Dragon boats clock up 10 years on water

THIS year's Jacaranda Dragon Boat Regatta will mark 10 years since the sport introduced itself to the Clarence Valley.

Organisers are looking for more teams to fill out the numbers for this year's regatta on October 28.

Grafton Dragon Boat Club publicity officer Angela Crompton said the thrill of dragon boating kept people coming back to the sport and led to the formation of sporting clubs on the North Coast.

She said regattas had developed to include sporting teams from the dragon boating clubs on the North Coast in addition to the corporate and schools teams that entered to compete on the day.

"The clubs compete in their own competition and the corporate teams have their competition," Ms Crompton said.

Ms Crompton said organisers were trying to encourage more schools to enter the competition.

"We have a category for competitors aged 12 to 18 years, which can include a maximum of two people over 18," she said.

"We would love to see all the private and public schools in the Valley out on the water competing against each other."

Teams of either 20 or 10 paddlers can race in dragon boats.

"We prefer teams of 20 but we're open to 10s as well," Ms Crompton said. "For a full crew you need a minimum of 16 in the boat before you can start."

Organisers supply a drummer and sweep to steer each boat, as well as provide advice to crews new to the sport.

Ms Crompton said training would begin for corporate and school crews next week.

"Training is really good to help crews get used to the race distance and also develop their timing," she said.

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