Another fun and exciting dragon boat regatta!

Dragons Abreast Gold Coast Team got right into the fancy dress spirit, complete with fake moustaches

Dragons Abreast Gold Coast Team got right into the fancy dress spirit, complete with fake moustaches

The Cooloola Dragon Boat Club annual regatta was held in Tin Can Bay early in July.  Despite the unusual rain for this time of year, the event was a great success.

Saturday’s racing was between the clubs of the Wide Bay region which included boats from 1770, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, and Cooloola.

Sunday’s racing was contested by teams from eight Queensland centres. These included clubs from Brisbane River, Bribie Island/Redcliffe, Bundaberg, Gold Coast, Hervey Bay, Mackay, Manly, 1770, and Sunshine Coast.

In most of the races, the competition was very close. So close was one particular three-boat race that it took the timekeepers and officials quite some time to work out the winner and second and third places; only 0.06 seconds separated the three teams at the finish line.

Several teams contested the Cooloola Dragon Boat Club’s own ‘Diamond Dash’. Once again, the competition was very tight. The Diamond Dash is a timed event rather than a straight race for the line.

The two boats start in opposite directions and then have to navigate around a series of buoys which results in them returning to the start line, facing each other at the end of the race. To ensure that neither team gains any advantage from the current or prevailing breezes, each race is run over two legs with the two boats switching their starting direction for each leg.

It is often said that this is a ‘steerer’s race’.  The person acting as the sweep or steerer can make or break the race for his or her crew.

The Bundaberg team took out overall honours for the Diamond Dash. But the Cooloola Dragons were in the hunt all the way and managed to get themselves into second place overall only a mere single second behind Bundy.

As well as the serious racing part of the weekend, the teams also had a lot of fun with a team fancy dress for which prizes were awarded.

Another big part of the weekend was the Cooloola Dragon Boat Club’s raffles with nine baskets of goodies as the prizes. Most of the contents of the baskets had been donated by members of the Cooloola club. A large part of the raffle takings will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation.  The raffle prizes were fairly equally shared between competing teams and the spectators who so generously added their support.

All in all, it was a great weekend and was thoroughly enjoyed by competitors and spectators alike.

The Cooloola club would like to thank all the volunteers who assist with running the event and the sponsors who also provided assistance and, in one case, a cash prize.

The next event on the Wide Bay Series Dragon Boat calendar is the 1770 regatta on 13 August. The Cooloola team will be travelling to 1770 to compete once again in what will be the last of this year’s Wide Bay series events.

Toni Archer

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