Seventeen members of Ballina-based Rainbow Dragons Abreast joined ‘Aussie Dragonfly’ teams= to race at the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission (IBCPC) dragon boat festival on Lake Karapiro in New Zealand last month.
Rainbow Dragons Abreast are the breast cancer contingent of the Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club.
The weather played havoc with racing conditions, but the survivors’ team was delighted to finish 17th overall out of 81 crews from 37 different countries in the 500m event.
Later, the Aussie Dragonflies supporters’ team blitzed the 24 team 200m racing field to become the international IBCPC Supporter Team champions.
With nearly 2500 participants, the event was the largest gathering of female athletes anywhere in the world for 2023.
RDA members, Angela Smith and Juliette Sizer, were selected to take part in the Sandy Smith Global Finale, in honour of a remarkable woman and her work promoting dragon boating for breast cancer survivors.
‘Rainbows demonstrated amazing teamwork and adaptability, fitting in wherever they were needed and supporting each other, both on and off the water,’ RDA president Sizer said. ‘They’re now looking forward to the Australian Masters competition in October’.