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About Us

The Canadian Dragons are a competitive dragon boat team who welcome all new paddlers. Experience is not required, and while physical fitness is a key component of the sport, people of all levels of fitness, age, nationality and interest are welcome to pick up a paddle and join us in the boat.

Not only is our club a great way to stay fit, it is also a gateway to new, lifelong friends and amazing adventures. We participate in events both inside and outside of Singapore’s borders and have organized trips ranging from wakeboarding in Indonesia to climbing to Everest base camp.

Although our club was founded in 1989 by a group of Canadian businessmen, you don’t have to be Canadian to join the team. In typical Canadian fashion, we are a welcoming bunch and have members from the world over. From Australians to Germans, Americans to Vietnamese, Dutch to Singaporean all are welcome to grab a paddle, strap on a life vest and have an amazing time with us on the water and a drink or two on the beach after.

With its roots in ancient Chinese legend, dragon boating is a traditional canoe discipline with immense popularity the world over at both the recreational and competitive levels. The Chinese dragon — the classic version of which has the head of an ox, antlers of a deer, mane of a horse, body of a python, claws of a hawk and fins and tail of a fish — decorate the bow and stern of the long, narrow craft. The hull of the vessel is often painted with scales to represent a dragon’s body and the paddles symbolize its claws. The dragon boat is powered by a crew of either 10 or 20 paddlers, helmed by a coxswain and led by a drummer.

Interested? Email us, visit our Facebook page or jump to the Join Us section for important information about where to meet us and what to bring.

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9 things to know for your first dragon boat race

First dragon boat race coming up?  Here are some do’s and don’ts…

  1. You will have to be there early.  Like really really early.  I know its the weekend, and usually that means sleeping in… but not on race day!  Every race is different, but Captains will require you to be there early – usually well before 8am. Be there on time. If you are late, Captains will have to shuffle crews based on the assumption that you aren’t showing up that day.
  2. The paddlers can change from race to race.  So, you may be in one boat and then not in the next.  Captains change the paddlers in a boat for various reasons.  Generally, they are trying to balance participation, competitiveness, fitness and race sequencing.  If you have issues with any of the lines set out – please approach the captains privately and ask why.  They will be happy to explain.
  3. Most of your day will be spent waiting.  Waiting in the tent for your race call.  Waiting in queue for them to call you to the boats. Waiting at the start line for the other boats to line up. Waiting for the announcement of what position you finished. Lots of waiting. You will quickly learn how fun waiting can be.
  4. Come prepared.  Bring your paddle and lifejacket (which you should have picked up during your last practice).  Bring a few snacks.  Bring sunscreen.  Bring an umbrella. Optional: Bring gloves/hat/sunglasses/butt pad if you are used to paddling with them, yoga mats/blankets to rest on, book/technology to pass the time, guitar/sports equipment/board games to play with, camera to document all that is going on around you. Oh, and you.  Bring you. On time :)
  5. Races NEVER go according to schedule.  Sometimes they are early, sometimes they are late.  Someimtes they skip races altogether (usually due to inclement weather).  For this reason, it is impossible to know when exactly you will be racing.  It is also for this reason that Captains need to know if you go anywhere (yes, including if you are just going the washroom).  It might feel like kindergarten…. but its important that you tell someone when you go to the washroom or to get food or to make out with your partner. Preferably the captain of the boat in your next race.
  6. Its hot out there!  Especially if its a sunny day.  Though, really, its still hot even if its overcast!  Drink lots of water.  Put on sunscreen every couple of hours.  Eat small amounts throughout the day (even when lunch arrives – don’t eat too much!). We have had people get heat stroke or not be able to race due to food cramps at races – please don’t let that be you.
  7. For races you need to wear a life jacket, jersey, shorts and shoes.  Shoes can come off once you settled in  boat – but must be worn getting in/out of the boat.  Jerseys, shorts and lifejackets must be worn for the duration of the time you are on the water.
  8. When you are in the boat – listen to the cox.  If the race starter tells our boat to do something… Don’t!  Unless our cox asks us to. Our coxes know what they are doing. They usually have a grand startline plan that we don’t know about.  Listen to them – over and above everyone else.
  9. Have fun!  That is the whole point… right?  You are there to have fun!  It is a competiive environment – but, the Canadian dragons are famous for doing better in on the water when they are happy and relaxed off the water. So, make the most of it.
  10. Thanks for racing with us!

