Batchworth Dragons is a dragon boat racing club based in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire (although as we're still within the M25 we could be considered as North West London). Formed in 1988 by a small group of sea scouts, the club has been going strong for a number of years.
We are currently one of the top dragonboat clubs in the British
Dragon Boat Racing Association (BDA) premier league having
won the league in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (tied with Amathus) and 2010 and been runner up in 2000 and 2002.
In 2003 not only did we win
the league but we also won every single league race (8 of them) in the year
and finished in fine style by winning the National Cup event at
Nottingham for the first time in the clubs history.
We compete in local, national and
international races and events. Several of our members
are also members of one or other of the
GB dragon boat squads.
Several of these members were part of the GB
womens squad that, variously, broke the world record for the 1000m
at the 2003
World Nations Championships in Poland,
won gold, silver, and bronze medals at the world championships in China in 2004
and won a clean sweep of the medals at the European championships in Amsterdam in 2010.
Others are members of the open team, the senior team and the grand dragons team (the really senior ones!). There are, of course, other members who paddle solely for the club and are happy to stay that way - you don't have to be into world domination to join in.
We also race a second boat, the "Batchworth Beasties", at some of the national league events when we have sufficient numbers at the race.
In 2003 Batchworth sent a team to the European Dragon Boat Racing Federation (EDBF) Club Crew Championships in Auronzo di Cadore, Italy where we won a bronze medal in the 250m event. Read the report from "The Rocket" here. In 2004 we sent a team to the world club crew championships in Cape Town, South Africa. Read all about it here.
We welcome all levels of paddler from total beginners all the way up to international level and are always looking for new members. There's no need to feel intimidated if you haven't tried dragon boating before - we promise to take good care of you(!) - and there will always be people ready to help and advise. So if you feel that you've got too much energy come and try out a sport that's gaining a lot of popularity. Contact us using the contact page for further information.
What Is Dragon Boating?
In a nutshell - Dragon boating involves teams of up to twenty paddlers in a 40 foot boat with a drummer and helm, paddling like crazy to beat the other teams!
With drums banging, spectators shouting and several teams on the water paddling determinedly it can all get quite exciting for the paddlers, supporters and onlookers alike...
...however, like all sports, there's a lot more finesse required in order to do it well... for a start everyone needs to keep in time with each other otherwise things can get a little messy!
There's an enormous amount of history behind it and plenty of skill, technique, stamina and strength required. But rather than rewrite the story here why not read the Wiki entry for dragon boat racing here...
See here for details of when we meet for training sessions.
Most competitions are held on Sundays during the summer months. Our events page shows the upcoming events.
As we said, above, we are always on the lookout for new paddlers so if you fancy a try or for further details please use the contact page.
What Do You Need?
To start with all you need is a set of clothes for paddling in - we don't normally get too wet but something warm and something waterproof are often useful along with old trainers (preferably ones that stay on without too much sticky tape!) or boating footwear.
Come along and have a go...