Paddlers enjoy a day on Wagonga Inlet

More than 30 paddlers from clubs on the Far South Coast participated in a morning of dragon boating on Saturday, April 14.

The Narooma Blue Water Dragons hosted the event on the spectacular Wagonga Inlet. There was a drumming workshop, sweep practice for L3 and L4 sweeps wanting to gain experience in the smaller 10s boat, and sweep testing for three paddlers hoping to upgrade their accreditation from L1 to L2.

The wind started to pick up as the boats launched, making for challenging conditions. Thankfully the boats were able to escape the worst of the wind by heading down into the farther reaches of Forsters Bay.

Three Narooma paddlers tried their hand at drumming under the tutelage of Mary and Heather from the Merimbula Water Dragons. They all enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to applying their new knowledge during training sessions.

Drumming is an essential component of dragon boat racing, and needs to be done with great enthusiasm to encourage paddlers to try their hardest.

The paddlers in the 10s boat enjoyed the speed and manoeuverability of the craft, but took a while to adjust to how easily the boat can become unbalanced and tip from side to side. The 10s boat is not for the feint hearted.

After battling the windy conditions, the paddlers were keen to return to shore and enjoy the lunch provided by the Narooma Club.

Acting president of the NBWD, Carol Meindl, said club members benefited from having other clubs on the water. 

“It is always great to catch up with our fellow dragon boaters from Merimbula and Moruya, to learn from each other and maintain friendships which can only enhance our performance when we compete together in Regattas,” she said.

Finally, many thanks to Pat Helmore from Merimbula Water Dragons who makes the sweep testing process as painless as possible.