Eleven members of the Lithgow Flash Dragons Dragon Boat Club headed off to Bathurst’s Chifley Dam to compete in the Western Region Dragon Boat Regatta on Sunday, November 4.
Teaming up with the Orange Pinnacles team to make a full boat of 22, the day got off to a fantastic start with the hybrid team taking out first place in the opening heat of the mixed event (men and women making up the team).
The Flash Dragons men then teamed with the James Sheehan High from Orange to again repeat the earlier success with another heat win.
The women then took to their heat looking to keep the winning feeling going but after setting up a clear lead for the first 150 metres faded over the last 50 to come in third, beaten into second only by one third of a boat length.
The next series of heats in all categories bought out the competitive best in all teams with the well drilled teams from Sydney Tsunami, Taree Dragons and the Wagga Middge Dragons fighting off strong challenges from the Flash Dragons-Pinnacles team relegating them to third place by a matter of seconds.
The strong showing by the mixed Flash Dragon-Pinnacle team in the earlier heats however was enough for them to qualify for the final of that category.
The final was a classic battle with all teams virtually level at the 150 metre mark at which point Tsunami and Taree stared to gain a slight edge.
The Flash-Pinnacle team lifLithgow’s Richard Forbes claims Transplant Games goldted over the last 20 metres and although gaining on Taree were beaten into second place by less than two seconds.
All in all a very creditable effort for a team who had only combined four hours earlier.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Lithgow Flash Dragons, which came to fruition after Jenny Hoye and Therese Evans became aware of the sport of Dragon Boating and thought it would be a great addition to the Lithgow and surrounding areas sporting landscape.
Consultation with Paul Engler resulted in approaches to Dragon Boats NSW who hosted a large group of interested Lithgow people at the NSW facility at Wattle Bay in Sydney introducing them to the sport and its requirements. From there the club developed with a boat hired from the NSW body which was kept in the grounds of the Wallerawang Basketball Stadium.
Twice a week the team would carry the boat 200 meters from the stadium grounds to launch it in Lake Wallace and carry it back after each hour long training session.
If there was any indication a club was going to maintain it’s existence it was in the dedication of those early members taking on this task.
With the construction of the community boat shed on the foreshores of the lake, along with the pontoon, and the purchase of a lightweight racing Dragon Boat and the construction of a suitable trailer to manoeuvre it, the club reached new heights and is now considered to have one of the best facilities for the sport in NSW.
The club is always welcoming of new members and if a paddle around Lake Wallace on Sunday mornings (9am) and Wednesday evenings (5.45pm) to build and maintain a level of fitness plus a social outlet appeals to you then drop out to the shed, introduce yourself and give it a try.
If you would like any information on the club and its activities give Pam Day a call on 0428 633 953. She would be only to pleased to hear from you.