There be Dragons galore on Wagonga Inlet, Narooma

LOCALS and visitors to Narooma were treated to the sights and sounds of Dragon boating at its best last weekend as around 100 paddlers from Southern Region clubs converged on Forsters Bay over Saturday and Sunday.

Wagonga Inlet is fast gaining a reputation as one of the best Dragon boating waterways on the South Coast. It was this, as well as Narooma Blue Water Dragons’ success in developing the sport in Narooma, that prompted Southern Region coordinator, Sue Wakefield, to choose our town for the final training session for the Regional Representative squad before the State and National Titles.

Blue Water Dragons’ president, Leck Swadling and secretary, Helen Hayes arranged the two day event from this end. The huge task involved coordinating the training session for around 60 paddlers on Saturday including lunch at the Quarterdeck and a social paddle and barbecue for more than 40 paddlers on Sunday. Leck said, “Narooma Blue Water Dragons were fortunate to host the final training day for the Southern Region Squad before they compete at State and Nationals.  This brought around 100 visitors to our town, over two days.  Each and every one were more than impressed with what Narooma and Wagonga Inlet has to offer and were keen for a return visit. These sorts of events will go a long way towards achieving one of our goals, which is to host a major Dragon Boating event in Narooma.”

While the intense training session on Saturday tested all the paddlers, the highlight for many was the Sunday social session when the three Dragon boats went sightseeing around the Inlet, under the bridge and around Forsters Bay and aspiring sweeps had the chance to try their hands at being in control. Blue Water Dragons’ paddlers, Sue Seath and Mel Farrow impressed everyone with their ability with the sweep oar and Southern Region Sweep coordinator, Pat Helmore showed a keen interest in coming to Narooma to hold Sweep Workshops for local clubs.

One of the great things about the sport of Dragon boating that was demonstrated by the social paddle was that all levels of paddlers, from families out having fun on the water together, to paddlers who represent their clubs, their region, their State and their country, were all paddling in the same boats, enjoying being out on the water together.

A number of the visiting paddlers who stayed on Saturday night at local accommodation enjoyed a bike ride along the Dalmeny – Narooma Shared Pathway.

Blue Water Dragons would like to thank all the Southern Region clubs who attended the weekend as well as Sue Wakefield, Leck Swadling and Helen Hayes who made the whole thing happen.  Also thanks to Narooma Camera Club member, Peter Seath, who was our photographer and Mark Chatillon who was our Sunday support crew.

If you’d like to be part of Narooma’s Dragon boating phenomenon, contact Narooma Blue Water Dragons – or follow us on Facebook.

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