After many months of COVID restrictions and cancelled regattas the Manning River Dragon Boat Club will travel to Darling Harbour to be part of the two-day Sydney Lunar Festival this weekend.
Paddlers are excited to be finally participating.
Racing begins on Saturday for the sports club with the Taoist Blessing of the Waters and traditional eye dotting ceremony, during which the dragons are awoken and a safe weekend of racing assured.
The racing kicks off at 7.30am and wrap up around 4.30pm while Sunday racing involves Sydney Coorporate teams (business groups) which resumes at 9am and will finish mid-afternoon.
As part of the COVID considerations the seniors racing (those clubs with members older than 40) and conclude with Premier (clubs with younger paddlers) racing in the afternoon. The splitting of the age categories assists with reducing the number of people on site, allowing more people to volunteer for half the day, less time in the sun, less multi club handling of boats.
RELATED: Dragon boat club's come and try day
Manning River Dragon Boat Club will combined with Camden Haven Dragon Boat Club and are entering the Senior B (over 50) mixed category where the teams are required to have half the boat with men and the other with women. There are 15 Senior B teams entered in the 200m races in the morning so there is likely to be very competitive times for the races.
The Manning/Camden crew are also entered in the aenior A (40-50 year old age bracket) for the women's 20s and the opens 20s categories.
There are 13 senior A opens teams where most of the crew are males. Clubs from the regional areas find it difficult to recruit large numbers of men so often the crews are topped up with their stronger female paddlers.
A total of 15 senior A women's crews have been entered making for some tough racing to get to the finals.
The Year of the Tiger is looking very exciting for the Manning River Dragon Boat Club with nine of their paddlers trialling for the Northern Region State Team to race in the National Dragon Boat Championships in South Australia in early April.
The club is also excited to encourage locals to join their team on Saturday February 12 at 9.30am for their Come and Try Day. They are also introducing a five week Learn to Paddle Program for those that come along on February 12.
Contact club registrar, Karen Drury on 0410 608 042 to have a chat about trying out this sport.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.