The Inletter link :


November, so far, has been a truly social month for the River Dragons. A general meeting, Oktoberfest and the annual Christmas weekend away to Burrill Lake.

Paddle wise the weather has been kind to us for a change. We have had the services of our own coach, Lesley, putting us through our “paces”, with endurance paddling and leaning forward to maintain 50%, 75% and 100% stretch. Pod work and race starts were also included in our training sessions. Both boats have been on the water with the numbers of paddlers attending the sessions varying between 10 and 18.

Oktoberfest at the Whitwell’s was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed. Members dressed accordingly and we wined and dined with appropriate food and drinks. Barb’s TV star son, “Wombat” came along as the celebrity guest and he was kind enough to pose for the many photos requested of him. Congratulations to Lesley Harrower and Tony Pollard who won the “Best Dressed” awards. For photos of the fabulous event please visit our Facebook page.

On the 11th November a group of River Dragons attended the RSL Remembrance Day service, and paid their respects for the fallen service men and women.

The weekend of the 17th to 20th November was the highlight of the year with approximately 50 members and friends staying in tents, motor homes, caravans and cabins at the Big 4 Caravan Park, Burrill Lake. Friday was a come in bad taste cocktail party which the River Dragons embraced in their usual enthusiastic manner. Saturday saw a huge feast of all manner of delectable food on offer. After eating lunch, and before the magnificent desserts were placed on display, “Dragonfly” had her eyes opened, or dotted. This is a traditional part of dragon boating where the dragon boat’s eyes are dotted. Barb explained the procedure and Lesley performed the “dotting” ceremony.

The “eye dotting” is actually the “awakening of the dragon”, and in Asian culture the ceremony is about respecting the dragon and getting him into a good and friendly mood towards the team and the community.

Lesley Tully presented Barb with the Coach’s award and Barb Price, as Club Captain, gave her award to Steve Woodger. Brenton Whitwell, President, gave his thanks on behalf of the club and presented to Maxine Baldwin a hamper for the outstanding work she had done over the weekend. This was loudly acclaimed with applause from all the River Dragons.

Coming up we have the Elite Energy event at Callala on 9th and 10th December and the Christmas paddle around the Island.  On Tuesday 19th December, hopefully, both boats will be on the water with the River Dragons dressed in the finest Chrissie gear. Look out for Santa on Dragonheart II.

We then break for the Christmas/New Year period with our first paddle being Saturday 20th January 2018.

Like us on Facebook further information in regard to contact details or paddle times, check our training times and contact us tabs.


A very difficult month of September for the River Dragons, with gale force winds and the nasty influenza virus rampant in Sussex Inlet, we only managed a total of four paddles in the entire month. But, on saying that when we did go out we had fabulous training sessions from our new coach, Lesley Tully.  Race starts and power stroking were the main areas Lesley concentrated on. We welcomed on the boat Hayley and Isla Lawson from Kurnell who thoroughly enjoyed themselves on Dragonheart II.

October was much better for us, weather wise, although the strong winds stopped us going out a couple of times. We again welcomed three “newbies” coming out for trial paddles, Brian and Debra Reynolds and Beverley Pollit. You will be more than welcome back on the boat whenever you wish to paddle around the Island Township again.

Dragonfly was our boat of choice with most sessions bringing 9 to 12 paddlers out to play on the water. Lesley put us through some strong training sessions with race starts, pod work and paddle techniques exercises. We managed an endurance paddle from our launch site at the RSL to Mal’s place, just past Cater Crescent Island.

Socially, as always, the River Dragons had a fabulous time at the Pink Night, dressing up and having fun. Wayne and the “Bride” made a beautiful couple and Steve, yet again, won the whiskey toss. Some of the committee attended the Rotary Changeover Dinner and we thank Rotary for their ongoing support to our club.

On the 28th October a group of River Dragons and friends volunteered at the Long Course Weekend, Jervis Bay, where we handed out drinks and fruit to the bike riders. I would particularly like to thank John Buckley who came from Mollymook and Heather and Sam Dunnett. Your help in this fund raiser for the club was most appreciated.

