Less than half a second in it
THE Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club, based at Lennox Head, figured in a nail-biting final of the women's division at the Kempsey Macleay 10s regatta.
The crew won five of its six heats and went on to win its semi-final.
They led the final until pipped by the hosts, Kempsey River Rats, by less than half a second.
Nine clubs from right along the North Coast met at Kempsey to race in the new format.
Instead of the usual 20 paddlers per dragon boat there were only 10, and all had to be from the same club.
Rainbow Dragons also entered the mixed and open events, with the River Rats winning all three divisions.
The Far North Coast paddlers went into the competition on the back of intensive coaching in technique and racing skills in the lead-up.
They benefited from time with Kamini Jain, a Canadian sprint kayak Olympian and world champion dragon boat and outrigger coach.
The next test for the Rainbow Dragons will be the Grafton Jacaranda Regatta followed by the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast.
The PanPacs will be contested in three age divisions - 40+, 50+ and 60+.
Rainbow Dragons will combine with Gold Coast, Maroochy Sea Serpents and a few New Zealanders, so they will rub shoulders with several Australian and world champions.