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Back to the 1990’s for Fantastic Canberra Regatta! Posted on: 14 November 2019

Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin was host to Dragons Abreast Canberra’s 20th birthday dragon boat regatta and celebrations on the weekend of 9 and 10 November 2019. The weekend festivities, with the corporate and social regatta as the centrepiece, was a super success thanks to the enthusiastic participants, and the brilliant organisation and passion of Dragons Abreast Canberra.

Julie Chynoweth from Dragons Abreast Canberra said “It’s wonderful to see the amount of interest shown by paddlers, supporters and just passers-by who were enveloped in the atmosphere on the lake and its shores. We hope that many will use the event to spread the word about the benefits of dragon boating after a breast cancer diagnosis.”

The regatta attracted teams from Canberra and interstate. There were those who have paddled competitively in international meets, those who paddle for fun and those who were paddling for the very first time. Teams were an eclectic mix ranging from ‘Soldier on’, the ‘Eurostars’, comprising paddlers from the European Union community in Canberra, including Ambassadors and High Commissioners, to the ‘Female Riders of Canberra (FRoC)’ a self-described disorganised Facebook group of female motor bike riders who try to be organised to ride their bikes for coffee or weekends away.

The teams used the event as an opportunity to raise funds that will allow Dragons Abreast Canberra and Dragons Abreast Australia (DAA) to continue their work in promoting dragon boating to breast cancer survivors as a beneficial exercise.

Mabel Sansom, Chair of Dragons Abreast Australia said “We were delighted to have such an eclectic mix of teams and it is very encouraging to see the extra efforts of 1990’s themed fancy dress and commitment to the cause of promoting dragon boating for breast cancer recovery while having fun! The competitive nature of many of the dragon boaters was evident as they paddled ferociously to gain the coveted trophies in their particular category.”

Saturday’s paddling brought a tough challenge from mother nature but it didn’t dampen spirits! Following the races, a special DAA Flowers on the Water™ Ceremony honoured family and friends who have died from breast cancer.

The event was a terrific success with many teams vowing to return next year for Dragons Abreast Canberra’s 21st birthday! Though why wait until 2020? There are breast cancer and regular dragon boat teams across Australia ready to welcome new recruits. More information is available at

A big thank you to Chris Holly for images!