We have listed in the social calendar on the 4th November a General meeting at the Fisho’s Shed and the Annual Oktoberfest at the Whitwell’s that evening. And paddlers, don’t forget our Burrill Lake excursion the 17th to 19th November.



As we all know August is the month of winds and cold weather and the River Dragons experienced both whilst paddling the waterways of Sussex Inlet. Most of our paddling sessions have been in very windy weather with choppy water. But – dragon boating is a water sport so if we got wet with the waves crashing over the boat, so be it! But it felt good to put the boat away and get into the nice warm car to go home.

Our new Coach, Lesley Tully, has put us through some new and interesting exercises. We now sit straight on in the boat, whereas before we sat at a slight angle. Lesley also took us through a revised race start and power strokes she learnt at her recent coaching course.

Socially the River Dragons were seen at the “Save the Church” rally and a small group of paddlers attended the showing of the “Kokoda – The spirit Lives On” documentary at the RSL Club.

Saturday 26th August saw Dragonfly skimming over the water at Swan Lake. The water was crystal clear and the weather warm. Three times Dragonfly went out, twice for training sessions and the third, and last, time was purely a fun paddle up and down the shores of the lake. After packing up and securing the boat to the trailer, we journeyed down to Berrara for brunch. What a magnificent venue to eat our bacon and egg rolls, standing on the side of the cliff looking at the ocean. Many thanks to Tricia and Jack Taylor for opening up their fabulous house for us, same time next month maybe??

Tuesday 29th August, with 12 on board Dragonfly, Lesley was assessed as part of her coaching course. Congratulations Lesley on passing with flying colours and you are now on your way to be a “certified” coach of the River Dragons.

Paddlers please note change of paddling times for summer, Tuesday and Thursday 3.30 for 4pm on the water and Saturday 8.30 for 9am on the water. If you are interested in trialling dragon boating please join us at the Fisho’s Shed, RSL Club at the times listed above. For contact details please read the Inletter or visit our Facebook page & you will also find the information on our website on the Contact Us tab.


Thursday 7th September – a beautiful twilight paddle into the Keys, meet at 5pm at the Fisho’s Shed for 5.30pm on the water, weather permitting. Dinner at the RSL Club on our return.

Saturday 9th September – our annual Sports Day at the “Gramax” property. Lots of fun, laughter, good food and hilarious games.

Sunday 17th September – Nowra Community Regatta.

Sunday 24th September – Elite Energy volunteer day at Huskisson.

JULY 2017

July has been a very busy month for the River Dragons, even with the chilly mornings and crisp afternoons we have had both boats out on the water on a couple of occasions. Great to see Dragonheart II and Dragonfly racing around the Island Township. We welcome Valerie, from Ulladulla, as a “newbie” and look forward to her joining our club.

THE social event of the month was the Soup and Damper night at the Whitwell’s, with the cold night air making some of the paddlers rather “ill” on Sunday morning. The River Dragons thank Thingamabobs most sincerely for their generous donations, which were raffled during the evening.

The River Dragons would also like to thank the staff at Pelican Shores and Jopen for coping with a large number of paddlers descending on their premises for the mandatory Saturday bacon and egg rolls.

Saturday 29th July was our AGM and we welcome to the 2017/18 year the following committee. President Brenton Whitwell, Vice President Lesley Harrower, Secretary Karen Roberts, Treasurer Kathy Strong, Events Coordinator Maxine Baldwin and Club Captain Barbara Price. John O’Callaghan was thanked for his many years as our coach and L3 sweep as he is taking a sabbatical but hopefully will be back on the boat in the next year or so. Taking John’s place as coach is Lesley Tully and we wish her well in her coaching endeavours. Steve Woodger is more than ½ way through his sweep accreditation and the club look forward to Steve becoming a L2 sweep.

The following events are marked in our calendar:

Sunday 20th August – Elite Energy event

Saturday 26th August –  Berrara Lagoon paddle

Thursday 7th September – twilight paddle

Sunday 17th September –  Nowra Community Regatta

Spring is fast approaching and the weather and water conditions are truly perfect for a paddle around the Island Township. If you would like to trial dragon boating click on our training times and come on down.

