Twenty-eight members from the Rainbow Dragons travelled in convoy to Urunga just south of Coffs Harbour last weekend and paddled on the beautiful Kalang River at the Coffs Coast Titivators Regatta.
This proved to be a particularly thrilling event for some of the new paddlers experiencing their first regatta as they stepped up to the mark.
Saturday’s 2k-turn race was not for the faint-hearted with seven boats in contention with mixed crews of men and women.
The Rainbows only had two men on board so it was a formidable challenge to keep up the pace. Boat one had a 20 second start by the first 500m buoy, then the Rainbows took an amazing tight turn, overtaking a boat on the inside and powering down the course.
What a rush for the crew, with the crowds on the riverbank cheering on their teams. Rainbow Dragons just missed out on fourth place by 1.5 seconds with a neck-and-neck finish to beat a boat with nine men on board – what an adrenalin rush. Focus and precision by the crew and impressive sweeping were on display.
Sundays racing had Mixed, Women’s and Men’s 10 teams take second place in the first races of the day. The Women’s and Men’s 10 crews then secured a win each in their second heat, with another win for the women in the third heat.
There was an unleashing of power, guts and determination to thrust the women’s team into first place in the final heat. To win a trophy in the final was sensational. Both the Women and Men’s 10 came third in the finals.
On land the camaraderie and team spirit was infectious; easy to see how once a team spirit is born, from the vigorous training sessions to warm ups, to the guards of honour for the winners, how difficult it would be to break this bond.
The majority of the Rainbow crew paddled in eight races on the Sunday but the exhilaration lingers on with the thirst for many more regattas to follow.
All the more reason to come and try. New paddlers are always welcome to join the Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club that trains at Lake Ainsworth in Lennox Head.
Enquires to Juliette Sizer on 0421 550 335 for more information.