involved in Dragon Boating since 2007. Ewen has competed successfully at multiple World Championships representing Australia in Masters and Grandmasters divisions and multiple Worlds Clubs Crew Championships representing Brisbane River Dragons (BRD) in all divisions. Ewen coached Queensland State masters teams for the Australian National Championships winning across all categories. BRD was for many years the top club in Australia and Ewen continued that success when he was appointed Head Coach where the club won medals in all events at the World Club Crew Championships in Italy and Adelaide, and for two years in a row BRD were the top club Masters club in Australia. Ewen has a real passion for the sport whether as a paddler, sweep, coach or administrator who wants to ensure that every paddler can reach their own goals in the sport and further the growth of the club.

Joe Sione

Sweep, coach and paddler
I have been paddling for the past 7 years and love every moment on the water! Have been part of the club since 2020 and am looking forward to what the future holds for the club and sport and looking forward to growing the region in the participation and level of this awesome sport.

Jacob de Feijter

Sweep, Coach, and Paddler

Jacob’s first dragon boating race was in 1989 in Singapore. Over the last 20 years, he coached many teams including schools, corporate, and BreastCancer Survivors teams. His crews have achieved more than 100 podium finishes in local, national, and international event. Jacob also paddles with VDC but finds it hard to keep his mouth shut and not give instructions to the coach or sweep! Besides being active in Pōneke Watersports, Jacob is also Development Director on the New Zealand Dragon Boat Association and on the Central Region Dragon Boat Association Committee where he focuses on growing dragon boating in the region.

Brie James

Team Manager & Paddler

Brie has been paddling with the club since 2017 and loves the sport. Here now in her second year managing the Heat Women’s Team.

The Place

All training is held in Wellington Harbour or in Whairepo Lagoon on rough days. The boats are launched near the fountain at the Te Papa end of Frank Kitts Park.