JUNE 2017

The weather gods have been reasonably kind to us with the River Dragons being able to go out most training days. We have paddled around the Island Township, down to Marine Rescue, into the Keys and even to the entrance of the basin. We have taken either the 10 or 20 seater out, depending on the number of paddlers ready to work hard. Sweeps Barb and Brenton have taken us through some vigorous training sessions as coach John O’C is currently “resting”, so hurry back, John, we miss you.

Our Saturday brunch venues have been Jopen, Pelican Shores, Riviera Caravan Park and the RSL Club and the River Dragons thank you all for the coffee and egg & bacon rolls. We all look forward to this social break after a hard session on the water on a Saturday morning.

The River Dragons stayed after brunch on Saturday 24th June to decorate the RSL auditorium, in readiness of the Cancer Support Masquerade Ball. The ball itself was a fabulous night with Maxine winning $100, Steve getting the “Best Dressed Male” award and the River Dragons getting first prize as the Bested Dressed Group. Well done guys, you really know how to party. Thanks must go to Annette who supplied the beautifully painted Lucky Door prize.

Paddlers are reminded that we are now into winter training times, 2.30 for 3pm on the water Tuesdays and 8.30 for 9am on the water Saturdays. There is no Thursday padding until further notice.

APRIL / MAY 2017

An amazing couple of months for the River Dragons. Since our last publicity we have had both boats out on a number of occasions, with lots of sessions being cancelled due to no sweeps, rain and strong winds. We have had our brunch at Pelican Shores, Jopen and the RSL Club and we truly thank these venues for feeding a bunch of noisy, hungry paddlers after their Saturday paddle around the Island.

Socially we had a fabulous Easter paddle around the Island Township, again taking out both boats. Lynn attended the Australian Dragon Boat Championship in Wodonga in an “official” capacity, 19th to 24th April, and a group of eight early morning risers went to Batemans Bay for the Elite Energy Triathlon on the 23rd April, volunteering in the Aid Station. Thanks to Kathy, Terry, Carol, Colleen, Bob, Tricia, Jack and Patricia – the club appreciates your support in these events.

Our major social night was the Mother’s Day dinner at Pelican Shores, where we had a fabulous meal with lots of raffles and we thank Maxine for, yet again, putting on a magnificent night. The River Dragons would like to publicly thank the following business for their support to our club; Exquisite Hair, Just a Little Look, Me Time Beauty Spa, RSL Bamboo River Restaurant, For the Love of Flowers, Bowling Club 22nd End Restaurant, Inlet Bakery and Cafe and Thingamabobs. Your donations to use as raffles was much appreciated.

Paddlers are reminded that we are now into winter training times, 2.30 for 3pm on the water Tuesdays and 8.30 for 9am on the water Saturdays. There is no Thursday padding until further notice.

Coming up in our busy social calendar we have the RSL Fireworks and dinner, the Biggest Morning Tea and a masquerade ball for Cancer Support, all being held at the RSL Club.

MARCH 2017

On Wednesday the 15th March, a group of River Dragons pushed both boats down to the Fisho’s Shed and, in the intermittent rain, washed, dried, polished and generally “made beautiful” Dragonheart 11 and Dragonfly. Many thanks to this little band of beauticians who made both boats sparkle and shine for Dragonheart 11,s big day.

Saturday 18th, with mud and water ankle deep in the RSL overflow carpark, the boats were again at the Fisho’s Shed for presentation to the public. Members arrived at 8am to position the boats, prepare the tables and BBQ area and set out the morning tea. At approximately 10am more River Dragons arrived, along with representatives from both Illawarra and SUDU dragon boat clubs. After a feast of tea, coffee and cake the ceremony began with Brenton Whitwell as MC. Club President, Karen Roberts, gave the club history the Patricia White, Shoalhaven Deputy Mayor, spoke on the mechanics of the grant application to actually purchase the new boat.

The Reverend Philip Oliver, spoke on the meaning of “blessing a boat”, performed the blessing of Dragonheart 11, and said a prayer for the safety of all who paddled in her.

Karen then called on Lynn Wild, Director of the Sussex Inlet RSL Club, to receive a certificate of appreciation to the RSL club. Lynn will present this certificate to the Board of Directors of the RSL.

