History

The Bei Loon Dragon Boat Club was started when paddlers split off from the Northern Beaches Dragon Boat Club in November 2003.

Prior to that time, the paddling activities of NBDBC (which started as Manly-Warringah), were based a number of times both in Narrabeen Lakes (just south of the bridge) and at the southern end of Winnererremy Bay (utilizing the Council depot work area).

NBDBC were offered a sponsorship by the Manly Wharf Bar, and following a membership vote, relocated their paddling activities to their current harbour-side site at Manly.

Bei Loon (meaning Northern Dragons) started with the paddlers remaining and initiated an active recruitment campaign, relocating to Rowland Reserve. The foundation Office Bearers were Wendy Smyth, Glenn Smyth and Angus Menzies. The club was later incorporated in 2009. A revised Constitution was introduced in 2014.

Our Breast Cancer Survivor paddlers, the Pittwater Pinks, were formed soon after Bei Loon during the 2004/05 season. Their first Bei Loon Committee Representative in 2005/06 was Peri Liddel.

The Pinks have now competed 4 times in the International Breast Cancer Festival…..Caloundra, Queensland (2007), Peterborough, Canada (2010), Sarasota, Florida, USA (2014) and Florence, Italy (2018).

By 2005/06 numbers had risen to 82 and peaked at 163 in the 2008/09 season. To logistically cope with those numbers, Bei Loon rented 2 boats in addition to the 3 owned by the Club. Around this time we regularly raced both Premier and Masters crews.

Following the 2010/2011 season numbers fell due to the creation of our now sister club, the Pittwater Dragon Boat Racing Club, whose members desired to establish an exclusive and purely competitive training and racing environment.

Further change occurred at the end of the 2013/14 season when founding member, President and Head Coach Glenn Smyth decided to leave the Club in order to establish another club based at Narrabeen. A small number of paddlers followed.

Competitively Bei Loon has been relatively strong.

We competed at the National Championships for the first time in 2008 in WA.

Bei Loon has now competed 12 times for 5 Gold, 20 Silver and 21 Bronze medals all won in Masters events.

We have also qualified a number of crews for the World Club Crew Championships. However, we only sent a crew for the first time to Szeged, Hungary in 2018 (Snr A Women).

The two crews that qualified for 2020 Aix les Bains, France (Snr A Women, Snr B Mixed) Club Crew World Championships were very disappointed with the Corona Virus cancellation.

At State competition level, Bei Loon still holds 3 race records:

  • Snr A Open 200m – 49.12
  • Snr A Mixed 500m – 2.04.25
  • Snr A Open 500m – 2.03.41

We had previously held the Snr A Women 200m record set in 2010 at 55.28.

DBNSW introduced an Honour Board Award in 2007. Since then, Bei Loon has won an award 7 times:

  • Snr A Mixed 2008
  • Snr A Women 2009
  • Snr A Open 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018.

Bei Loon has also had numerous Representatives at State and National Team level.