Rainbow Dragons win bronze at their first overseas regatta, as at team.

dragonboatsThe Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club team has recently returned pumped from their first international regatta, at Wellington Dragon Boat Festival, New Zealand, and not just because they won trophy. Windy Wellington put on a solid half to a metre swell in the harbour and Rainbow Dragons are proud to say, they stayed in their lane and in their boat.

The Wellington Dragon Boat Festival attracted 63 teams from New Zealand and Australia and has a 25 year reputation for challenging water conditions; this year was no different. There were boats jettisoning across lanes and others were swamped. Locals say they had never competed in such wild conditions.

Rainbow Dragons had the support of excellent local sweep (steerer) who was familiar with Wellington’s conditions albeit on milder days. Their sweep used incredible physical strength to keep them in the race, even when another boat veered across their lane, forcing the Rainbows to suddenly halt, just as they were powering-up mid-race.

Rainbows went on to win Bronze in the Mixed Masters, helping Australia to take out the trifecta in this event. With only three men in their team, this was a great achievement; first place went to The Swaggies (a composite team drawing from several NSW clubs, with 12 men) and second to the Kempsey River Rats (with seven men).

Rainbow Dragons three-month training regime prepared them well and they have new found confidence in their ability to race successfully in extraordinary conditions.

Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club trains at Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head. See www.rainbowdragons.com.au for details.

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