Paddlers take home gold at titles
FIFTEEN junior paddlers from Grafton and the Clarence Valley delivered gold at the NSW Dragon Boat Championships at Penrith on March 27-28.
The team’s hard training under the coaching of Martin and Leanne Thompson of the Grafton Dragon Boat Club was rewarded by the achievement of first place in the Junior Division (under-18s).
The team’s performance was truly outstanding given they had only 17 paddlers as against other teams that had the full complement of 20.
With a best time of 2 minutes 20 seconds over the 500 metre course, the squad even rivalled the effort of many adult lineups.
With the addition of two paddlers from Port Macquarie and one from Coffs Harbour, the Clarence paddlers raced under the banner of the North Coast at the State Titles.
It was a hectic weekend with Northland Coach and Travel taking the team down to Penrith on Saturday, three races on Sunday, followed by the long trip home to arrive in the small hours of Monday.
The outfit will now undertake further intensive training before travelling down to Adelaide in late-April to compete in the National Dragon Boat Championships.
The team is: Molly Webster, Katharine Crompton, Luke McGlynn, Bernie Ross, Henry Asquith, Monette Aitken, Natalie Ross, Ben Webster, Maddie Thomson, Jake Murray, Jeffery Asquith, Natasha Green, and Chris Collins from McAuley Catholic College, Daniel McPherson from Grafton High, and Josh Rigg, formerly of South High. Martin Thompson guided the boat as sweep.