Drag­ons re­turn to Wim­mera River

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY DEAN LAW­SON

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.

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