Exeter Chiefs At The Quay

It was around a year ago that Exeter Chiefs tried their hand at dragon boat racing to show off their colourful new club shirts. Here we see them enjoying themselves in our race boat Isca with our own Chrissie Hunt at the helm. We, of course, wish the Chiefs continued success with their restart this weekend.

Every year, Exe-Calibre normally introduces many new faces to our exciting team sport - guides, scouts, school and college students, charity crews, corporate team building events and so on. Sadly, we are not yet in a position to do so this year as we are still only training ourselves in small groups of single crew boats (see below). Hopefully, we'll be back in Isca soon.


Exeter Chiefs dragon boat racing at The Quay

Restarting With O1 Canoes

Wednesday 20th May saw the re-introduction of paddling on the water at Exe-Calibre under the social distancing guidelines. The O1 canoe has an outrigger and can therefore be used individually for dragon boat style paddling. This is a welcome step in the direction of restarting dragon boat paddling proper at some appropriate time in the future. The O1s are often used during the season for time trials over a distance of 500m to assess an individual paddler's fitness and ability. Pictured are Pete and Jason who are a couple of our more experienced paddlers who have also both had the honour of representing Great Britain in this fiercely competitive, yet very friendly sport. 


O1 Canoe paddling at Exe-Calibre  Dragon Boat Club, Exeter

Nottingham Regatta in July? (Cancelled)

The British Dragon Boat Association has now wisely cancelled the first half of the race season, which unfortunately has included our own regatta here at Exeter. However, this leaves the potential for our first race of the season to be at Nottingham on the River Trent on Sunday 26th July. Last year Nottingham was an excellent regatta for us with Exe-Calibre winning the 200m Mixed event by one second from Raging Dragons in a time of 50.92s. We later came second in the Mixed 2100m event. This time Raging Dragons overturned their earlier defeat to beat us by just a second. Our time for the longer race was 11m 14.32s. 


Exe-Calibre dragon boat crew at Nottingham Regatta 2019 racing on the River Trent.


Henley Winter Series Washout

Very sadly the Henley Winter Series of long distance dragon boat races has been cancelled because of the peristently high water levels on the River Thames over the winter. In fact, only the first regatta of the four planned took place back in November 2019. Exe-Calibre very bravely entered a 10 man baby dragon boat which was specially hired for the event. After a long and exhausting paddle, the crew finished 10th in the unfamiliar boat in a respectable time of 41 minutes 26 seconds.


 Exe-Calibre's 10 man entry for the 2019 Henley Winter Series 1 race on the River Thames.

Exe-Calibre Suspends Training

March 2020 - In view of the current situation, Exe-Calibre has temporarily suspended all on-water training and racing activities. The British Dragon Boat Association has also cancelled a number of early race fixtures, but is keeping the ones for the latter part of the season under review. In the meantime, Exe-Calibre is running an online circuits and yoga session for members on Sunday mornings at 9h30 am.