Dragon Boating commenced on the Clarence River in 2003 when a community regatta for the region’s annual Jacaranda Festival was organised. The event became known as the Jacaranda Dragon Boat Races and is an annual event held at the end of October. If you would like more information about the Jacaranda Dragon Boat Races, please click here: Jacaranda Dragon Boat Races.
Jacaranda Regatta 2006
In 2006 a keen group of participants decided that they didn’t want to just race once a year, so they worked tirelessly to form the Grafton Dragon Boat Club with a borrowed boat, trailer and paddles.
Some Grafton Club Members 2007 enjoying an early morning paddle – Anniversary of the Grafton Bridge
From those early days the club has grown to the stage where it now owns two modern lightweight racing boats, a small 10 person training boat, a double trailer, 2 sets of paddles and a variety of training equipment. Construction has commenced on a 4 bay boat shed in partnership with the local naval cadet unit (TS Shropshire) providing communal use of facilities and equipment.
Currently the club paddles from the Prince St boat ramp on the beautiful Clarence River. This is Big River country and the mighty Clarence River provides a vast expanse of waterway with a huge variety of bird, animal and plant life. This picturesque environment is our training ground and evening training sessions are often capped off by a spectacular sunset. A variety of training sessions cater for beginners to the more experienced, competitive paddlers.
Clarence River – Prince Street Boat Ramp looking towards South Grafton
The club regularly competes in regattas from South East Queensland, all the way down the coast to Sydney, with individual members competing at national and international level. Events range from short sprints (200m) all the way to marathon races (26km). The club continues to enjoy success at most events, highlighting the calibre and tenacity of members, and is well known for setting the benchmark of racing on the North Coast of NSW. Although the main focus of the club is competition, the club regularly hosts and participates in social paddles, exploring the local attractions and points of interest scattered along the banks of the river, often stopping for coffee or breakfast along the way.
2k Turn Race at Urunga