NSW keen to avenge dragon boat defeat by Queensland
TWEED Olympian Josh Watson will lead the NSW bid to wrest the AMP Border Challenge title from Queensland at the annual Kids in Need (KIN) Dragon Boat Festival at Tweed Heads on November 20.
Josh, a member of last year's defeated NSW crew, will be joined by fellow elite swimmers Simon Cowley and Ethan Rolff as well as two secret weapons ? athletes whose identities will be revealed on the day.
"We aren't planning a secret winged keel on our boat, but we do have a couple of aces up our sleeve," Josh said.
But the task will not be easy.
The Queensland crew, under former Olympian and Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke, includes four-time Olympic kayaker Martin Marinov, international road-cycling star and Olympian Robbie McEwen, swimming legend Sam Riley and her husband Tim Fydler, a former Queensland ironman champion. The rest of the crew will be sponsors and elite paddlers.
The race, sponsored by the AMP Foundation, is a highlight of the annual Kids in Need Dragon Boat Festival.
The festival is also an opportunity for Rotary to raise funds for KIN - an organisation that helps families whose children need medical treatment.
The general competition racing starts at 8am (NSW) and finishes at 4pm.
The AMP Border Challenge will be held at midday.
AMP Border Challenge organiser, Rotarian Rod Baines, said it was good to see world-class athletes adding to the buzz of interstate rivalry. The AMP Foundation has repeated for a third year its promise to match festival profit dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000, he said.