The Hong Kong Island Paddle Club, now the Hong Kong VRC Paddle Club, marked its 20th anniversary in October 2013. Celebrating two decades of paddling in the waters of Hong Kong and also around the world,the paddling section has been a force to be reckoned with for many years. It is the oldest expat paddling club in Hong Kong, winning the Hong Kong Open Championships in men’s, mixed and women’s categories for the first time in 1996. That same year, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Federation was so impressed with its performance that they asked us to represent Hong Kong in the Asian Championships in 1996. The club’s performance at the championships earned us and Hong Kong three silver and one bronze out of only six finals, far surpassing all expectations.
Since the 1990s, the paddle club has gone on to compete successfully on the world stage indragon boat and outrigger canoe events. It was also the first expat team to compete in the local fishermen’s races. We still have some of the early founding members at the club, while others have gone on to form other clubs in the region, thereby expanding paddle sports in Asia.
A 20th Anniversary party was held at the VRC Deep Water Bay on Saturday, 26 October and included a star-studded cast of former and current paddlers who told stories of their memories, laughed at embarrassing photos and chatted with old friends. And of course… lots of food, drink and dancing!