NAROOMA’S Blue Water Dragons once again represented our town when we defied dire weather predictions to travel to Mallacoota to join around sixty paddlers from nine Dragon Boat clubs for the Mallacoota Marathon.
The annual event, organised by Pat and Charles Helmore and the Sapphire Water Dragons from Merimbula, has grown to be one of the highlights of the Dragon Boat calendar.
It consists of a 15-kilometre paddle through the Victorian wilderness from Gypsy Point to Mallacoota and this year, paddlers from Nowra and the South Coast of NSW, to Bairnsdale and Albury in Victoria were keen to test their fitness and endurance in what is a scenic and challenging event.
After weather forecasts that predicted damaging winds, heavy rain and freezing temperatures, no one was sure of what the day would hold but once again the weather gods were on side and the four dragon boats set off in cool and calm conditions.
The scenery is truly magnificent along the river and a number of fishers who thought they were out for a day on their own with their young children were surprised and delighted to see the flotilla of dragon boats, kayaks and safety boat add a splash of colour to the river.
Blue Water Dragons have developed a reputation for their expertise in endurance events and enjoyed the challenge.
Julie Melville, who only recently joined Narooma’s Dragon Boat club and had only paddled five times in training sessions showed how far she’d come in a short time by completing the paddle in great style.
After the event, Julie said, “Mallacoota, what a fabulous experience for my 6th paddle with the club! With Mother Nature on our side and some great organisation this event ran like clockwork. I will be back next year for sure.”
Although the paddle had been mostly calm, at the final stop before Mallacoota it was clear that things were deteriorating rapidly and the last couple of kilometres were completed in cold and windy conditions. Just after the boats had been loaded the predicted foul weather arrived but the Dragon Boaters escaped the worst.
The Mallacoota Marathon is a wonderful day that couldn’t happen without a huge amount of organisation from Sapphire Water Dragons and the support of the ambulance service from Mallacoota who followed the day’s paddle to provide for any emergencies.
Thanks too to club supporters like John Whiting from Narooma who helped set up the rest stops, food and cuppas that are so important in an event like this.
If you’d like to be part of the fun and challenge of Dragon Boating with Narooma’s Dragon Boat Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop down to our boatshed next to the Quarterdeck Café Saturday mornings at 8.30am.