David Buckland's achievements as a dragon boat helm

During the 20 years David Buckland has been a Dragon boat paddler, he has helmed at race events, championships and novice charity events. Read more of his achievements.

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During the 20 years David Buckland has been a Dragon boat paddler, he has helmed at race events, championships and novice charity events. Read more of his achievements.


I got involved with Dragon Boats Racing over 20 years ago, with the Henley Dragons, where I raced, then eventually became a helm and coach. This enabled the crews to get out on our rivers to train and race at events under the BDA (British Dragon Boat Association) rules.

During the 20 years I have been a Dragon boat paddler, I have helmed at race events and novice charity events, including one for the army at Abingdon; that was interesting! Here are a few of my achievements:

  • I have supported many charities and competed in many events worldwide, including the Great River Races.
  • I have been selected for the Senior Mixed Great Britain team, who have gone on to race in the European Championship in Amsterdam and Budapest Championships.
  • I proudly participated in forming a crew that achieved the Guinness World Record for distance in a Dragon Boat in 24 hours.
  • I also paddled the 30km Vogalonga in Venice, among others. It was an immense privilege to train with the Purple Warriors (an ex-military veteran crew that may have health challenges).


From keeping the team safe, considering all aspects of weather, water conditions, boat/ equipment serviceability and, most importantly, the individual needs of the crew. 

Win or lose, I enjoy being a part of a dragon boat team. It is an incredible privilege and daunting responsibility to be able to helm and coach crews.


I like to ensure that paddling is fun as well as safe. It is a great sport for building friendships and camaraderie with other Dragons. I now aim to support BWD in all their aims and future goals, whether regattas, competing in events or just a pleasant social paddle along the River Stour. My enthusiasm and experience will be put to good use for the benefit of BWD.


Most of all, I just enjoy being part of a crew, undergoing challenging events, and social paddling. In short, I love Dragon boating!

David Buckland

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