Coffs Coast Adocate

Dragon boat crews row past the best

COFFS Coast Dragon Boat Club members have rowed passed national competitors, both on and off the water.

Twenty-three members of Coffs Coast Dragon Boat Club travelled to Sydney recently to compete in the Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Festival Regatta hosted by Dragon Boat NSW on Darling Harbour - and not only did they take out third place in the regatta - they also took out two of the prizes in the national raffle.

The team from Coffs Coast Dragon Boat Club included six breast cancer survivors, who are also members of Dragon Abreast Coffs Coast, who combined with Dragons Abreast Melbourne for the Sunday racing schedule.

After three close heats, the combined Coffs Coast/Melbourne team made it to the major final. The race for second, third and fourth places had only four tenths of a second in it and the local girls did us proud by coming third in the final, beating some of the hot favourites.

“It was a thrill and a terrific experience to do so well in this Regatta, considering we were unable to train with our Melbourne team mates prior,” Margaret Joannou, co-ordinator of Dragons Abreast Coffs Coast, said

“Although obtaining third place was great, being able to participate and further raise breast cancer awareness felt even better,” Margaret said.

On the Saturday night, the national raffle was drawn and, even though 11,000 tickets were sold across the nation, two of the prizewinners were Coffs Harbour locals.

“Although this seemed unbelievable, it was not a total surprise considering the Dragons Abreast Coffs Coast group, alongside one very special National Volunteer, Kay Bernard, also a Coffs Harbour local, were amongst the three top selling member groups in Australia,” Angie Walters said.

Coffs Coast Dragon Boat Club paddles twice a week and are always looking for new members. Membership inquiries call Col Green on 0427 543 419 or email coffs For Dragons Abreast inquiries call Margaret Joannou on 0438 907 542 or email

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