Hunter River Dragons set to make splash at Riverlights Festival

The annual Riverlights Festival’s celebration of the city’s ethnic and cultural diversity has a sporting twist this year.

The Hunter River Dragons will be demonstrating dragon boating at the festival on Saturday from 4.30pm to 6pm on the river.

They will also have a table in the levee where children can make their own paper dragon boats.

The club is continuing to grow and have success on the water.

Members recently attended a regatta at Taree where the very rough conditions in the Manning River made for a very “scary” two kilometre marathon paddle with their boat going very close to being swamped,

“It’s thanks to our capable sweep Tim Williams that we didn’t get swamped. One other boat in the same race capsized and the crew ad to be rescued,” club member Irene Hemsworth said.

“The following day we competed in the 500m races and were very pleased to make the finals especially as we only had 17 paddlers in the women’s race while the rest had a full compliment of 20.

“Then in the mixed we again made the finals but here again we only had six men compared to the others who had 10. Some of our men combined with South West Rocks and they finished third in their final.

The team toast success at the Forster marathon receiving a trophy for winning the first leg of 500m of the two kilometre event.

The Dragons welcome anyone interested in joining them. They hold training sessions at the Queen’s Wharf Morpeth on Saturday and Sunday from 7am.