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Auroras take to the harbour

04 Feb 2016

Auroras take to the harbour Image

Chances are you saw some fast and furious dragon boat action in Victoria Harbour last month.

National dragon boat team the Auroras held two training camps out of the new boating and community hub in Docklands in January, ahead of the Asian Dragon Boat Championships.

Local paddler and assistant coach of Docklands club the Yarra River Dragons, Jarrod Whitwell, was named co-captain of the national team at the first training camp.

He described the camps as intense, particularly the first camp, which saw the team paddling 100km in 12 sessions over four days.

The Asian Championships are Mr Whitwell’s second campaign for Australia, having previously represented the country at the World Dragon Boat Championships in Canada in 2015.

“Being able to represent my country is such a great honour, to do that as team captain and on home soil is something I never dreamed possible,” Mr Whitwell said.

“The paddlers have entrusted us to lead them and we will do everything we can to create a great team environment that will deliver.”

Mr Whitwell shares his captaincy with Darwin-based paddler Inga Davis.

Ms Davis said it was currently her fifth dragon boat season and her third campaign with the Auroras.

She said she would like to see dragon boating eventually become a professional sport in Australia.

“At the moment it’s an amateur sport. We do this for fun and it’s all on our own expense and time,” Ms Davis said. “You do it for the love of the sport for sure, but it’s also the ultimate team sport.”

She credited Auroras’ coach Serghei Cusca, who also coaches Docklands club the Melbourne Flames, with bringing the team together.

“It’s amazing how Serg, as our coach, is able to bring people together and get people working together when sometimes we’ve only got two weeks total time training together. It’s incredible what we can achieve in that time,” Ms Davis said.

The Auroras will compete at the Asian Dragon Boat Championships in Adelaide on March 29 and 30.

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