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Editions

Intense competition for local dragon boaters

31 Jul 2014

Intense competition for local dragon boaters Image

Local dragon boaters could have their work cut out for them if they’re to make it on to next year’s national dragon boat team.

The Australian team, known as the Auroras, this year included paddlers from local teams including the Melbourne Flames and the Yarra River Dragons.

But according to Flames captain and Aurora’s co-captain Georgina Wakim, interest in joining the national team has doubled in the past year.

“It’s the largest response ever from the dragon boat community from people wanting to try out for the 2015 world championships in Canada,” Ms Wakim said.

“There’s been an enormous interest.  It’s the coach’s dream to be able to pick and choose.”

Ms Wakim said 540 dragon boaters would attend selection camps between August and December this year.

Paddlers, sweeps and drummers who attend the camps hope to be one of the 300 chosen to represent Australia at the World Nations Championships in Welland, Canada, in August next year.

The increased interest from the Australian dragon boat community could be attributed to the Aurora’s recent international success.

The team competed at the Asian Championships, Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Regatta and International Dragon Federation World Cup in June, bringing home a swag of medals.

The Auroras came home with five bronze medals from the Asian Championships in Macau, were the most awarded team at the Hong Kong regatta, bagging eight trophies and came in fifth at the International Dragon Boat Federation World Cup, against full-time professional paddlers.

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