The Bay of Plenty Dragon Boat Club is celebrating after an impressive showing at the 2021 New Zealand Dragon Boating National Championships.
The club sent three teams to the regatta at Lake Hood in Ashburton and swept the board with an impressive medal haul.
The three teams, Women’s, Mixed and Breast Cancer, brought back nine golds, one silver and one bronze medal.
The club also formed together to compete as Eastern Region Dragon Boat Association for the Regional Representive Racing for the first time. Again, they were successful, taking home gold and silver in two events in that category.
It was a performance that left club president Brooke Hargreaves overcome with emotion.
“I am proud as punch,” she says.
“I was also an event organiser and was working as a crew unloader, so helping people in and out of the water. So it was super emotional because I was by the finish line.
“I was a blubbering mess. I could not stop crying the whole weekend. It was great to see not just one team doing well but it was all three teams.”
It was an excellent performance from the entire club who missed out on competing at Lake Karapiro last year due to Covid-19.
Next year, it is back at the Waikato location and the club is currently focusing on the next generation of potential dragon boaters.
“We are also developing a junior programme,” says Brooke.
“We are constantly saying that age is no barrier. Our club members range from 12 to, let’s just say, seasoned.
“So we are developing a junior programme this year to get our schools involved which would be exciting.”
After their great success, the club is now slowing down for the winter.
“We have got another competition next week which is our regional competition,” Brooke explains.
“So we are still competing at this point but then we will be in our winter season where we will go into club paddling and recruitment as well.
“Ready to start again in six months’ time.”
Eastern Region Senior B Regional Representative Crew that won Gold in their 500m race. Photo. Megan Ellis.
The BOP Dragon Boat Club won gold in the 200m Small Boat Senior B Women’s, 200m Small Boat Senior C Women’s, 200m Small Boat Premier Mixed, 200m Standard Boat Breast Cancer, 500m Small Boat Breast Cancer, 500m Small Boat Senior B Women’s, 500m Small Boat Senior C Women’s, 500m Small Boat Premier Mixed and the 500m Standard Boat Breast Cancer categories.
The club also won silver and bronze in the 2km Standard Boat Breast Cancer and 200m Small Boat Breast Cancer categories respectively.
Eastern Region Dragon Boat Association won gold in the 500m Small Boat Senior B Women’s and silver in the Small Boat Senior C Women’s categories.