This year's 10th dragon boat regatta, hosted by the Great Lakes Pearl Dragons at Elizabeth Reserve, Forster Keys has been voted by visiting clubs 'one of the best regattas we have been to and so well organised'.
Held over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, November 18-19, the expected strong winds had the organisers and officials concerned.
Strong winds can prevent events from proceeding due to the danger of capsizing and difficulty lining up at the start line.
The sunshine prevailed and the winds, which did make it rough on the water, were not as strong as predicted and there was no need to cancel events.
The starter was able to get boats off and racing with minimum delay due to the sweeps showing great skill in controlling their boats.
Saturday's highlight between 500 metre sports racing and the two kilometre turns race, was an 'All Cancer Survivors' event.
While there was no trophy for the winners, the two boats with 40 participants, crossed the finish line almost in time with each other and on return to the boat loading area, conducted the 'paddle-tap' sequence.
They were then greeted with a gift on land and a walk through the longest paddle guard of honour ever at our northern region regattas.
A truly touching and memorable event.
Sunday's 200 metre race between the 16 clubs represented was fast and furious as these races usually are.
Paddlers use a faster rate of paddling and cross the finish line in times just over the minute mark.
The results during the finals in the afternoon when the wind had developed, were in fact faster in many instances than the morning's first round of heats when things had been calmer on the water.
This shows a brilliant display of strength and determination by the finalists.
Cameras were out at the ready for finals results and trophy presentations made by our DBNSW official of the year and GLPD Regatta's chief official, Pam Jackson from Flamin' Dragons.
Five of our 12 placings were awarded to three northern regions teams: Manning River Dragons, Taree, Dragons on the Rocks, South West Rocks and Coffs Coast from Mylestom.
The other trophies were awarded to visiting clubs from outside the region: Hunter River Dragons, Morpeth, Pendragons, Penrith, Sudu, Wollongong and Newcastle Dragonhunters, Newcastle.
Results will be published on Dragon Boats NSW website.
Pearl Dragons will now prepare to travel to Kempsey for the annual regatta held on the Macleay River over the first weekend of December where they will face some tough competitors.
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