Water Dragons clinch Aus Masters medals

Medal tally: Eileen Quin, Liz Shaw, Heather Compton, Winsome Smith and Denise Dion show off their medals from the Australia Masters Games.
Medal tally: Eileen Quin, Liz Shaw, Heather Compton, Winsome Smith and Denise Dion show off their medals from the Australia Masters Games.

Representatives from Merimbula Water Dragons have returned home from the Australian Masters Games in Tasmania with a clutch of medals including one gold, three silver and two bronze.

Heather Compton, Denise Dion, Liz Shaw and Winsome Smith joined forces with dragon boat paddlers from five other NSW clubs –  Orange, Bathurst, Moruya, Narooma and Shell Harbour to form the Southern Warriors and race in both 10s and 20s boats in women’s, mixed and open racing across a number of different age categories.

The Merimbula Water Dragons team was also joined by previous member Eileen Quin who travelled from WA to be part of the games.

Southern Warriors entered a total of seven events and received medals in six of them with many of their paddlers competing out of their age categories against younger teams in the 250 metre races.

Team captain Liz Shaw said she was delighted with the results.

“We had paddlers from six clubs in total who came together and performed extremely well as teams.

“Most teams had not had much practise together and so to travel to the games, join forces and come home with this number of medals is a great achievement,” Shaw said.

The senior B women’s team members were delighted to bring home gold having been extremely strong contenders in all heats.

There were silver medals for the senior A women, senior B open and senior B mixed categories with the last race a 10s rather than 20s race.

In an extremely strong field, the senior C womens 10s crew received a bronze medal.

Eileen Quin was beating the drum for this race as the Southern Warriors pull in to the pontoon after racing at Barrington Lake, Tasmania in the Australian Masters Games.

Eileen Quin was beating the drum for this race as the Southern Warriors pull in to the pontoon after racing at Barrington Lake, Tasmania in the Australian Masters Games.

And much to everyone’s surprise and delight the senior A open crew also received a bronze medal. Not only is this the youngest age category but the crew was racing with less men than other teams.

The dragon boating events of the Australian Masters Games were held at Lake Barrington at the International Rowing Centre in Tasmania’s north west.

Merimbula Water Dragons are now preparing for a regatta in Wagga Wagga at the end of this month and also one in Canberra in early December.

Dragon boat paddling is a sport for anyone over the age of 12 years.

Merimbula Water Dragons take out their boats on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays and anyone interested is welcome to come along and give it a try.

The first three sessions are free and whether you fancy just a social paddle around the lake or want to be part of serious training sessions for strength and endurance with the aim of racing, simply contact club captain Pat Helmore 0427 961 626 for more details about the paddling sessions.