As the largest Dragon Boat club in the Wellington region, we have more than one team so you can find a place to fit no matter your fitness level or age.

Our club is made up of people from all over and from all age groups, in 2016 we had 3 teams paddling Green Machine in the Open (mixed) division, Hutt Valley Heat in the Women’s division and the Silver Dragons in the Masters (40+) divisions.

VDC members also act as coaches, sweeps, or provide general support and advise for teams that are not in the club.

The Teams

Silver Dragons (mixed, masters)

This team consists of paddlers of 50 years and over (half are 60+) The Silver Dragons team is the first Grand Dragons team in Wellington and New Zealand and competed internationally In Australia in 2013.

Training:  TBC

Coach: Mark

Manager: Trevor Vickers

Hutt Valley Heat (womens)

This team is open to women of any age and paddling experience. Hutt Valley Heat won the Gold Medal at the 2016 Wellington International Dragonboat Festival and the Silver in 2017. They also competed for internationally in Bali in 2017 and came home with a Bronze.

Training: TBC

Coach: David Lundon

Manager: Georgina Garrett

Green Machine (mixed)

This VDC Mixed Team is for all paddlers male or female. It’s a strong team that has been going for a few years now. One of the hardest divisions is the mixed open division and Green Machine rise to the challenge.

Training: TBC

Coach: Trent McKenzie

Manager: Elizabeth Claridge

4th B with U
(mixed)

This new VDC Mixed Team is for all paddlers male or female. It’s a new team that has 1 season under it’s belt.

Training: TBC

Coach: Jacob de Feijter

Manager: TBC

The People

Rachel Calvert

Club President and Paddler
Rachel has been dragon boating for over 10 years and has been paddling with VDC since 2013. Rachel took over management of the women’s team VDC Heat in 2015 and in 2019 she became Club President of Valley Dragonboat Club. She has a huge passion for dragon boating and is very dedicated to the development and growth for the sport in Wellington and New Zealand. 

Kathryn Park

Club Secretary, Nationals Manger and Paddler

Kathryn has been paddling for many years and joined VDC 2 seasons ago.

David Lundon

Sweep, Coach and Paddler

Dave started paddling as a stroke in the mid 90’s then took up sweeping when he realised it is easier to yell at paddlers instead of paddling yourself. Dave has swept at the 2007 World Championships. He has also steered UHC and several corporate teams safely across the finish line in Wellington and at National championships.

Jacob de Feijter

Sweep, Coach, and Paddler

Jacob’s first dragon boating race was in 1989 in Singapore. Over the last 20 years, he coached many teams including schools, corporate, and BreastCancer Survivors teams. His crews have achieved more than 100 podium finishes in local, national, and international event. Jacob also paddles with VDC but finds it hard to keep his mouth shut and not give instructions to the coach or sweep! Besides being active in VDC, Jacob is also Development Director on the New Zealand Dragon Boat Association and on the Central Region Dragon Boat Association Committee where he focuses on growing dragon boating in the region.

Calum Bennachie

Sweep and super awesome

Calum has many years experience, sweeping for a variety of teams. Easily spotted on the water, you can hear him barking his commands from miles away!

Kristin Cains

Fundraising & Sponsorship and Paddler
Kristin has been dragonboating for the VDC women’s team ‘Heat’ since 2010 with one season previously with The Dominion Post. She loves the social side of the sport, helping out the newbies in the team, having a laugh and paddling hard! On the side, she makes sure our fundraising and sponsorship goals are managed and fulfilled.
Here is a photo of Kristin hydrating between races at the Bali International Festival in 2017.

The Place

All training is held in Wellington Harbour or in Whairepo Lagoon on rough days. The boats are launched near the fountain at the Te Papa end of Frank Kitts Park.