Club Captain, Barb Price, explained the meaning behind the “dotting or opening of the eye” function, and then proceeded to dot the eyes of the newly blessed Dragonheart 11.

After the blessing ceremony a celebratory cake was cut by Maxine, Jacqui and Kathy.

Official part of the proceedings over more tea, coffee and cake were consumed while waiting for the BBQ lunch to take place. After a fabulous luncheon those hearty little paddlers then had a paddle around the Island before coming back to shore to eat some more food.

Many thanks to the Club Executive, Karen, Brenton, Jacqui, Kathy, Maxine and Barb, for organising such a wonderful and meaningful day. A huge thanks to Philip Oliver for his heartfelt blessing and to Patricia White for her speech as Deputy Mayor. The River Dragons extend their appreciation for the attendance of Dana Freeman International Dragon Boat Federation official, Fiona Phillips Labor member for Gilmore, John Kinsey as photographer, representatives from Illawarra and SUDU clubs, Lynn Wild Director of the RSL Club and to  River Dragons, both paddlers and social, who attended this fantastic “naming and blessing” of Dragonheart 11. Thanks also go to the RSL Sailfish Fishing Club for the use of their tablecloths, much appreciated, and to the RSL Club management and staff for their ongoing support to the River Dragons. Money for the purchase of the new dragon boat came from grants from the NSW Government, the Sussex Inlet RSL Club and Stocklands Community Grants.

If you would like a trial paddle on either Dragonfly or Dragonheart 11 come to the RSL Fisho’s Shed Tuesday or Thursday 3.30 for 4pm on the water or Saturday 8.30 for 9am on the water. Contact details can be found in the Inletter or here on our website


River Dragons and Dragonheart 11 Barb, Karen and Brenton Blessing the boat - Rev Philip Oliver Brenton Whitwell, Lynn Wild and Karen Roberts Cutting the cake


February was a busy month for the River Dragons, with a general meeting and lunch at the RSL and 28 members going to the Flowing Festival at Jindabyne.

On Saturday 4th February we had our usual paddle around the island then adjourned to the RSL Club for our General Meeting and lunch. Some paddling sessions during the month had been cancelled due to weather too hot, thunderstorms brewing on the horizon or no sweeps available. When we did go out we practised for Jindabyne by paddling for at least 15 minutes straight or from the launch site at the RSL Club up to Jacobs Drive Bridge along Criss creek.

On the 18th February 25 paddlers, plus three of our sweeps, the River Dragons gathered in the Banjo Patterson Reserve at Lake Jindabyne for the open 2km dragon boat race. We were in the first heat and, with John O’C at the back of the boat, the River Dragons acquitted themselves most admirably.  It was a difficult course with unanticipated turns, a boat we weren’t used to and other dragon boats very close to us.  Considering the aggregate age of our paddlers, compared to the other clubs, we finished feeling very proud of our performance.

Sunday 19th, the River Dragons met again at the club marquee for the 200m races, participating in two heats in the mixed events and a men’s only race. The River Dragonettes combined with the Illawarra ladies and managed a very noteworthy 4th. All-in-all a very exciting and exhilarating day for dragon boating.

Sunday evening a total of 33 paddlers and friends convened in Brumby’s Bar for dinner and a delicious dessert celebrating Secretary Jacqui’s significant birthday. All in attendance voted to return to Jindabyne for the Flowing Festival in two years time.

Saturday evening 25th February the brains of the River Dragons attended the Choppers for Charity Trivia Night, coming 2nd in the trivia quiz. Well done members.

As in previous year’s the River Dragons marched in the annual Choppers for Charity parade on Sunday 26th, walking alongside the decorated Dragonfly. As the weather looked rather unsettled it was decided not to take people out for a trial paddle.

The club is back to normal paddling sessions now that Jindabyne is over.

We are proud to announce the blessing of our new boat, Dragonheat II, on Saturday 18th March. The River Dragons were able to purchase a new dragon boat with the assistance of grants from Stocklands Community Grants, the RSL Club and the NSW Government and with the members volunteering at Elite Energy events.

