The formation of Powerhouse DBRC came as a ladies team from the original Teesside crew, Hartlepool Powermen.
Hartlepool Power Station had entered a team in a charity raft race at the Headland. It was later cancelled and their coach Dave Price was approached by Chris Hare, a Hartlepool boat builder. Chris offered Dave’s team a place in a Dragonboat Race.
Chris came to the sport as the builder of the original racing Dragonboats in the UK from a mould brought from Hong Kong.
Hartlepool nuclear power station became involved with sponsorship and non power station employees also joined in, due to the number of people required for a dragon boat squad to be successful.
The Hartlepool Powermen went on to become one of the most successful teams in the 1990s winning national events, leagues, corporate championships both national and international (e.g. Hong Kong in Hyde Park).
The Powermen were involved in developing European and World Championships, hosting the 2004 European Championships (alongside Powerhouse), supplying coaches as well as competitors to a variety of national squads. Even appearing on the ITV show You Bet in 1994.
The crew disbanded when the coach Dave Price retired from the power station and moved away, this also coincided with the power station pulling its funding.
The Hartlepool Trophy is presented to the BDA Premier League Winners each year. The trophy was gifted to the BDA by the original Hartlepool Powermen team.
There is one Powerman left on the BDA circuit, he currently paddles with Three River Serpents in Durham,
Although the design and build of dragon boats for racing has moved on, many of the original Chris Hare two-piece boats are still in use around the country and world, being used by newcomers and event organisers in their first steps into our sport.