Water Dragons head to national regatta

Merimbula Water Dragons get ready for another training session on the water before the nationals.
Merimbula Water Dragons get ready for another training session on the water before the nationals.

Merimbula Water Dragons will be one of over 70 dragon boat clubs from all over Australia competing at the National Championships to be held in Canberra from April 17-22.

After making a committment to be part of the nationals, the club has been steadily increasing race practise, strength and endurance training over the last six months with training sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays, interspersed by a social session on Saturdays.

Now 21 members of Merimbula Water Dragons will make up a senior B (age 50) mixed team and senior C (age 60) women's team. The racing will take place in 10s boats which have 10 paddlers, a sweep and drummer.

Several months ago Merimbula Water Dragons purchased a 10s boat knowing they would be used for the National Championships. The boat has been in regular use as paddlers got used to the feel of the smaller, lighter and more responsive boat.

Both the mixed senior B and senior C women will be racing over 200m, 500m and 2km in the small boats.

On Saturday regional teams will be racing and several members of Merimbula Water Drgons will be representing the southern NSW region in these races.

Two members, Australian representative Gilliam McCallum and previous Australian representative Charles Helmore have been chosen to be part of the opening ceremony at the nationals.

They will paddle along with eight others in a 10s boat to bring the NSW flagbearer across the lake to take part in the flag parade. ACT Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry, will open the championships.

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