If you wish to trial dragon boating come down to the Fisho’s Shed, at the RSL Club, on Tuesday, Thursday afternoons or Saturday morning. Contact details can be found in the Inletter, on our Facebook page or here on our website


River Dragons committeeRiver Dragons at the RSL River Dragons ready to race Turn around buoy - 2k race


January was an interesting month weather wise, hot one paddling session, cancelled due to strong winds the next, but we still had fun on the water. Had a great time at Duck Dash where we took 18 lucky people out for a trial paddle. We have even gained a new member from this Rotary charity day.

First paddle for 2017 was on the 14th January with our mandatory Saturday brunch taking place at Barb and Frank’s place. This brunch was so well received that no-one wanted to go home.

We are in training for the Jindabyne Regatta where the River Dragons will participate in a 2km timed race. This weekend is on the 18th and 19th February and should be a fantastic time. When you see us paddling non-stop for up to 15 minutes, that’s what we are practicing for. Our training sessions have  included pod work and resistance paddling where half the paddlers on the boat paddle and the other half “digs” their paddles into the water, causing resistance or drag on the water. Good workout. We have also managed a couple of races in front of the RSL Club.

On the 21st we managed to take both boats out, doing races, resistance training and some pod work. It was good to have both boats on the water, when we had races against each other.

Our Australia Day paddle took place on Saturday 28th, with the boat people dressed up in Aussie gear. Made lots of noise as we paddled around the Island Township in very choppy conditions.  After we put Dragonheart II away we went to Karen and Steve’s for another BBQ brunch.

A huge “thank you” to Barb, Frank, Karen and Steve for putting on the BBQ brunches. Can we have these at least once a month????

River Dragons please note the Jindabyne weekend 18th and 19th February and “Choppers for Charity” on Sunday 26th February.

On Saturday 18th March we will be holding a naming and blessing ceremony of our new 20 seater dragon boat “Dragonheart II”. All are invited to this wondrous occasion, to be held at the RSL’s Fisho’s Shed. More details on this event next month & on Facebook.

The Dragon Lady.

River Dragons at the Duck Dash And we're racing Aussie River Dragons Paddlers in Aussie shirts


Paddling sessions in December were mostly training for the Jindabyne 2km challenge. We are slowly getting stronger and will certainly put on a good show in February. Saturday 10th December paddling was cancelled as most club members volunteered at the Elite Energy Callala Triathlon.

On Saturday 17th we collected Dragonheart II from Karen’s place, where it had been stored for a couple of weeks. Both boats were taken from the RSL compound at the beginning of December  as the RSL club had a new air conditioning unit installed, and we thank Mal and Karen for looking after our boats. Both Dragonheart II and Dragonfly are safely back in the RSL compound and we again thank the RSL club for allowing us to store our boats in this secure area.

All dressed in Christmas t-shirts and hats, and Dragonheart II with his red nose and reindeer ears, we paddled around the Island on Tuesday 20th December handing out lollies to any children waiting on their wharves or backyards. Thanks go to two lovely ladies who presented us with a box of chocolates (which we ate to keep up our strength) and for handing us a cash donation.

Weather was not kind to us on the Christmas paddle with heavy clouds and light intermittent rain, but that didn’t stop us for having a wonderful time singing Christmas carols. Once the boat was washed and put away for the rest of the year, we changed into our club uniform and went into the RSL club for a much needed drink and an early dinner. Club members who weren’t present on the boat joined us at the RSL and we re-organised some tables in the auditorium to allow us to sit together. Good finish to the 2016 paddling year.

The River Dragons will be present at the Rotary Duck Dash and the first paddling session for 2017 will be on Saturday 14th January. The Jindabyne 2km Challenge is booked for the 19th February with most club members making a long weekend of it.

Summer is finally here and if your New Year’s Resolution is to  ramp up your fitness levels or you were thinking about coming  with us for a trial paddle, please check this website for training times and or contact details. We meet at the Fisho’s Shed at the RSL Club on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning and we would welcome you on board.

