Four members of the Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club Inc were selected for the Northern Region squad and competed alongside 1,350 paddlers at the Sydney Regatta Centre, Penrith, last weekend in the NSW State titles.
Paddlers Sandy Kelly, Deborah Gibson, Teresa Campain and Sandy Ngatai (Sandman) took on the personal challenge of becoming members of Northern Pride – a team combining paddlers from nine clubs from Rainbow Region, Lennox Head in the north to Foster in the south and as far west as Armidale.
Northern Pride won medals in every category they entered, bringing home three silvers and a bronze and just missing out on gold by o.02 of a second.
‘It was an amazing weekend, such a great vibe just to be at the Regatta Centre,’ said Sandy Kelly. ‘The day started out with great weather but later in the day they were racing in torrential rain.’
Since Christmas these four Rainbows have driven eight hours to Macksville and back every Saturday – over 600km each week for their three hour training sessions. This is in addition to their club’s training regime for the Rainbow Warriors – the club’s own team for the national titles at Kawana on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, at Easter.
This week 22 paddlers from Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club will head north to Kawana for two days of highly competitive dragon boat racing on Wednesday and Thursday and all that effort has been rewarded as Sandy, Deborah, Teresa and Sandman have also been chosen to paddle in the NSW squad on Good Friday.
Paddle hard, Rainbow Dragons.