NAROOMA Blue Water Dragons joined with Southern Region comrades, Sapphire Water Dragons, from Merimbula, to form the Blue Sapphires and compete at the Shoalhaven regatta at Nowra on the weekend.
Although the racing didn’t begin until Sunday, Blue Water Dragons’ members made the trip up on Friday to support trainee Sweeps, Ed Proudfoot and Gilly Kearney, who were being tested for their accreditation on Saturday.
Both trainees performed well in some challenging conditions to pass their test with flying colours. Gilly swept the following day in the sporting clubs heats and steered the Blue Sapphires to a creditable third in tight racing with clubs from Sydney, Canberra and the Southern Region.
It was a big weekend in the Narooma club’s development as Blue Water Dragons now has a dedicated team of Sweeps at various levels of accreditation.
The regatta also featured a demonstration race celebrating the journey of cancer survivors and their carers who formed three teams, the Blue Boys the Pink Ladies and the Daffodils. The race created a moment when all competitors and spectators at the regatta could cheer on everyone paddling.
Another highlight of the weekend was two Blue Water Dragons attending their first regatta. Tania Brown and Jane Mansergh who have only been paddling for a short time slotted into the Blue Sapphires perfectly and performed beyond expectation.
Jane was clearly buzzing after the racing and said, “How fantastically awesome it felt, the power of the boat with all 21 members of the team on board all paddling in unison and to the beat of the drum”.
“I was later humbled when given the opportunity to paddle in the Daffodil boat to represent my late mother and as her carer, this race was both powerful and empowering; physically, emotionally and spiritually (not that I’m religious!).
“A spectacular, fun weekend with a great group of people; bring on the next regatta!!”
Blue Water Dragons’ head coach Leck Swadling prepared the Narooma paddlers to peak at the right time and will now begin preparations for a series of short and long course events that the club will be participating in throughout the 2012-2013 season.
“Great start to the season!” said Leck.
“Our hard work and training all year certainly paid off. Our Club caters for everyone, not only those interested in competing in regattas but those who just enjoy the sport and we thank them for their support with their texts and representations at home in Narooma.”