Regatta paddlers storm to success
THE last race was paddled just before the rain set in yesterday, and the hotly contested Grafton Jacaranda Dragon Boat Regatta trophies were awarded in a timely fashion, too.
Grafton Dragon Boat Club president Martin Thompson was glad to get everything - including the packing up - done and dusted before the storm hit, unlike last year.
"The regatta will always be held on the last weekend in October, which it also conveniently seems to storm on.
"It was a fantastic day, in mainly perfect conditions, that was enjoyed by the 540 paddlers," he said.
The community division was taken out by Jungle Gym, with Westlawn Finance closely following in second position and Crain's Jacaranda Pre School coming in third.
The sporting teams, unsurprisingly, all came to win; however, Kempsey Macleay crossed the line in first position, while Rainbow Dragon from Lennox Head came in second and Grafton Dragons third.
Teams came from as far north as Tweed Heads and as far south at Taree to compete in the event.
There were 12 sports crews, 12 community crews and two junior crews, each with 20 members.
Martin says that while some crews were more competitive than others it was all in good fun.
"I wish we had of thought of a best-dressed team prize because there were a couple of teams who really went above and beyond and looked fantastic while they were paddling," he said.
This is the first year the Grafton Dragon Boat Club has organised the event, and Martin says they will continue. One of the initiatives of the new organisers was to reduce the entry fee to try and encourage more teams to become involved.
"We didn't want to run it like a business, we wanted to run it so everyone could get out on the water and have a bit of fun," he said.