Dragon Boat

Dragon Boating is a fun-filled, adrenaline pumping, water sports. In competition, Dragon Boats are fitted with ornately carved dragon’s heads and tails. Crews of up to 20 people sit in pairs and paddle to compete in races over distances of around 250m to 500m.


During Dragon Boat season, the VRC Paddle Teams trains and enters competitive dragon boat races in Hong Kong. Races include:

  • VRC DWB Regatta
  • Lamma 500
  • Hong Kong China International Dragon Boat Festival
  • Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Championships
  • Kellet Island Cup


Running since 1999, the Deep Water Bay Regatta is a highly competitive 500m dragon boat race in the south side of Hong Kong. It is usually held in the spring time of each year. All teams are welcome to join. Divisions include Open, Women, Mix, and Juniors. Checkout the VRC Deep Water Bay Regatta here:



Thirty years ago, in October 1993, Des Mabbott, the director of health and safety at the University of Hong Kong, had formed the Hong Kong Island Paddle Club (HKIPC), a dragon boat team, and was looking for a permanent place to train. Des’s team had evolved from a successful dragon boat team at the University Hong Kong that quickly expanded beyond HKU. “The results are now history and the two clubs have benefitted hugely from such small beginnings,” he wrote in 2012. In 1999, VRC hosted the first Deep Water Bay dragon boat races, “to contribute another race to the dragon boat community and give people a chance to race earlier in the season, six weeks before the Stanley races,” he told the South China Morning Post in 2007, shortly before his departure from Hong Kong. Dan Fedoruk, an architect, became the team’s first coach, implementing a semi-professional (read agonizing) regimen. The team became the first non-local club to compete and win against local crews in hard-fought local races as well as the Hong Kong championships and Hong Kong International. Since the beginning, the paddling section attracted serious paddlers to the club, and as Des said, the “results are history”. Those who join the renamed VRC Paddling Section, and our Dragon Boat Team today are part of a huge legacy – not only as Hong Kong’s oldest private recreational club, established in 1849, but also the club that first brought serious paddling to Hong Kong’s international community.

By Edith Terry, former Honorary Secretary, VRC