Mark scores the dragon boating bling

Mark Mackenzie with one of his silver medals in China.
Mark Mackenzie with one of his silver medals in China. contributed

TWEED Dragons member Mark Mackenzie has shone on the world stage after representing the Tweed in Australia's team at the dragon boating team at the World Dragon Boat Championships in China.

Mackenzie joined dragon boaters from across the nation for the Auroras after 12 months of gruelling training.

The Senior C (over-60s) team competed in the 2km, 500m and 200m open and mixed racing in the championships, which were held from October 17-23 in Kunming.

Mackenzie returned to Australian shores with four silver medals and one bronze after the Auroras claimed silver in the 2km open standard boat (with 20paddlers), 2km mixed small boat (10 paddlers), 500m open standard and 200m open standard, along with bronze in the 200m mixed standard boat.

Apart from the 2km races, all were an aggregate of three races.

The Australian team had been placed third after two races in the 500m open standard, before working towards an eventual second place.

Mackenzie said it was a daunting but rewarding experience after his daughter's father-in-law, who also made the team, encouraged him to try out.

"It was a really great honour to represent Australia,” Mackenzie said.

He said Canada came out strongest in total, beating the Aussies by a small margin in each race, while the Auroras did the same to the team from the US.

"They (Canada) were beating us by a dragon head at times,” he said.

"So we did well against the titans of the sport.”

The Tweed Dragons team plans to head to the State Championships in February, National Championships in March and the Club Crew World Championships in Hungary in July.