Dragons Abreast Bribie Island – A WEEKEND ON THE RIVER

By Neil Wilson - Sub Editor for the Bribie Islander

Breast cancer awareness group. Brisbane. Queensland. Bribie Island

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Tags: Breast cancer awareness group. Brisbane. Queensland. Bribie Island

‘It was an amazing couple of days and everything was so well organised,’ was how Dragons Abreast Bribie Island secretary Joie Scheinpflug described the International Dragons Abreast Regatta which was held in Florence recently. Twenty-nine members of the Bribie Island club attended the event and from what Joie has told me, they all thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie and the opportunity to participate.

Featured Image(above): Dragons Abreast Bribie Island members Joie Scheinpflug and Judy
(Fin) Finegan with their participation medals and bright pink shirts.

The regatta was held on the waters of the Arno River with teams of breast cancer survivors from across the globe competing in timed races over a distance of five hundred metres and Joie explained to me that whilst the local team enjoyed being able to win one of the trials in their section, just being able to be involved and be there to support each other was the important issue.

As a much-anticipated part of the Dragons Abreast calendar, the International Regatta was attended by about four thousand and, over the two days of the event, the venue was a mass of pink with all the competitors and supporters decked out in the special shirts that were issued to all that were there. Each of the paddlers also received a medal of participation which had been crafted out of the local Murano glass.

Breast cancer awareness group. Brisbane. Queensland. Bribie Island

Rafting up for the Flowers on the Water ceremony.

Towards the close of the regatta, representatives from each team joined to paddle in a special “Sandy Smith” paddle which was in honour of one of the early driving forces in the movement and Joie remarked that Sandy’s husband, daughter and sister were all present as the boats made their way through the water. The finale on the weekend was when over fifteen boats rafted up mid-stream for the traditional “Flowers on the Water” ceremony. This is a tribute to all those who are not with them anymore and involves everyone throwing a single flower into the water.

Breast cancer awareness group. Brisbane. Queensland. Bribie Island

The Bribie Island contingent

The Dragons Abreast movement was founded in Australia twenty years ago and the Bribie Island club has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. I have been told that there are plans to conduct “come and try” days in the near future and this will be an opportunity for any prospective new members to see if dragon boating is right for them.

Anyone who would like to know more about the Dragons Abreast organisation should either send an email to [email protected] or make a call to the club president Leonie Dyer on 0418 782 334.

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