Manning River Dragons will have three young paddlers with international competition experience in their ranks when the club travels to Forster this weekend to compete in the annual regatta.
Alistair Adamson, Sean Page and Jade Page recently took part in the 2017 International Dragon Boat Federation World Nations Championships in France and will bring their experience to the local regatta at Elizabeth Reserve, Forster Keys on November 18 to 19.
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The event will be hosted by Great Lakes Pearl Dragons and president Denise Marr said all members of the club were banding together to make the event a success.
“It’s all hands on deck,” she said.
“We’ve also had great support from the community.”
Day one will see senior and junior community groups, sporting teams as well as businesses hit the water as well as the combined 500 metre and two kilometre race.
The regatta will close on Sunday with the 200 metre sprints.
An event highlight will include the Dragon Spirit Race for Mid Coast disability clients. This event will see two boats, containing both clients and their carers, compete in a 400 metre race.
“It’s to give them the experience of being on the water in a safe and controlled manner,” Denise said.
The regatta is set to attract more than a dozen sports teams from across NSW such as the North Coast, Illawarra, Sydney and Grafton.
Denise added that Newcastle would be one of the strongest competitors across the weekend.
“They are a big club and have come up the last few times,” she said.
Denise said the Pearl Dragons were also keen to add another chapter to their “friendly rivalry” with the Flamin Dragons Port Macquarie and Kempsey Macleay Dragon Boat Club.
The sides regularly compete against one another other at regional events before joining forces at out-of-area regattas.
With the responsibility of the regatta in the hands of the Dragons, the club is normally unable to field any teams in the sprints.
However, Denise said this year would be different as the club was prepared to work overtime to ensure the women’s open side have a paddle.
“We’re all working hard to get the women in the water,” Denise said.
“It will allow our newer members to join in with our other members.”
The side finished with a bronze medal in the 200 metre event at the Australian Dragon Boat Nationals earlier this year.