The Dragon Lady

some-of-the-river-dragons-at-callala the-river-dragons-at-the-rsl-club reindeer-dragon river-dragons-on-their-christmas-paddle


November had us celebrating Melbourne Cup, Oktoberfest and a weekend at Burrill Lake, as we enjoy our social activities as well as being a sports club.

Our paddling sessions consisted of mainly pod work and stamina sessions. We are going to Jindabyne in February and will participate in the distance race of 2kms straight paddling.    From our launch site at the RSL Club to the Jacobs Drive Bridge, anti-clockwise, is our 2km mark and we are trying to get our times down from 15 minutes to, hopefully, 12 minutes or less. When you see us paddling fiercely along this direction please yell out encouragement.  We love it when you acknowledge us on the water.

Our boat of choice has been the little girl, Dragonfly, with occasional sessions on Dragonheart II. Our training sessions have consisted of pod work, long and strong and our favourite, John’s 6 back then 5 forward building up to 20 strokes.

The River Dragons had great food, lots of wine and beer, participated in a fashion parade and (some of us) won money at the Melbourne Cup function at the RSL Club on Tuesday 1st November.  Saturday 5th we went to the Whitwells where we ate, drank and made merry for Oktoberfest. Congratulations to Brenton and Jacqui, and their helpers, for arranging such a fabulous day, can we lock in the same for next year?

The Christmas Party weekend this year was held at the Big 4 caravan park at Burrill Lake, where River Dragons, both paddlers and social members, had a truly magnificent time. Some members travelled down on Friday 17th with the rest of the club journeying down on Saturday 18th for our Christmas lunch, prize giving and present receiving. Warmest congratulations to Terry Strong for receiving the coaches award and to Graham Baldwin for getting the award from Barb, our club captain. Lynn Wild was given an appreciation gift from the club for the work done on obtaining a grant for the 20 seater. We thank our out of town members, Jan from the deep South and Vince and Susan from the north of Sydney for coming to this weekend.

What a brilliant weekend and many many thanks go to Barb and Frank, Brenton and Jacqui, Karen and Steven and especially Maxine and Graham for the organisation of this much enjoyed event. The River Dragons will descent on the Big 4 caravan park at Burrill Lake again next year.

Summer is finally here and we can perhaps rely on reasonable weather for a change. If you are thinking of ramping up your fitness levels or even wish to perhaps come around the Island township with us for a trial paddle, please click on our Contact us page for contact details. We meet at the Fisho’s Shed at the RSL Club on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning and would welcome you on board.

Paddlers please note that our last paddle for the 2016 will be the Christmas paddle on Tuesday 20th December, Rotary Duck Dash is booked for Saturday 7th January and our first training session for 2017 is Saturday 14th January.

The Dragon Lady




Again, the weather has defeated us with our paddling sessions. When we did go out we either paddled (quickly) around the Island or stayed in the main river or the Keys. We have increased our stamina training and this shows in the time taken to paddle around the Island township. Due to low numbers our usual boat of choice has been Dragonfly, but hopefully with summer on the way warmer weather will follow and you will see the River Dragons in “Dragonheart II” and/or “Dragonfly” Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays, on the beautiful Sussex waterways.

1st October saw the River Dragons paddle down to the Lions Country Fair where we wandered around, looked at the stalls, ate some food then paddled back to the RSL. An excellent session on the water as we paddled into tide and wind with an easy paddle on the way home. Also in October a group of paddlers and friends  joined the “Walk the Night” for leukaemia, we were at the RSL Club for the now famous “Pink Night” and finally our annual Sports Day.

The River Dragons warmly thank the following local businesses for their support and donations to the River Dragons Sports Day – Thongs, Pelican Shores, Pato’s Place Cafe, Riviera, Jopen, Seacrest Cafe, Batesy’s Fish Shop, Sussex Tavern, Sussex Tackle Shop, Inlet Butchery, For the Love of Flowers, Just a Little Look, Be Indulgence and the Sussex Bottlo. The sports day, held indoors due to the rain, was a thoroughly enjoyable day filled with friendship, fun, laughter, good food and wine and a lots of games. Medals were won and these are proudly displayed in the paddlers homes.  Our congratulations go to Maxine, our events coordinator, for the organisation of this much enjoyed day.

