Dragon boats roar into Ballina for Rainbow Region Regatta
DRAGONS and rainbows glittered, smiles shone and laughter echoed across Shaws Bay at the weekend as paddlers from across NSW and Queensland took to the water as part of the Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Regatta.
For Veda Dorrough, what started out as a way to stay fit after recovering from breast cancer has become an exercise that has taken her around the world and introduced her to many new friends.
"We originally started as a group for breast cancer survivors and their supporters," she said.
"It was thought the arm movement of rowing could help with lymphedema, so I started purely for exercise.
"We kept doing it because we love it.
"I've met amazing new friends and we paddle every-where. I have paddled in lots of different places, from Sydney, to New Zealand and the USA. We have some trips coming up to Adelaide and are planning a trip to Italy.
"It is a sport that suits every fitness level and every age."
Event organiser Deborah Gibson from the Lennox Head-based Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club was all smiles as she watched the racing under a beautiful blue sky.
"This is our third regatta and it is getting bigger every year," she said.
"It is a beautiful day but it's a bit windy at the southern end and that makes for some interesting turns."
"We have 12 sporting teams and eight community groups competing over the weekend. The community groups dress up and have a lot of fun. Lots of people end up joining a sporting team the next year as they have had so much fun in the community event."
For those who would like to try their hand at dragon boat racing, the Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club trains five days a week at Lake Ainsworth.