In the Loop - All Member Bulletin 2024.5.12024.5.1
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A big shout out to Dragons Abreast Townsville reaching their 20th birthday as a Group Member of DAA! If you're out and about why not pop down to celebrate with them. You'll find them at Riverway Lagoons at 7.00am followed by a BBQ breakfast at the clubhouse. Dinner & Dance celebrations will be held during the evening followed by a Sunday social paddle on The Strand.  Congratulations DATI !


Another big shout out to Dragons Abreast Blue Mountains who will be celebrating their first birthday in July. They would be delighted to have you join them for their Birthday Celebrations and Gala Launch Day. They are looking forward to welcoming paddlers from far and wide to help them celebrate!!

This week and next, more than 64 Dragons Abreast paddlers and their supporters are headed to Western Australia for the Ord River 55km Marathon. Paddlers have put in an enormous amount of training and we wish them well. They are a true example of what it is to Connect.Move.Live while being Stronger Together following a bc diagnosis. There is more information and photos further down in this newsletter.

Are you interested in going France in 2026 to participate in the IBCPC Regatta?  There are limited places still available in the DAA BCS Composite Crews. Get in quick - registration link IBCPC France 2026 Composite Crews - BCS Paddlers - Dragons Abreast Australia - revolutioniseSPORT   

Four ladies from Illawarra joined the Dragons Down Under team - a combined mixed team put together to participate in the Vogalonga in Venice. We were from Illawarra, Jindabyne, Moruya and Merimbula. Some of us had previously paddled together at local regattas as Southern Warriors, Southern Waratahs and Region Vs Region in NSW. The members were Annie Boulton, Heather McAlpine and Ann Harrison (DA Illawarra) and Julie Campbell (Illawarra Dragonboat Club).

Venice’s Vogalonga began in 1974 for the feast of St Martin.  At that time it was a race between friends but by 1975, the Vogalonga as it exists today was born. This year was the 48th year, with a couple missed during COVID. It is approximately 33kms from where we start to the finish. 

There are now more than 1800 boats and more than 7,000 participants. It is open to all countries and all types of ‘rowing’ boats, including dragon boats. This year there were 20+ dragon boats. Also, there are many Venetian style rowing boats and the rowers stand up and row forwards. We saw so many different types of non-motorised crafts along the route of the Vogalonga. You just have to cross the finish line. The start is signalled by a cannon shot and it is organised chaos as the participants head past St Marc’s square and head off towards the islands of Burano and Murano. There are very few places to stop and we switched over sweeps and drummers along the way. Annie swept from Burano to Murano - so pleased to have the chance to do it.

As we paddled, we chatted to other participants and a lot of ‘Aussie Oi Oi Oi’ from our boat and from spectators was heard along the way.  

The most amazing part is paddling down the Grand Canal and enjoying the cheering from everyone along the route. After the finish, a few prosecco’s, aperol spritz and beers were had. Definitely a bucket list for each of us.  

We have gone our separate ways now - Julie and Ann went off on a 20 day tour of Italy, Heather and her husband John flew to Norway and Annie and her husband Ivan went hiking in Sicily. Annie also hopes to paddle with the pink ladies in Palermo and with the Plurabelle pink paddlers in Dublin.

Prepared by Annie Boulton

We can highly recommend the Vogalonga and we encourage you to register your Expression of Interest for the Vogalonga in 2025 through this link. 


Group Management using the RevSport platform

Have you ever wanted to learn about the software platform called RevSport that is used to run our sport nationwide? AusDBF has organised training sessions from basic to advanced. Below are the links to register for these training sessions. AusDBF hopes that by partnering with revSPORT to provde these training sessions they will assist group comittees in preparation for next financial year (dragon boat season) and to better utilise all the functions in revSPORT. The sessions will run for 30-40 minutes. Short and sharp! DAA encourages any member on your Group Committee who use revSPORT to register for the training sessions.

Click on this link to download more information on the webinar series.
Click on this link for further information.

We’re Ready! Bring on the Ord Marathon

The Long Paddle Training Event at Bairnsdale over the weekend was a terrific success. There are already calls to make it an annual paddling fixture.

Women from across Victoria and NSW came down to Bairnsdale to paddle 35km to develop the confidence that they can, indeed, complete the 55km Marathon Event on the Ord River in WA. In an old fashioned approach, our visitors were offered accommodation with club members from the local DA Gippsland Waratahs Club – and everyone loved it. We took our visitors to the river, to the pub, to Pier 70 in Paynesville and even the Annameike Mein exhibition in Sale for those that had time. As hosts, we were delighted to share our paddling stories and develop friendships with ladies from the DAA Community.

Visitors combined with DA Waratahs to paddle from the Howitt Park Boat ramp in Bairnsdale, to the Eagle Point Jetty, to the mouth of Lake King and then return. The paddle was broken up with morning tea and lunch giving everyone the chance of a modest rest between ‘legs’. We were surprised the paddle took less than 4 hours overall and everyone ‘pulled up’ well and paddled again on Sunday morning if they were able to stay. Timing alert! We did notice it took more time than expected to load, unload and reload - and that was only for one boat. It will need to be slick on the Ord with so many boats.

Some clubs don’t have the waterways to offer a training day like we did. We have a number of rivers and lakes we can paddle on depending on conditions and paddlers gave feedback it was terrific “not to be getting dizzy paddling around a lake”. The vision for the event was to offer a long training paddle for those who haven’t had a chance to attempt such a paddle, and also, to provide an event that was affordable to everyone and would build friendships. Mission accomplished. We all had a great time and may very well do it all again next year. So, put it on your calendar, the weekend after Mother’s Day, and we hope to see paddlers from even further afield in 2025. 

Paddles up, we know all our paddlers who trained on the weekend are ready for the Ord Marathon.

 On behalf of   Dragons Abreast Gippsland Waratahs

Due to an overwhelming response registrations for the 
Pink Paddle Power Festival
have now closed.

Dragons Abreast Hobart thank you for your support
and look forward to seeing you in October.

         Upcoming Events - mark your calendars now!

1-2nd June

Celebrating 20 years DA Townsville

9th June

Ord River 55km Marathon

6th July

DA Blue Mountains 1st Birthday Celebrations & Gala Launch Day 9.00-11am  Everyone welcome! Contact 0411 703449

25-27th Oct.

National Pink Paddle Power Festival to be hosted by DA Hobart, Pink Paddle Power | Facebook

28th Oct.

Dragon Boat Skills Clinic with Canadian coach, Kamini Jain in Hobart. Add your expression of interest here.

21st Nov.

DAA Annual General Meeting

23d Nov.

DA Canberra's 25th Anniversary, Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club 7.00am-2.00pm


7th-9th February


Sydney Lunar New Year Dragon Boat Festival 2025 – Expressions of Interest

8th June

Vogalonga, Italy, DAA Composite Boats Expressions of Interest


24-30th Aug.


IBCPC Regatta, Aix-les-Bains, France







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