All boats are you ready, attention, GO!
The Grafton Dragon Boat Regatta, held during the Jacaranda Festival, is one of our main racing outings for the year. This year Clarence Coast Dragon Boat Club partnered with the Tweed Dragons to create a combined team. And what a great partnership it was. In our two women’s 200 metre race heats, we were third across the line, very commendable efforts. Like many heats-based sports, times in heats are what get you into the finals and the Clarence/Tweed team were delighted to qualify as the fifth of five finalists. We put our best efforts into the final and lifted again to be third across the line.
Getting to races and finals is based on our regular training sessions. Races and winning are not the only reason to get involved in a sport. Exercise, maintaining fitness, social participation and companionship are increasingly identified as important for our health and wellbeing, especially as we grow older. There is evidence that exercise can help prevent and manage adult chronic disease and there is increasing evidence of its importance for preventing dementia. If you want to improve your fitness and make friends while paddling on our beautiful Clarence waterways, come and join us at a training session – Saturdays from the Yamba boat ramp at 7.30 am, Wednesday 4:30pm at Hickey Island boat ramp. Details are on our website.
October has been a busy month of participation for CCDBC members, despite the winds that sometimes wreak havoc with our planned paddling sessions!
To celebrate the Clarence River 53 Islands, we circumnavigated Dart Island at high tide, braving sand bars with some delicate ‘teacup’ paddling, facing the wind head on and enjoying the scenery and exercise! You get an exceptional view of our beautiful islands and seascapes from a dragon boat, plus the satisfaction of ‘feeling the burn’ and getting fit at the same time.
World Mental Health Day was marked by 7 of our members joining staff of Our Healthy Clarence (North Coast Primary Health Care Network) and other community groups with an early morning 5km walk (Steps to Wellbeing) around Ford Park, followed by breakfast. There are some great photos of CCDBC members on the Our Healthy Clarence Facebook page.
On Saturday 19th October, club members donned loud shirts with fluoro pink, orange and assorted motley-coloured designs to be part of “Loud Shirt Day” raising funds for Hear and Say: Opening Worlds. This initiative was developed to support young children who have a hearing disability to access timely interventions designed to help them to live life to the best possible. We raised $60 to donate to the cause.
We also had four of our elite athletes, Jan Booth, Cheryl Coleman, Kim Sanders and Ree Dunn, travel to Adelaide for the 17th Australian Masters games as part of the Far North Coast (FNC) dragon boat team. This team was made up of women and men from dragon boat clubs between Camden Haven and Ballina. The FNC team competed in multiple races and categories, and most importantly had a fantastic team experience. They even fitted in sampling a few of South Australia’s excellent culinary delights and wines. Jan won a gold medal as a member of a breast cancer survivors’ team from Hunter Newcastle.
CCDBC partnered with Tweed Dragons at the Grafton Jacaranda Dragon Boat Regatta. Following two nail biting competitive heats, we made the final and came in third overall; a fantastic outcome. Having several paddlers competing across all races was an effective strategy and we are looking forward to partnering again in future to provide more regatta attendances for the club.
Our dragon boat paddles are an excellent way to stay fit, work as a team, promote social awareness campaigns, and they provide opportunities to get an up-close view of stingrays, dolphins, sea eagles and pelicans. We paddle from the boat ramp near the fish co-op on Saturdays at 7.30 am and from the Hickey Island boat ramp Wednesday at 4.30 pm. New paddlers are welcome at any time. Come and give it a try.