The Victor Dragons dragon boat team recently travelled to American River, Kangaroo Island, to participate in the Dragon Boating Hat Regatta hosted by Kangaroo Island Dragon Boat Club.
Held on the first weekend in February, the event was geared more towards enjoyment than serious competition and since the devastating fires, provided an opportunity for visitors to support local tourism and business on the island.
The Hat Regatta held on the Saturday consisted of five events: The 200 metre sprint; the Survivor Challenge; a fancy hat and dress up race plus a two kilometre race.
With approximately seventy participants from various clubs from around the state, participants were allocated a place on one of two dragon boats in the heats for each race.
Consequently, everyone finished admirably in either first or second place, but the winning boat was judged on best overall time.
A lot of cheering and jeering took place and the conditions on American River ensured that getting wet was all in good fun and part of the camaraderie.
At the end of racing, a celebration dinner was enjoyed at the Shed (American River Sports and Recreation Club) where raffles were held in aid of bushfire relief and various awards presented.
Tai Chi and dragon boating seemed fitting activities to combine, especially for the start of Chinese New Year and Sunday morning began with the gentle exercise of Tai Chi, led by Gary Smith, followed by a social paddle. Afterwards, visitors were treated to a farewell morning tea.
During the weekend, dragon boaters' paths crossed as they explored the island spending much needed tourist dollars.
The Victor Dragons are a regular sight on Encounter Lakes on Sunday and Wednesday mornings.
Anyone interested is welcomed by the club to come and try, with various paddling options from social/fitness paddling to racing for more competitive individuals on offer.
For details, visit Victor Dragons on the Dragon Boat SA website or contactMaxine via: 0410 507 173 or Les via: 0408532505.