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In a dragon boat race…

It gets quiet on the water.
Waiting while the sun beats down, watching the previous race churn down the lanes, subconsciously counting their start in your head.

Before you know it, you’re paddling to the start line, your teammates are patting you on the back or shoulder, words of confidence and encouragement floating back and forth.
While the steersperson straightens the boat, the pacers uphold tradition and splash the dragon.

The boat next to you takes a little longer to straighten their boat; you and your teammates are in hold position, waiting.

You sit quietly for a moment, trying to calm your nerves, slow the heartbeat.
Then you look up at your drummer and she looks back and grins.

Standby! Are you ready!
You lean forward, paddle poised and ready as all of your coach’s mantras flip through your head: don’t look on the blade anymore; you don’t need to see, you need to feeeel.

Attention!
All the paddlers collectively inhale.
There’s only a fraction of a second to contemplate the lack of noise before the horn goes off. Somewhere at the back of your mind, your brain registers that the horn is important and you must do something – but your body is already moving. Hours of practice move your muscles, focusing the strength on the blade, everyone moving together. The boat surges with each stroke.

Halfway and inevitably, the thoughts appear in your head:
It’s so hot
I’m so tired
The finish line is still so far…
Are we there yet???

Banishing them by putting more power on the blade and yelling encouragement to your teammates, a previously agreed “TWIST!!” escapes your lips and gains followers down the boat.

Close to the second last buoy your steersperson calls the charge.
When you thought you had no energy left, nothing more to give, you rise to the call.
The boat surges as your teammates do the same, your drummer is going nuts on the drum and yelling encouragement. The pace picks up, but the finish line seems to be approaching too slowly.
Within your periphery, boats on either side surge with their charges; the combination of camaraderie and a desire to win overcomes exhaustion.

Almost there! Keep going! Longerrrrr!  Everything!!!

That’s what you are giving – everything.

Then it’s all over.
In less than three minutes.

You glance left.  Glance right.  And start to cheer – you won  your race.  And it was all sooooooooooooo worth it.

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Leadership Team

There are many people that volunteer to make the Canadian Dragons awesome.

Talk to anyone of them to find out how you can help out and get more involved.

Executive Committee

Manager – Dan Aitchison

Treasurer – Russell Chew

Secretary – Kim Sinclair

Assistant Manager – Kari Churches

Operations Manager – Lee Fu Keong

 

Captains

Head Captain – Haikal

Men’s Captain – Ben Tillmann

Women’s Captain – Lisa Rehak

Women’s Assistant Captain – Alicia Koh

Advisor – Wann

Advisor – Gavyn Holker

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Medals!!

The Canadian Dragons is a competitive dragon boat team with quite a few medals under our belt.  Other than competing in Singapore, we also compete in overseas races.

International Races:

2014
35th Penang International Dragon Boat Festival
International Overseas Race (International Mixed 12 Crew- Bronze)

35th Penang 2014 bronz

 2014
Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta 2014 (International Mixed 12 Crew- Bronze, International Open 20 Crew- Bronze)

 

 

Local Races:

30th Singapore River Regatta 2012
(Mixed- Gold)

BOAT QUAY 2012 gold3 30th Singapore River Regatta 2012 gold

31th Singapore River Regatta 2013 (Men Open- Gold)

31st SRR 2013 31ST SRR 2013-NOV

MR500 2014 (Mixed- Silver)

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Practice Schedule

Saturday Practice
Time: 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Where: Kallang Dragonboat Shed, 5 Stadium Road Singapore 397732

 

Sunday Practice
Time: 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Kallang Dragonboat Shed, 5 Stadium Road Singapore 397732

 

Thursday Hour of Power (Land training)
Time: 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Where: Hong Lim Park (near Clarke Quay MRT Exit A)

 

 

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