Who Are we?

Yarra River Dragons are a Premier Racing Crew founded by David Abel and Eliza Campbell in 2011 and have been performing at podium level at Local, National and International Dragon Boat regattas since 2016. 

We pride ourselves on building paddlers from the ground up, with no experience necessary. The majority of our crew had never paddled before and just showed up with a desire for a new challenge.

Our paddlers are a diverse group and our culture fosters a supportive and inclusive environment aimed at building each other to be the best we can be. At YRDs you will find more than a sport, you'll find friends for life!

Whether you are looking for competition locally, representing Victoria State or Australia we will help you reach your goal.

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Key Achievements:


In 2019, our women's standard crew obtained a clean sweep at Auschamps in Canberra, winning Gold across all racing distances (200/500/2kms). We were therefore presented with the Gamble-Lewis Trophy for fastest Womens crew in Australia.

Also in 2019, our Head Coach David Abel was selected to be the Head Coach of the Australian National Crew, The Auroras.

In 2018, Yarra River Dragons traveled to Club Crew World Championships in Hungary and won a bronze in the womens small boat 500m.

In 2017, at the Australian Dragon Boat Championship in Albury our Mixed crew won Gold across all distances. We were presented with the Alexandrou Trophy for the Championship’s Overall Fastest Mixed Crew.

For a full archive of our National performance please click here.


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Fun facts about Yarra River Dragons

  • Our mascot dragon is called Eli, after a nickname for our founding member Eliza

  • Our youngest paddler is 16 and our oldest member, well…won’t tell us!

  • We have paddlers from UK, NZ, Norway, South Africa, Israel and many other places!

  • We are responsible for more than 5 couples and 3 marriages 😉

  • We build Leaders, with the 2016, 2017 and 2018 National crew captains all coming from our club

  • Collectively our coaching team have 35 years of experience!

  • We were part of breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest distance in a dragon boat


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