THE beautiful village of Lawrence has been selected as the venue for the Clarence Coast Dragons' first regatta.
The dragon boat club, known as the Flying Jacarandas for their purple uniform, formed as a competitive unit in 2010 and now boasts 36 members.
After the success of the Jacaranda Dragon Boat Regatta, the club has decided to jump right into the deep end and host its own event over the weekend of February 9-10.
"Racing will begin with a 2km turn race on Saturday at around 11am, followed by a series of very short sprints in a round-robin challenge," publicity officer Joanne Mackay said.
"Then we will have the President's Challenge, which is a mystery race carrying a perpetual trophy.
"Sunday will see a full dragon boat racing program with several community teams already entered.
"Maclean has put together three full teams, most of which are made up of medical professionals, so there will be no shortage of first-aid."
Teams from Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Urunga, Macksville, Kempsey, Port Macquarie, Armidale, South West Rocks, Byron Bay and Brisbane are also expected to attend.
Dragon boat racing is visually spectacular with fast and furious splashing and drum beats in time with strokes.
The Clarence Coast Dragons are also proud to be injecting some tourist dollars into the small town of Lawrence, situated 13km from Maclean, and have the support of the local community behind them.
"All tastes will be catered for by the Lawrence Store and the Lawrence Tavern, which is famous for its tasty meals," Mackay said.
"The Lawrence Rural Firebrigade will provide a barbecue breakfast and lunch on Sunday, while the Lawrence Ladies, led by Lorna Reeves, will be the place to stop for coffee and cakes."
Saturday night is Dragons Nite Out at the Lawrence Tavern where Sally Hoy has organised live entertainment and a gourmet barbecue for any hungry dragons.
Many of the teams will be based at the tavern for the two days of competition so it will be a welcome chance to relax and have some fun.
"New members are always welcome at our club and competitors are all ages and types; however, they all become very fit,'' Mackay said.
"This sport is known as one that can be a competitive release after your prime competition years of athletics and football are over.
"Training sessions are held three times per week and usually at Yamba, where the boat is housed."
"Even if you don't want to paddle, come out to lovely Lawrence and enjoy a barbecue by the river and see the dragons battle for supremacy of the Clarence."
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