Introducing the Hong Kong VRC Paddle Club

As you are probably aware, the Victoria Recreation Club’s rich and distinctive history in Hong Kong is based around competitive sports – notably rowing, swimming and water polo. The club’s original charter shows that one of the major objectives of the club is ‘To promote swimming, rowing and other sports and pastimes’. The Hong Kong Island Paddle Club, having paddled competitively from the VRC in Deep Water Bay since 1993, was delighted to continue this tradition by becoming a part of the Victoria Recreation Club in October 2011. The transition from being an independent club to merging with the VRC has been a lengthy and gradual process, but we now have a new name: ‘The Hong Kong VRC Paddle Club’, plus a new logo and race kit designed around the pictures of the original VRC Polo crew who competed in the 1930’s.

These days, the VRC Paddle Club has almost 100 active members, around half of whom are also VRC members. We are financially self-sufficient, raising money from membership fees, corporate team-building workshops and sponsorships, to cover running costs, repairs and new equipment. While our main focus is Dragon Boat and Outrigger Canoe paddling, we also train and race on Surfskis and Prone Paddle Boards, and incorporate running, swimming and circuit work into our cross training programme. At the moment, we operate mainly out of the Deep Water Bay premises, but there are plans to expand to Emerald Bay later this year.

Our coach, Robert Kawai, holds numerous titles, including eight time World Outrigger Canoe Champion, two time Winner USA Canoe Champs, and multiple NZ Surf Life Saving Title Holder. Under Rob’s (frequently painful) coaching, the VRC Paddle Club continues to be the premier paddling club in the region, winning or placing in major Outrigger Canoe competitions in Hong Kong, Australia and Hawaii, and taking home two silver and three bronze trophies at the 2012 Dragon Boat Club Crew World Championships in 2012.

However, it’s not only about our top race crews, we also welcome beginners and recreational paddlers to join our growing paddle section. With our growing fleet of three Dragon Boats, seven OC6’s, six OC1’s, three OC2’s, six Paddle Boards, and several Surf Skis, we have more room than ever to accommodate new paddlers.

Our paddling sessions are divided into three categories – Rookie, Club and Race Crew.

Why not come and give it a try?

Adam Giles
Hong Kong VRC Paddle Club