NZCT Wellington Dragon Boat Festival
Wellington Harbour, nr Frank Kitts Park: 11-12 March 2017
Interislander is a proud sponsor of New Zealand's largest Dragon Boat Festival.
Dragon Boating involves 20 paddlers in one long banana shaped boat, with a sweep at the back to steer and a coach/caller up front. It's a 300 metre splash and dash race course with heats throughout the day, leading up to finals in the afternoon. The Wellington Dragon Boat Festival is run by two sisters, Wendy Smyth and Angela Sargeant, who describe dragon boating as the ultimate team building exercise. Training happens January to March after work on Monday to Thursdays for one hour on water sessions. This makes it perfect for companies wanting to promote team work, but not have their working day disrupted. It's a great reward for staff and shows the competitive spirit of a company. It's suitable from the office Junior through to the CEO. Why wouldn't you get out and enjoy summer on Wellington's great CBD based harbour?
As Dragon Boating has become so popular in Wellington, racing is now split over two days with Adult teams racing on the Saturday followed by the legendary Saturday night presentation party, while High schools race on the Sunday. The schools team chant competition in the lunch break can often be heard for miles. It's a must watch in the centre of Frank Kitts Park.
Racing categories have been expanded over the past five years. There is a Mixed Masters division for the 40 age group along with a Women's, Breast Cancer Survivor, Teacher and Parent and an OPEN division for Non corporate teams. So if you have a rugby team or simply a group of 20 friends, then you can join in the action over summer. Lastly, of course, is the ever popular Mixed Corporate Challenge.
First year crews are given a coach and sweep to get them started and training occurs after work at 6pm for one hour from January to March. All teams get a minimum of 8 to a maximum of 12 training sessions. High Schools train between 4-5pm and 5-6pm all February.
For spectators it's not only exciting to watch, but it's totally free. The best viewing spots are along the promenade off Frank Kitts Park. The spectacle is on from 9am to 5pm Saturday and 9am to 3pm Sunday.
Interislander sponsors the Wellington Dragon Boat Festival by carrying the essential rescue support boats to and from Wellington and bringing in specialised race day volunteers to make the festival weekend a top class international event.