Dubbo heading to Taree for dragon boat regatta

For the first time a team from Dubbo will be in Taree for the annual Manning River Dragon Boat Regatta to be held tomorrow and Sunday.

“It’s a long way to come and they’re looking forward to the regatta,’’ MR Dragons club captain Jennifer Schubert said.

Six clubs will contest the regatta, with Dubbo joining Sydney, Newcastle, the hosts and others from North Coast centres.

“All the clubs will bring about 30 competitors, although Sydney’s a bigger club so they could bring a few more,’’ Jennifer said.

The number of clubs is down slightly on other years, but Jennifer said Manning River is still happy with the response. Twelve clubs took part in the 2017 regatta.

This was dominated by the Kempsey River Rats, with crews taking out the major events.

Races will be held at Endeavour Place in Taree near the Manning River Rowing Club.

On Saturday 2km turn races and 100 metre flag races will be on the program for Saturday, starting from 1pm.

“This is the first time we’ve held the flag races here,’’ Jennifer said.

“They’re a novelty event usually only held in Hawaii. But we’ve decided to add them to the program to see how they go. They’re fun to compete in and should also be good to watch.’’

On Sunday attention will turn to the 500 metre races, starting at 8am.

This will also be a first for the regatta.

“In the past we’ve run 200 metre races,’’ Jennifer explained.

“However, 500 metres will bring us into line with international races. This will be a first for our regatta and it will also be the first time some of the crews have been in a 500 metre race, so it should be a good test.’’

With fine weather predicted the club is hoping to attract good crowds to the riverbank to watch the two days of action.