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Welcome to Bathurst Pan Dragons Inc.

The Pan Dragons - Club Overview

Bathurst Pan Dragons is a dragon boating club based in Bathurst, NSW, Australia. It has been operating since January 2011, the club caters for both social and competitive paddling. The sport is suitable for all fitness levels for all adults and children over 10 years of age.

The club has grown steadily over its history spanning over 10 years. It has successfully raised funds to build the club shed at Chifley Dam and two dragon boats: a 20 paddler and 10 paddler. We travel several times throughout the year to take part in regattas against other clubs from around NSW and beyond. Prior to COVID-19, members from the club have competed in regattas including New Zealand, Hawaii (USA) and Venice.

The Club Logo

The 'Pan' in Pan Dragons relates not only to the iconic Mount Panorama/Wahluu car racing track but also to the history of gold panning in the Bathurst region. The club's logo has an orange circle symbolising a gold panning dish and the dragon's body and tail shape mirrors the renowned 'Esses' curves of the race track.

About The Sport

Dragon boating is a team sport that combines teamwork, technique, timing and power in a competitive, yet highly social, environment. It is a great sport to keep fit, improve strength and meet people.

The sport is a global phenomenon, with thousands of paddlers and events across the globe. In regattas, dragon boats are decorated with vibrant heads and tails. Sitting in 10 paired rows, 20 paddlers power the boats; their timing is regulated by the drummer at the front, while a sweep (steerer) controls the boat's direction with an oar at the back.

Race distances normally range from 200m up to 5km or more. Fast, furious and colourful, it's a great team-builder and an exciting spectacle to watch. Paddlers range all the way from recreational fun levels to performance elite teams. Typical regattas are sprint events with 500m races the most common. Dragon boating was inaugurated as an international sport starting from Hong Kong in 1976, modern racing is organised at an international level by the International Dragon Boat Federation which contains 72 member countries. In Australia, dragon boating began over 25 years ago when the Western Australian Surf Life Saving Association was invited to the Penang Festival. Since then state DB associations and numerous clubs have been formed across Australia. In NSW, Dragon Boat NSW (DBNSW) represents 64 clubs and more than 3 000 members.

Anyone who is interested in giving dragon boating a go with Bathurst Pan Dragons can do so free of charge for the first 5 sessions. See Come Join Us for more information.

Ancient Chinese Traditions

Dragon boat racing has its roots in ancient myths and legends. It began more than 2 000 years ago in southern China as a fertility rite held during the summer solstice to ensure plentiful crops and to avert misfortune. Early dragon boat races were mock battles to awaken the hibernating Heavenly Dragon.

Over the centuries a second story has integrated into dragon boat history. During the Warring States period in China, politics and society was typified by treachery and shifting alliances. A court official and poet named Qu Yuan, who was loved by the people, was bannished by the king. In despair for the fate of the kingdom he loved, Qu Yuan leapt into a river clutching a heavy rock. The local villagers raced out in their boats to try to save him. They beat drums and splashed the water with their paddles to keep the fish and water dragons from his body. They also threw rice wrapped in lotus leaves to attract fish elsewhere. These traditions still inspire festivals today. Brightly coloured boats with beating drums traverse waters during the Duan Wu (Dragon Boat Festival) on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. People eat zhongzi (rice cakes) in honour of Qu Yuan even today.

Club Sponsors

Bathurst Pan Dragons Inc. acknowledges and thanks our major sponsors.

For more information about becoming a sponsor - click here