Dragon boaters on a world stage

ALOHA, HAWAII: Paddlers from the Dragons Downunder squad during a training camp at Bathurst's Chifley Dam. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

ALOHA, HAWAII: Paddlers from the Dragons Downunder squad during a training camp at Bathurst's Chifley Dam. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

A GROUP of Bathurst paddlers will be making a splash in Hawaii next week as part of an international dragon boating carnival.

They will join paddlers from Orange, Forbes, Sydney and northern NSW in an Australian team, Dragons Downunder, to compete in the Hawaii Dragon Boat Festival at Ala Moana Beach from July 29.

Coach Deb Clarke from the Bathurst Pan Dragons recently held a training day at Chifley Dam to help the paddlers bond and train together as a team.

“Dragon boats fit 20 paddlers, a drummer at the front and a sweep standing at the back to steer the boat,” Ms Clarke said.

“Hawaii racing features the addition of a flag catcher who lays near the front of the boat and grabs a flag at the finish line. Failure to catch the flag constitutes a ‘no finish’ for the heat.”

The Central West paddlers are looking forward to some summer weather in Hawaii compared to the frosty weather experienced lately across the region.

And their tour won’t only be about competition.

The Dragons Downunder squad will also sample more of the outdoors in Hawaii, participating in snorkelling tours, canoe paddling, hiking, ziplines, Pearl Harbour and a traditional luau meal.

For more information about dragon boating in Bathurst, visit www.bathurstpandragons.org

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