We welcome to our club new members, John and Tricia Taylor, may you both have many happy hours on, and off, the water with the River Dragons.

The Dragon Lady





The month of September saw the River Dragons very busy with the Father’s Day dinner at Pelican Shores, the Nowra Community Regatta and the Illawarra Dragon Boat club’s “blessing” of their new boat.

There were 25 paddlers and friends at Pelican Shores on Wednesday 7th to observe Father’s Day and to honour paddlers celebrating their September birthdays. A fabulous night with great food, lots of wine and heaps of laughter.

On Sunday 22nd 19 River Dragons participated in the annual Nowra Community Regatta. Racing in 4 events and coming 3rd in the Finals made for an invigorating, cold, sometimes wet, day. The club thanks our “out-of-town” members, Jan, Vince and Susan, who travelled from far North and South to paddle with us.

A huge thank you to Clinton Price who made up the numbers in the boat and is also helping with boat maintenance. Your support and help in the club is much appreciated. Congratulations to Brenton Whitwell for reaching his Level 3 sweep status, at this regatta. The club can now proudly boast four level 3 sweeps within our ranks.

Fellow club, Illawarra Dragon Boat Club, invited the River Dragons to attend the blessing of their new boat on Saturday 24th. Five club members went to this event and enjoyed the blessing, a paddle with Illawarra members on the lake and a BBQ lunch. A great day and an excellent bonding session.

Not many paddling sessions during the month of September, due to nasty weather with strong winds and rain preventing taking out a boat or two. Hopefully now spring has arrived you will see us once more paddling around the Island or up and down in front of the RSL Club.

Social events for paddlers to mark in their diaries are the Pink Night at the RSL Club on Saturday 15th October, Saturday 22nd October is the annual River Dragons Sports Day, and the Elite Energy tri-Husky on Sunday 30th October. There is the Melbourne Cup Luncheon at the RSL Club on Tuesday 1st November and our annual Xmas Party on Saturday 19th November at Burrill Lake. Further details on any of the above events can be obtained from Maxine, our Events Coordinator.

The Dragon Lady

the-dads lesley-tony-and-glenys



An awesome August for the River Dragons with Lynn attending, in an official capacity, DBNSW Race 1 at the Penrith Regatta Centre on Sunday 14th August and eight members volunteering at the ½ Husky Elite Energy event on Sunday 21st. Volunteering at these events raises money for the River Dragons and helps paddlers with their regatta fees.

Steve, our trainee sweep, managed a couple of sessions practicing his reversing and docking techniques and is steadily working towards his Level 2 sweep accreditation.

Dragonfly was the boat of choice on most training sessions, during August, with the exception of three occasions when we took out Dragonheart II.  Barb and John are taking us through races starts and stamina training, getting us ready for the Nowra Community Regatta, on Sunday 18th September.  We have managed, on two sessions to paddle up to, and under, the new Jacobs Drive Bridge and look forward to resuming our paddle around the Island Township.

The River Dragons welcome a new member to our club, Margie Lacey, and we wish her many happy hours on the water with us. Our usual coffee mornings on Saturdays have seen us at Seacrest and Jopen for our mandatory bacon and egg rolls.

Social events for paddlers to mark in their diaries are the Nowra Community Regatta on Sunday 18th September, Saturday 22nd October is the annual River Dragons Sports Day, and the Elite Energy tri-Husky on Sunday 30th October. Tonight, 7th September, we are gathered at Pelican Shores to celebrate Father’s Day.

Sussex Inlet residents are encouraged to come to the Nowra Regatta on Sunday 18th September to watch the dragon boats race. It is an amazing, noisy and very colourful spectacular with up to six dragon boats racing up the Shoalhaven River. Food and coffee vans will be available and there will be parking Marshalls to help you find a car spot. Come along and cheer on the River Dragons.

The Dragon Lady

River Dragons at Seacrest River Dragons at Vincentia New member Margie Lacey

JULY 2016

What an eventful month the River Dragons have had – bring in a new boat and take out the old one. The River Dragons have donated “Dragonheart” to a new club in Lake Illawarra, where she will float around the lake with new paddlers. On Tuesday 19th July members from SUDU, the new Lake Illawarra Club, came and collected “Dragonheart” from the RSL compound. She is a good sturdy boat and we will miss her. Her new name is “Sudu Spirit”.

