Dragon boating is a fun team sport where teams paddle on water, using painted boats to which are attached decorative dragon heads and tails. The length of the race is 200m or 500m and the crew includes 20 paddlers, 1 sweep (the coach who steers the boat) and 1 drummer. It is a variation of rowing that originated in China and is still associated with the traditional Chinese dragon boat festival or Tuen Ng Festival in Hong Kong.
Westlake Boys competes in the Auckland Secondary Schools festival on Lake Pupuke in Term 1. The Auckland competition is usually in March and students train at 4pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. We have had two teams entered in recent years. Our current coach is Nico Tanu who is an ex Westlake Boys student.
Students are provided with a boat, life jackets and paddles to use at training sessions and for the competition. For safety reasons there is a teacher on land and a safety boat out on the water. Students must be able to swim 50m to participate. Fees are approximately $55.
This is an ideal sport for students who want to try something new and have no prior experience. It is also an option for exchange students who are at Westlake for a short time.
The number of schools competing in the Auckland Competition is increasing, and Westlake Boys has proven to be a very competitive team. The competing teams have to perform a chant or haka and Westlake Boys has been very successful on a number of occasions.
When the Auckland competition ends the students have the opportunity to compete at nationals, and join senior crews outside of school. In 2015 Westlake Boys won the Auckland and National Dragon Boating competitions.
Teacher in charge: Miss C Nasey