The Grafton Dragon Boat team (front) took out the Sporting Clubs final at the inaugural Mt Warning Dragon Boat Regatta on the Tweed River.
The Grafton Dragon Boat team (front) took out the Sporting Clubs final at the inaugural Mt Warning Dragon Boat Regatta on the Tweed River. Larissa Nicholson

Raining men at dragon boat regatta

MOUNT Warning Dragon Boat paddlers' wishes were granted - it was raining men (and nothing else) at their maiden regatta on Sunday.

The Condong boat ramp was brimming with male competitors, some coming from as far afield as Grafton, all primed to join mixed teams.

Over the past couple of months the club had made a desperate call for more men to put their hands up to join the sport.

Equally, members had their fingers crossed that the recent bad weather conditions would not force the event's cancellation.

Flooding on the Tweed had left plenty of debris in the river. Of particular concern were a number of large logs. But marshals carefully inspected the course prior to race start and were able to give the go-ahead.

Mt Warning Dragon Boat's Jacqui Turner said the flooding had also affected the club's training. Only two sessions were possible before the regatta.

A crowd of about 350 people lined the banks of the river to cheer on 12 teams - three competing in the sports division and nine racing in the corporate category.

Mt Warning Dragon Boat president Chris Lonie said she was overwhelmed by the support from the dragon boat community and the general public.

“I am so thankful Broadwater and Currumbin dragon boat clubs lent us boats - it is really fantastic,” Lonie said.

“We also had great raffles donated by the local business houses which helped us raise funds for a new boat.”

Winners of the major corporate final - the Best of the Best - went to Twin City Hire, while the minor corporate final - the Best of the Rest - went to the Flaming Firies (Emergency Services).

The sporting final was won by the Grafton Dragon Boat Club and the women's final went to the Gold Coast Dragons Abreast team.

The Dragon Spirit trophy for the team displaying the most enthusiasm was won by the Murwillumbah Hospital Hotspots, and the Sleeping Dragon Trophy for the team which may not have been the fastest on the day but still enjoyed the competition went to the Tweed-based Wellness Warriors.

Mt Warning Dragon Boat club's Val Lowe created some impressive hand-made trophies for the event, in the shape of Mt Warning, and also miniature boats, and in a tribute to dragon boat racing on the Tweed, the perpetual trophies, featuring a ceramic dragon statue, were resurrected from the original Kids In Need regattas after a 23-year “hibernation”.



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