On Saturday 23rd 28 River Dragons danced the night away at the FABBA concert at the RSL Club, and again on Sunday a group of paddlers went along to the Ukulele Dance Night. Food and music on both nights were fantastic and a great night was had by all. Wednesday 3rd August saw 12 River Dragons try their luck and skill at tenpin bowling at the Ulladulla Dunn Lewis Centre, after which they enjoyed a scrumptious lunch before going off on different shopping trips.

Apart from all our social functions we fitted in some serious paddling sessions. Our new boat, “Dragonheart II” has been trialled and all paddlers agree she is smooth on the water, easy to control and we even get her up on a plane when we paddle fast enough. Most sessions have been contained in the main river and either down to Marine Rescue or up to Badgee due to strong winds. We have gone up to check out the Jacobs Drive Bridge and although we can’t get under it yet we look forward to again paddling around the Island Township.

The River Dragons are now in training for the Nowra Community Regatta and you will see us racing up and down the river, getting our race calls in order. The regatta, to be held on 18th September, is a great way to get together with friends and fellow paddlers and race on the beautiful Shoalhaven River. Come down to Nowra on Sunday 18th, bring a blanket, buy some food and enjoy the spectacular of dragon boat racing. There is plenty of parking and the day is hosted by the Nowra Waterdragons. Brenton Whitwell will sweep our team in at least two races to complete his L3 sweep accreditation.

Congratulations to Lynn Wild who successfully passed her Officials examination and is now an AusDBF Grade 2 Official, well done Lynn!

Our future events are a fabulous evening planned for Father’s Day at Pelican Shores, Wednesday 7th September and of course the Nowra Community Regatta on Sunday 18th September.

If you would like to get into a “get fit” regime ready for summer come down to the Fisho’s Shed on Tuesdays at 2.30pm or Saturdays at 9.30am for a trial paddle. Summer times will come into effect from the 1st September 2016 and contact details are in the Inletter or here on our website under contacts & training times.


Bowling River Dragons Dragonheart II River Dragons at FABBA



The River Dragons have had a most eventful week, with a new committee AND a new boat.

Although not being able to paddle due to wind and rain a group of River Dragons and friends went to the compound on Tuesday afternoon to move the “old girl” to a storage space next to the water tanks. “Dragonheart” hopefully will go to a new club in the Wollongong region, as a training boat. She has served us well but she really needed to be retired from active service. Thanks go to club members and to Theo and Kerrie who pushed, shoved, lifted and generally manhandled “Dragonheart” to her temporary storage spot.

Tuesday evening, in the cold, wind and freezing rain the new boat arrived. Again thanks must go to the club members who returned to the RSL and to Theo, Simon and Phil who helped slide the boat off the carrier and carry it into the compound. The River Dragons are most appreciative to Stocklands, the RSL and the NSW Government for the grants and to the Lions Club for their generous donation – all of which allowed us to purchase a Champion dragon boat from Brisbane. This new boat will replace “Dragonheart” and you will see “Dragonheart II” on the water during coming weeks. She is a beautiful lady with a stunning head and a silver tongue stud, very modern. 

On Saturday 16th July the 6th Annual General Meeting was held and congratulations must go to the new committee for the 2016/17 year. Elected were President Karen Roberts, V-President Brenton Whitwell, Secretary Jacqui Whitwell, Treasurer Kathy Strong, Events Coordinator Maxine Baldwin and new on the committee Club Captain Barb Price. 

Following the meeting we took the new boat out to see if she actually floated. She did float and handled beautifully with sixteen on board. She is long, very sleek, has an amazingly painted drum and has the prettiest dragon head you’ve ever seen. After our paddle along the river the River Dragons adjourned to the RSL Club for lunch. 

We thank the RSL Club for allowing us to store three dragon boats in the compound, if only for a short time. 


Up we go Many hands make light work River Dragons and Dragonheart 11 She floats She is a long boat DSCF0611 - Copy Carol and her second head - Copy 2016 - Copy