A GROUP of 15 Dubbo dragon boat paddlers have joined more than 12,000 athletes competing in the Pan Pacific Masters Games.
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The 10-day event on the Gold Coast saw 39 sports decided, but the focus for the Dubbo men and women was on the water where more than 1100 paddlers were involved.
The Dubbo Outback Dragon Boat Club really put the city on the map, achieving a personal best in the mixed event as well as finishing third in the repechage final.
"Our team performances were fantastic for us," Rhonda Russell said.
"But the most exciting result was that two of our members won gold medals in their cancer survivors event.
"Graeme Board and Allaine Duncan were part of a team that competed with success and we hope these results will enhance the popularity of the sport in Dubbo."
The Dubbo paddlers joined with a group of others from the North Coast and competed under the name Dubbo Delights.
In the boat were Graeme and Corrina Board, Robyn and Peter Diamond, Helen Simmons, Marilyn Wiggins, Chris Robinson, Margy Nott, Trish Pratt, Rhonda Russell, Allaine Duncan, Ria Perkins, Fiona Fidock, Di Cawthorne, and Kathryn Granger.
Back home the Dubbo club was represented at a regatta in Orange.
Now the focus for paddlers will be on their tri-weekly outings on the Macquarie River; organising a successful Champions of the River corporate competition; and continue organising for a trip to New Zealand next year.
And, after the excitement generated on the Gold Coast, these same people are not going to miss next year's Australian Masters Games to be held in Melbourne.
Chris Robinson has been a part of the dragon boat club for a number of years and her involvement now centres around getting teams to compete in the Champions of the River.
"This event has attracted a lot of interest from business houses and at the present time we are still looking for teams to paddle in December and anyone interested can contact me on 0424 435 363. We'd love to talk to them about getting involved," she said.
"This week (Thursday night) we had teams from WHK and Schools competing over a course that started at Sandy Beach and finished at the pontoon near the boat ramp behind Riverdale."
Despite boasting more than 60 members the Dubbo club is still keen to get more men involved to boost the power in the boat.
"Unfortunately we've never had a great number of men and when we go to regattas we get caught short out by other teams who have more males in their boat,"Robinson said.
"We encourage teams in the corporate competition and at the same time we're hoping to attract men to come along more regularly.
"We paddle each Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5.30pm at Sandy Beach on the Macquarie River and Saturday mornings from 7.15pm."
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