Lachlan Dragons' magnificent seven to compete at nationals

Warren Edwards, Chris Favelle, Claire Davis, Rochelle Smith, Donna Edwards, Beth Thomas and Bill Thomas.
Warren Edwards, Chris Favelle, Claire Davis, Rochelle Smith, Donna Edwards, Beth Thomas and Bill Thomas.

The Forbes Dragon Boat Club is very proud of its seven team members who have been selected to represent Western NSW in the upcoming National Dragon Boat Championships: Bill and Beth Thomas, Warren and Donna Edwards, and Rochelle Smith of Parkes; and Chris Favelle and Claire Davis of Forbes. 

The championships will be held at Lake Kawana on the Sunshine Coast, with Western NSW competing on March 4.

The ‘magnificent seven’ have been training hard under State coach Deb Clarke, and assistant coach Lou Linke, and paddled in earnest on Saturday with a regatta against the top ACT teams on Lake Burley Griffin. 

All races were 500 metres, with some of the crew competing in as many as nine races! You could be easily forgiven for calculating this as being four and a half kilometres of paddling – but it is actually 9km, as crews must paddle 500 metres out to the start line and then 500 metres back at race pace.

“It was a fabulous day on the water,” Coach Deb said, “with everyone paddling so strongly and with commitment.”

Both coaches gave a big hooray for the results, with teams making all finals and taking one gold and one bronze place.

“The feeling of being in a boat racing to first place is indescribable,” Beth Thomas said. 

“Paddlers are totally focussed on their individual part in the race, but are conscious as well of keeping perfect time and technique with their fellow crew members. 

“As our boat cut through the water, we were very closely flanked on either side by the fastest of the ACT teams. 

“Neck and neck. Stroke for stoke. Beat for beat. 

“Then the Western team found their ‘inner mongrel’ (as the coach likes to quote) and we drew away in the last few metres to take the first place. 

“It was an exciting end to a great day.”

With only one training session left before the big event, the Forbes Dragon Boat members are all getting behind their seven representatives with lots of positive affirmations and loads of encouragement.

If you’d like to get in and join this great sport come along on Thursday at 5:45pm or Sunday at 8:15am. We’re waiting to welcome you!