Annual Dublin Dragon Boat Regatta 2013 a Super Success 

Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock was home to its 3rd annual international dragon boat regatta on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September.  The event was a super success thanks to the generous support of lead sponsor, Waterways Ireland, and the brilliant organisation and passion of joint hosts, the Irish Dragon Boat Association and Plurabelle Paddlers.

Ifty Finn from Waterways Ireland said “It’s wonderful to have a full house at our Visitor Centre this weekend.  The amount of interest shown by paddlers, supporters and just passers-by who have found themselves enveloped in the atmosphere around the loading and unloading of dragon boats at our pontoon is fantastic.  We hope to have many of these people back to visit during the year ahead as we will be involved in multiple events happening in and around the Grand Canal Dock.”

The event attracted 60 teams including international teams from Dubai, Italy and England as well as novice teams from Ireland.  There were those who paddle professionally, those who have paddled for fun before and those who were paddling for the very first time.  Home teams came from all walks of life such as large corporates like Aegon Ireland, Google and LinkedIn to canoe clubs to gyms to football clubs to schools to local pubs to charities to the Irish Prison Service to St. Vincent’s and the Coombe hospitals to boats of friends and family members, with paddlers aged from 8 to 80 years!  Many teams used the event as an opportunity to raise funds for charity and the teams that raised the most money were Aegon Ireland and Matheson Solicitors.

Julie Doyle from the Irish Dragon Boat Association said “We were delighted to have such an eclectic mix of teams and it is very encouraging to see the extra efforts that so many went to in terms of fancy dress and commitment to the ‘having fun’ cause!  The fiery nature of many of the dragon boaters was evident as they paddled ferociously to gain the coveted dragon trophies in their particular category.  The ultimate ‘Squidgy Dragon’ award went to a great new home in the hands of Captain Smiley & the Wet Dreams Sailor Boys!”

Saturday’s racing also contained a breast cancer category, which saw the Dublin based Plurabelle Paddlers take 1st and 3rd places beating breast cancer teams from England and Italy.  Fiona Tiernan, founder of the Plurabelle Paddlers said “All our training paid off and the results for the Plurabelles was well deserved.  We didn’t just win but we improved our 2012 times by 4/5 seconds!”

Following the breast cancer category race, the breast cancer teams created a flower ceremony flotilla to recognise family and friends who have lost their battle with cancer.  Fiona Tiernan said some poignant words followed by a minutes silence and then all paddlers and spectators throw a delicate pink flower onto the water in memory of those gone before us.

Sunday’s paddling brought a tough challenge from Mother Nature but it didn’t dampen spirits! Officials worked hard to enable paddling to continue in very stormy conditions.  The paddlers showed great trust in their helms who managed to keep all boats upright and get over the finish line in one piece, though heart rates were definitely higher than they should have been.  The Dubai Marlins certainly learned a new style of paddling as Ireland didn’t disappoint with displaying extremes of weather across the two days.

The event was a terrific success with many teams vowing to return again next year. Though for those based in Ireland, why wait until September 2014 as there are breast cancer and regular dragon boat teams across Ireland ready to welcome new recruits. More information is available at or

For more information please contact:  

Julie Doyle, Chairman, Irish Dragon Boat Association –


1. Dubai Marlins at the ready…….

2. Dubai Marlins going for home….

3. Europa Donna Demons with winning grins


Notes to Editor

Note1: Dublin Dragon Boat Regatta Results

Results – Saturday, 14th Sept. 2013

International Challenge – 200m

1st – Dubai Marlins (Dubai Dragon Boat Racing Club)

2nd – GB Slayers  (English Dragon Boat Racing Club)

3rd – Plurabelle Paddlers (Irish Dragon Boat Racing Club)

Novice Challenge – 200m

1st – Google B

2nd – Boten Anna (Google)

3rd – Dublin Vikings (Irish Dragon Boat Racing Club)

Breast Cancer Survivors Challenge – 200m

1st – Plurabelle Paddlers (Irish Dragon Boat Racing Club)

2nd – Paddlers for Life (English Dragon Boat Racing Club)

3rd – Pure Belles (Irish Dragon Boat Racing Club)

Team Raised Most Money For Charity – ‘In First Plaice’ (Aegon Ireland Plc)

Best Fancy Dressed Team – Poseidon’s Daughters (Friends & Family)

Squidgy Dragon Award – Captain Smiley & The Wet Dreams (Friends & Family)

Results – Sunday, 15th Sept 2013

International Challenge – 400m

1st – Dubai Marlins

2nd – GB Slayers

3rd – Plurabelle Paddlers

Novice Challenge – 200m

1st – Barrowline Cromaboo (Barrowline Watersports Club)

2nd – The Suir Tings (Suir Dragon Paddlers Club)

3rd – The Knock (Castleknock College)

Under 18’s Challenge – 200m

1st – M&Ms (Muckross Park College & St. Michael’s College 5th Year Students)

2nd – Castleknock College

3rd – The Green Machine (Muckross Park College TY Students)

Breast Cancer Survivor’s Challenge – 400m

1st – Plurabelle Paddlers

2nd – Italian Pink Sisters (Italian Dragon Boat Racing Club)

3rd – Paddlers for Life

Team Raised Most Money for Charity – The Gongoozlers (Matheson Solicitors)

Best Fancy Dressed Team – Liquorice Allsorts (Friends & Family)

Squidgy Dragon Award – Paddlers for Life