Two highlights for Clarence Coast and Grafton Dragon Boat Paddlers within four days – ANZAC Day and The Westpac Helicopter Appeal – what a memory to tuck away for all involved.
25th April saw Clarence Coast members’ presence at the Dawn Service at Yamba and then car pool to ‘The Farm’ at McLennans Rd, South Grafton for an ANZAC paddle with Grafton Dragon Boat Club.
8am and two dragon boats hit the water for a memorable paddle around Carr’s Island.
As both boats drew alongside, the Ode was solemnly read and members placed a sprig of rosemary into the waters and paddlers reflected on how lucky we are to live and have family in both Australia and New Zealand. Following a surreal paddle, watched closely by a territorial circling hawk, we returned for a breakfast feast of bacon and egg rolls, fresh fruit and juice. The morning was completed with the traditional rowdy game of 2-UP with the river and a magnificent fig tree as the backdrop. A special thank you to Andy and Vicki for their hospitality!
Sunday again saw the commitment of three clubs, Clarence Coast, Grafton and Rainbows Ballina Dragon Boat Clubs to the inaugural Westpac Helicopter Chopper Paddle from Big River Sailing Club, Harwood to Iluka, the final day of Hell on Water. In near perfect conditions, the 3 dragon boats set off first and wound their way down the mighty Clarence River, morning tea at Goodwood Island and then on to Iluka to be greeted by a sausage and steak sandwich and a refreshing ale from the Sedgers Reef Hotel. An amazing two days of paddling – magic!