Huge crowds flock to Shaws Bay for the annual Dragon Boat Race.
Huge crowds flock to Shaws Bay for the annual Dragon Boat Race. Amber Gibson

PHOTOS: Dragon boats lights up at Ballina

DRAGON boats were out in full flight on Saturday, racing down on Shaws Bay for the annual regatta.

This year, Jan Wright, president of the Lennox Head Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club organised the event and said to win, paddlers must master teamwork.

"The camaraderie of paddling if fantastic, when you are in a dragon boat you have to be as one when you are paddling," Ms Wright said.

Fourteen clubs spanning from south east Queensland to northern NSW participated in a 1km turn race, with 20 paddlers in each boat.


"Everyone dresses up and has a whole lot of fun," she said.

"I think what draws people to dragon boating is that it's a good way to get fit, anybody can paddle."

"Anybody from the age of twelve and we have people paddling up to the age of 70.

"We paddle for the love of it."

Andrea Cross, who was a sweep - the person who steers the boat - in the first heat said what she liked most about being a sweep was the power.

"You are responsible for 22 people on the water which is probably unheard of in any other water sport."

"It's just good fun, being on the water is fantastic.

Ms Cross has been travelling for 12 years.

"Every time you go out the scenery is always different, your paddlers and what they give you when you ask for it.

"We do into a little bit of a tangle with the other team and we escaped ok but we did loose a bit of time."