Dragons return to Wimmera River
D‘ ragons’ are set to churn up the usually calm water of the Wimmera River in Horsham this weekend.
But it will not involve the mighty dragons of myth and legend or our familiar lizard friends we often see sunning themselves on roadsides.
Instead it will be a flotilla of dramatically coloured boats, each loaded with determined crews, who might fall short of breathing fire, but are sure to be breathing hard during intense competition.
Horsham Dragon Boat Regatta returns to the Wimmera centre on Saturday and Sunday after event organisers literally put their toe in the water for an inaugural event in 2016.
The regatta, which features comeand-try sessions on Saturday before a full racing schedule on Sunday, will feature more than 250 paddlers from Victoria and interstate.
Organisers have received entries from 10 teams for the action set to un- fold along a Barnes Boulevard course. Horsham Rural City Council business development and tourism co-ordinator Chris Mcclure said the regatta would bring significant economic benefit to the region.
He said the event also fitted in neatly with an aim to establish Horsham as the event capital of western Victoria.
“With those sort of numbers plus partners and family that is probably 350 people we would expect to be here,” he said.
“In terms of an economic benefit, having 350-odd people stay for two nights in our caravan parks and motels and then having meals in the evening, it will be quite substantial.”
Dragon Boat Victoria general manager Chris Schleusener said a return to Horsham was great for the sport.
“I think it is very exciting for our metropolitan members to get out and experience paddling in the regions to support our regional clubs such as the Dimboola club,” he said.
Dimboola Warreguk Dragon Boat Club is based in Horsham and presi- dent Ann Falkingham said she hoped to see more members join the group.
“We are hosting come-and-try mornings every Sunday at Horsham Rowing Club,” she said.
“The idea of the come-and-try days are to get people interested.
“Hopefully they enjoy it and come and watch the competition on the Sunday and then join the Dimboola Warreguk Dragon Boat Club.”
Dragon boat racing has evolved into a competitive sport right around the world and is growing in Australia.