A fabulous fourth anniversary celebration for the Parkes Dragon Boat Club was held on Lake Endeavour on Sunday May 15.
Although the day began damp and foggy, the warmth of friendship and camaraderie, with music and laughter echoing across the lovely Lake Endeavour kept everyone in high spirits for the day.
After Welcome to Country by Geoff Anderson and official opening by Parkes Mayor, Ken Keith OAM, the events began with nine Western Region clubs participating, including Bathurst, Blue Mountains, Dubbo, Forbes, Lithgow, Orange Colour City, Orange Pinnacles, Wagga Wagga and Parkes.
The highly anticipated 6km challenge was first up. Dubbo Outback Dragons team won in just over 34 minutes, taking the beautiful new perpetual trophy, donated by Bill and Beth Thomas.
Parkes and crew came in a close second, with Orange Colour City third, and the combined team of Wagga Wagga and Orange Pinnacles fourth.
The main event was followed by three novelty events which added to the great fun of the day, and the mixing of crews into different boats certainly engendered a very friendly, social day.
"It was good fun to paddle with different club's paddlers, mixing up the crews. What a great idea," said Dubbo Outback Dragons, as they thanked Parkes Dragon Boat Club for hosting such a fun event.
One of the technical skills challenges of the day saw the local SES drop 80 plastic balls into the water for each of the teams to collect as many balls of their colour as they could in two minutes, with a special prize for the boat that collected the 'golden snitch'. It was evident by the roars of laughter that all teams had a great time.
Precision steering by the sweep was another novelty, to see who could perform the best figure eight on the water with a dragon boat. The sweep of the day was Philip Tome of Wagga Wagga.
As noted by Chief Official and Western Region Coordinator, Pearl Butcher of Orange, in the official report of the day: "Judging by the laughter and chatter to be heard throughout, the damp conditions did nothing to dampen the spirits of paddlers and spectators."
"I loved seeing the clubs hopping in and out of different boats in the novelty events," said Pearl, "giving everyone the experience of paddling with those they'd usually compete against. What's the date for the fifth anniversary?"
'Well done Parkes Dragons', said Janette Fry, who took home the very first trophy for the new Blue Mountains Club, 'so looking forward to your next event!'
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.