Encouraging performances from Port Stephens Dragon Boat paddlers at Forster Regatta

Port Stephens Dragon Boat Club paddlers turned in strong performances at the recent Forster Regatta. (Back row) Deb Downey, Andrew Downey, Brendan Jones, Neville Jacobs, Troy Vingerhoed, (middle) Jacinta Veitch, Karyn Price, Kate Stenhouse, Peter Mullen, Sandra Lyons, (front) Judy Nesbit, Jane Lockhart, Gail Hook, Kerry Agland, Kerry Jacobs and David Truswell.

PADDLING on the region’s waterways has become a rewarding challenge for members of the Port Stephens Dragon Boat Racing Club.

A focus on team building is reaping dividends for the newly-established club as they test their aquatic skills on the competitive regatta circuit.

At the recent Forster Regatta, the Port Stephens paddlers reached an important milestone when they were able to compete for the first time as a full boat under their own banner.

During the club’s formative years the paddlers underwent a development phase and often joined forces with other groups at various regatta events.

Port Stephens Dragon Boat Club President Karyn Price told News Of The Area it was “pleasing to finally compete as a full boat under our own banner”.

“We are very proud of all our competitors and to reach the Mixed 20s final in our first regatta is a huge effort,” Karyn beamed.

The Port Stephens club were represented by seventeen paddlers at the Forster Regatta and held their own against fourteen other experienced combinations.

Local paddlers included Deb Downey and Andrew Downey (Taylors Beach); Brendan Jones of Nelson Bay; Neville Jacobs, Sandra Lyons, Kerry Jacobs and David Truswell (Fingal Bay); Troy Vingerhoed and Kerry Agland (Salamander Bay); Jacinta Veitch and Peter Mullen (Corlette); Karyn Price of Boat Harbour; Kate Stenhouse and Jane Lockhart (Soldiers Point); Judy Nesbit of Nerong and Gail Hook of Anna Bay.

Four members – Agland, Lockhart, Mullen and Truswell – were competing at their first regatta.

In the distance events, the Port Stephens club finished sixth overall in the Mixed 500m and thirteenth in the Mixed 2km.

The club also turned in impressive performances in the 200m sprint races to register fourth in the Mixed 20s, sixth in the Womens 20s, seventh in the Women’s 10s and eighth in the Men’s 10s after two heats.

“This is a great performance to build from for our competitive members as we continue racing in the New Year with some of our newest members training hard in preparation,” Karyn added.

Port Stephens Dragon Boat Club offers social and competitive paddling from August to May from the Soldiers Point Marina.

They paddle Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5.30pm and Saturdays from 7.30am.

All are welcome.

For more details visit the Port Stephens Dragon Boat Club Facebook Page or log on to portstephensdragonboatclub.com.

By Chris KARAS

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