Dragons roar in Jacaranda heat
Raiders from the south not just tough talkers
DRAGON BOATS: With the mercury soaring on the shore, valiant community teams took to the Clarence River to battle it out for ultimate Jacaranda supremacy.
While the community division was stacked with talent and lots of muscle – thanks in large part to the four gyms in the running – it was the raiders from the south, Coffs Crossfit, who roared the loudest.
The team, coached by Coffs Coast Dragon Boat Club’s Steph Frost, had laid down the gauntlet before the event and it was quick to back up the words on water.
“Steph said they were coming up to beat our local teams, and they were not messing around,” Grafton Dragon Boat Club president Robin Smith said.
“The team had raced only last month at the Coffs Regatta and I think that extra run really showed through this weekend.”
Coffs Crossfit led the whole way in the community final with Anytime Fitness finishing second and last year’s champions Jetts Fitness in third.
It was a special finish in the junior event with CVAS narrowly going down to Triple S, a team organised and coached by Grafton club junior Travis Gardner-O’Connor.
CVAS teacher Penny Burgess praised O’Connor during the presentations, explaining how much work the teenager had put in to make the team a reality.
“Credit where it is due, it was a lovely thing for Penny to do,” Smith said. “It was a massive effort from Travis. He went at it alone without any help and just used his club knowledge to help coach the team and run them through their paces.”
It was a thrilling weekend on the water, and despite the novice teams piloting the vessels, only one side found themselves in the drink.
“I thought the weekend was excellent, I couldn’t be happier,” Smith said. “We got through the racing without too much incident.
“Only one boat ended up capsizing. The sweep lost control a bit and managed to run into another team.
“But there was no injuries to come from the incident so that is a major plus for us.”
Smith praised the community teams for supporting the annual event and said he hoped they had as much fun as he did.
“By all accounts everyone had a good day and it was a big success. I know it all starts out fun but then gets quite serious when finals come around.”
SOUTHERN RAIDERS: Coffs Crossfit members are presented with the community winners trophy by deputy mayor Jason Kingsley during the annual Grafton Dragon Boat Club Jacaranda Regatta on the Clarence River.
RIGHT: Triple S claimed the win in the junior category during the annual Jacaranda Regatta.
ABOVE: Tweed Dragons show the secret to their success with their warm-up routine.
ABOVE: CVAS teacher Penny Burgess congratulates Travis Gardner-O’Connor on putting together a successful team.
ABOVE: Clarence Coast Dragons prepare for another race during the Jacaranda Regatta.
ABOVE: Paddlers from the City Bears and Royals Shamrocks dragon boat teams pose together after the community final.