The Chinese New Year celebrations in Darling Harbour came to a conclusion last weekend with the Dragon Boats NSW final regatta before the state titles at the end of the month. The weekend was, as predicted, a scorcher, with the temperatures souring into the late 30’s and early 40’s. The weekend was divided into sports teams on Saturday and corporate teams on Sunday.
Nowra Waterdragons competed on Saturday in four events over the 60 races - the Grand Masters Mixed, Masters Mixed, Masters Women and Masters Open.
Nowra continued their great form in the Grand Masters mixed; or Senior B as it is now called, with a great win in the final to retain the trophy for a seventh consecutive time. The heats leading up to the final were hard fought with Nowra posting times of 50.4 and 54 seconds for each heat to win them. In the final, Nowra again posted a time of 54.11 seconds to win by the slightest of margins.
In the Masters Mixed or Senior A (which is 40-50 years of age) Nowra with an extended number of paddlers raced against 18 teams of younger paddlers. With the same dogged determination Nowra placed second in their first heat and third in their second heat. With the competitiveness of this category the team missed out on the finals.
In the Masters Women (again 40-50 years), Nowra competed with the Port Hacking women against 16 other women’s teams. Due to the heat of the day races were cancelled to allow for the finals to be run. The Nowra/ Port Hacking women won their first heat, so they went through to the final; where they placed a commendable third.
The last event was the Master’s Open for the men. Because of a lack of men in this event, Nowra teamed up with the Sudu team from Wollongong. They placed second to the much fancied Northern Beaches/FFB team in the first heat, and due to cancellations made it to the final via a good time. The final was again fought in the trenches with Nowra /Sudu getting a close second to the Northern Beaches/FFB team.
The last of the racing saw the Senior C’s (60 and over) take to the water. Again Nowra competed with Sudu in this event and to their credit placed second against competition that in the past had beaten them.
Sunday saw the corporate events, where teams are made up from various corporate companies and institutions. Nowra members were represented in several teams such as the Westpac team and the Southern Railways team. The day was a success with all teams competing well and having a great time.
A special mention needs to be made to our long serving volunteer and official Dana Freeman who had her hands full throughout both days with the heat and intense racing; and Sandra, who marshalled the teams on Sunday.