Rainbow Region Dragon Boaters among Australia’s best

The Senior C Mixed team paddling their way to a Bronze medal at the national championships. Photo Jan Wright

Monica Wilcox 

The Rainbow Region Dragon Boat club produced impressive results up against the country’s best teams at the 2018 Australian Dragon Boat Championships held at the Sunshine Coast last week.

Libby Woodbry and Bede Cooney brought home Gold and two Silver medals each in some amazing racing for the Northern Regional Squad, which included paddlers from the Rainbow, Ballina, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Camden Haven and Port Macquarie clubs.

Rainbow Dragons also raced against 36 clubs in 500-metre and 200-metre small boat (10 paddlers) categories.

The Senior C (60+yrs) mixed crew were placed fifth in the 500m grandfinal before the weather turned for the worse. A blustering southerly severely damaged the start pontoon and capsizing risk was eminent.

Racing over a 200m course was able to be held the next day in better but still challenging conditions. At this distance the Senior C mixed team won Bronze in the grandfinal. There was a mere 0.14 seconds between first and third place.

The Senior C (60+yrs) Women’s crew was placed fifth in their final. In strong competition the Senior B (50+yrs) Women’s crew reached the semifinals.

Elated Rainbow Dragons now contemplate head coach Mary Davis’s rigorous training plans for the Urunga Regatta in May and the Pan Pacs Masters in November.

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