The aim of Sunshine Coast Dragon Boat & Paddling Club Inc. is to promote, encourage and assist the participation of our valued members to achieve their individual goals of competition, fitness and fun.
Our home is on Lake Kawana, Sunshine Coast Queensland, a picturesque international standard 2000 metre buoyed course, perfect for flat-water competitions and home to many of the season’s regattas, including the Queensland State Titles held annually.
The club has become increasingly competitive in recent years being commited to our training, technique, fitness and of course respecting the ancient culture of dragon boat racing. We have built a strong reputation within our community, medaling in local and state regattas and have many members competing at national and international level.
About Dragon Boat Racing
Dragon boat racing originated in China more than 2000 years ago. On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, a Chinese poet-philosopher named Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Mei Lo River to protest the corrupt regime of a Chou emperor.
Hundreds of local fishermen raced out in their boats but failed to save him. They beat the water with their paddles and threw rice dumplings wrapped in silk into the river to stop his body from being devoured by fish.
This became an annual dragon boat celebration to produce rain to secure a good harvest.
In the modern sport of Dragon Boat Racing today, it is not only one of the oldest sports in the world, it is also one of the largest team sports in the world. It can be found in more than 30 countries with festivals combining athleticism with ancient traditions, and an estimated 50 million people taking part in dragon boating competitions annually.
A typical dragon boat consists of 22 people onboard; a drummer beating time, 20 paddlers seated two abreast and a steersperson (sweep) guiding the boat. The paddlers work together, stroking in time, moving toward the finish line, while the steersperson keeps the boat on a straight course.
An international standard dragon boat race is 500 metres and takes the top crews just under 2 minutes. Other standard races can be as short as 200m and as long as 2000m with one historic race in China being 78km down the Yangtzee River.
When competing at regattas, boats start from a standing position; the combination of strength, power, technique and near perfect timing is necessary to get your boat across the finish line first, as many races are fought out in the last few meters and placing’s differ by split seconds.
The sport of dragon boating is truly one of the most exciting team sports that anyone can participate in and has the added benefits of working a whole range of muscles and develops strength, core, endurance and of course friendship.