Winning ways continue for Water Dragons

Some of the successful women's 10s crew with their third place trophy. Photos: Contributed

Tom Parry and Zoe Askew

SUCCESS continues for the Gippsland Water Dragons following a competitive weekend of races in Ballarat.

The Sale-based club participated in the Ballarat Regatta on January 22, where 15 of its members competed against Victoria’s best Dragon Boat teams.

Two wins were recorded by the club – the first in the Women’s Senior (B) 10s category, which took place over one kilometre; and the second in the Mixed Senior (B) 20s category, which took place over 200 metres.

The latter race saw the Water Dragons win with the assistance of a Melbourne club, who provided “extra paddlers” to cover the shortfall.

Additionally, the club competed in the premier category going up against, in the words of president Heather Watts, “the best in the state”.

They came third in their heat, missing out on second place by one-tenth of a second.

Gippsland Water Dragons competing in the Ballarat Regatta on Lake Wendouree.
Photo: Contributed

The Monday after the event, the Water Dragons received news that six of their members had been nominated to train with the Victorian Dragon Boat team.

To be considered for the state team, the dragon boaters must pass a series of benchmarks for physical fitness involving pull-ups, chin-ups and bench-presses.

They are also required to single-handedly paddle a dragon boat – normally propelled by 20 people – over 200 metres within a certain timeframe.

Should they meet the benchmarks, the members will then be selected to represent the state at the upcoming Australian Dragon Boat Championships, scheduled to take place in April.

Watts said the achievement was “pretty exciting (for) a little country club”, especially considering it was only formed two years ago.

Gippsland Water Dragons currently consists of 50 members, and trains at the Port of Sale.

For more information on the club, visit their official webpage:

Members of the Gippsland Water Dragons with two of their “extra paddlers” from a Melbourne-based club.
Photo: Contributed