Cockburn Dragon Boat Club
Cockburn Dragon Boat Club began life as a corporate team in 1985, drawing its members from the staff of the City of Cockburn Council and locals from the Cockburn area (located south of Fremantle, Western Australia).
Founding president Vince Green was a building inspector with City of Cockburn.
“The early boat races were at the Rockingham foreshore. It was the Catalpa Cup. Of the three or four-race event, Cockburn was always the strongest team. Funds to build the first dragon boat for Cockburn came from contributions of City of Cockburn staff,” recalled Vince.
Cockburn built its first Fremantle Class Dragon Boat, the “Spirit of Cockburn” in late 1987.
Ray Woodcock recalls race days in the very early times being held at Woodman’s Point and, depending on the weather, races held either on the south side or the north side. The races were all 500 metres. Vince measured out the course by driving his vehicle on the beach and taking the speedo reading to mark the 500m.
Continued expansion and unpredictable weather conditions saw the need to re-locate to the Swan River.
“The boat was stored at Vince Green’s place in Melville and had to be towed every training night to the beach just east of the Bicton baths hoping there would be enough paddlers there to go out on the water. Sadly there were some nights when there wasn’t, so it was towed back home,” said Ray.
With the need to store its growing fleet of boats the club later moved to the nearby East Fremantle Yacht Club on the Swan River and this is where we continue to paddle today.
The club currently has three fibre glass (IDBF Standard) Boats as well as one OC6 Outrigger, which is typically used over winter.
Early success saw paddler numbers quickly grow and soon Cockburn Dragon Boat Club was fielding Open, Women’s and Mixed crews.