Dragon Boat Club Inc

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How many people in a boat?

There are 22 people in a dragon boat, 20 paddlers sit side by side, 1 drummer who keeps time at the front and a sweep who steers from the back. The drummer usually only joins in on race days.

What format does a training session follow?

We start on dry land with a warm up for about 10 minutes, you’ll be using muscles you don’t generally use so warm up and cool down stretches are important. We lift the boat together off the rack and get it into the water and are allocated our positions by the coaches. New members are either allocated a training boat with a dedicated new paddler training coach or paired up with more experienced paddlers and the coach. We start by light paddling on both sides, gradually increasing the pressure on the paddle to push the boat forward. Both new and experienced paddlers spend time on technique and even more time on timing as well as strength and speed paddling. We try to keep each session as varied as possible, whilst improving strength , technique and timing for all. At the end of the session we’ll return to paddle easy and stretching once we’re back on land.

Is there much room in the boat?

The boat is wider in the middle, more narrow at both ends, dragon boaters come in all shapes and sizes, we can usually find a space which suits most paddlers.

Do I have to be at every training session?

Not everyone can make every training session, we all try to make as many as we can so we get used to each other as a team.

Do you cancel training when the weather is bad?

Training in cancelled in high winds which could cause the boat to tip or the sweep to fall out, or in lightening and thunder storms. Training is generally not cancelled when it rains.

Do I need to let you know if I’m coming to training?

FFB run a Hotline facility prior to each training session. If you text the hotline within 24 hours of training we’ll guarantee you a spot on the boats. We’ll also text you if training is cancelled due to the bad weather mentioned above.

When do you race?

During race season, which is August to April there will generally be one race each month in Sydney and surrounding locations e.g. Penrith. In February we race for Chinese New Year, into the centre of Darling Harbour.

How long are the races?

Races are usually between 250m and 500m, there are a couple of longer races through the season, one at Lake Macquarie of over 20k! Whether fast and furious (no, that’s not what FFB stands for either) or long and lasting, races are great fun and a great way to test your new found fitness.

I’m not that fit – Will that be a problem?

No. Dragon Boating is a great sport for all levels of fitness. It will help you improve your aerobic capacity and strength and isn’t a high impact sport like running. You’ll get fitter as you practice and can work with the team and our coaches to reach your own level and potential . The coaches will speak with you about any prior injuries or concerns you have before you paddle to make sure its safe.

If I decide to join – how much will it cost?

Membership to FFB includes club uniform, insurances, race entries, training and coaching. We are a not-for-profit organisation and raise funds by supporting community college training, fund raising events and corporate training. We also cover your membership to our governing body, Dragon Boat New South Wales. The cost is around $5 per week – a whole lot cheaper than the gym.

What is the FFB team like?

We’re all for one and one for all. A real team club that believes in supporting each other. We are all in it to do the best we can and to enjoy being out on the water.