Dragon boat regatta up the creek without paddlers

DESPITE great feedback from participants in last Sunday’s dragon boat regatta, it may not go ahead next year if numbers do not improve organisers have said.

Now in its fourth year, and with increased entries, Dragon Boats NSW chief operating officer Melanie Cantwell said they are yet to decide the viability of running it next year.

“From our perspective we would always like more teams to compete but it was okay,” she said.

Despite a sign-up of seven school teams, 13 community teams, six western region clubs, one Canberra club and two from Sydney last Sunday, more are still needed Ms Cantwell said.

Ms Cantwell said while the event is scheduled to run at Lake Canobolas on Sunday November 17 next year she said its viability “will come down to dollars”.

“If we don’t get enough entries to cover cost then we just can’t run the event,” she said.

Colour City Dragons president Ian Sawtell said he was unaware the challenge’s future was in jeopardy.

“As far as we’re concerned it was highly successful,” he he said.

“We were out training last night [on Tuesday] and we got four more club members out of it.

“Considering the response we have I think we’ve done an exceptional job.”

Mr Sawtell said the fact that 20 community teams signed up to take part in the event is a sign of its success.

He said it would be “extremely disappointing” for the community should the event not continue into the future.

Mr Sawtell said while lack off accommodation could have been an issue for participants, he believes this will improve with new accommodation providers opening in the next few years.

Ms Cantwell did however say she received a lot of good feedback from those who took part in the regatta and also people who watched it. “Everyone who participated really enjoyed themselves and had a great time,” she said.

“Unfortunately like anything it all comes down to dollars and cents.”

nadine.morton@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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