ALL SMILES: Hervey Bay Dragon Boat Club members Dave, Lukas and Anjee.
ALL SMILES: Hervey Bay Dragon Boat Club members Dave, Lukas and Anjee. Contributed

Young star to represent at state level

IT'S been a busy, rewarding and exciting month for the members of the Hervey Bay Dragon Boat Club with competition at both state and national levels.

Congratulations to our youngest member, 10-year-old Lukas Taranto, who was selected in the Queensland state squad.

Lukas will join Dave, Anjee, Sarah and Sharon to represent their state and our club.

Several members combined with paddlers from other teams in the area to form a strong Wide Bay Team for the state championships that were held at Lake Kawana on February 17 and 18.

Although we didn't come home with medals, the team made finals and achieved several personal bests against strong teams from across the state.

The Australian Championship was held from March 3-8 at Lake Kawana and is Australia's premier dragon boating event.

It brings together a cross-section of paddlers from 70 clubs across the country.

Two of our Hervey Bay girls, Sarah and Sharon, took out silver medals in the North Queensland Regional team.

The Taranto clan consisting of dad Dave (Senior A Queensland), big sister Anjee and Lukas (Queensland Sonics and Australian Joeys) together brought home 10 gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

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The weather turned nasty in the latter stages with strong winds and rain making the results even more commendable.

Dave and Anjee were privileged to perform the time honoured tradition of dotting the eye on the dragon in the opening ceremony.

This tradition is said to awaken the dragon and it's considered very bad luck to paddle or race a dragon boat that has not been properly awakened.

Red paint is used to dot the dragon in five points - eyes to give the dragon sight, tongue to give him taste and the horns for dragon power.

The team is in full training mode for the start of the Wide Bay Regatta series to start at Bundaberg on May 5.

Those going to do the 36km Huon River Challenge on April 7 are putting in endurance training, especially in the early Monday morning session.

The club hosted Norm from Dragon Boat Queensland who ran a Wide Bay sweep (steers the boat) course for any member considering taking on the role.

His stories showed how far one can travel to have fun and meet people with just a paddle.

Our sausage sizzle was a great success despite overcast skies and a dripping gazebo.

It's great to see members helping each other and the club.

Thank you to those who bought a sausage and stopped for a chat at Bunnings.

For more information visit facebook.com/herveybay dragonboatclub, or visit us at 7am on Sunday, or 5pm on a Tuesday or Thursday at the marina, Buccaneer Dr, Urangan.