Beaches, bays and bridges on display

HOBART’S iconic waterfront landmarks will be the focus of an upcoming long-distance dragon boat event on Saturday 14 March.

A fleet of dragon boats powered by 130 paddling enthusiasts from interstate will make the 42 kilometre journey from Lindisfarne Bay to Sullivans Cove, upstream via Prince of Wales Bay under the Bowen Bridge to MONA, before heading back to the Tasman Bridge.

Hosted by the Derwent Storms Dragon Boat Club, the ‘Beaches, Bridges and Bays’ event has attracted keen interest from Victoria and New South Wales.

Derwent Storms Dragon Boat Club president Andrew Lovibond said the event showcased the River Derwent to interstate dragon boaters who were often restricted to paddling in a relatively confined area.

“We are so spoiled for choice in Hobart,” he said.

“As well as the dominant peak of Mt Wellington visible from most locations on the river, there are some great little bays, industrial landmarks and historic sites all visible from the water.”

The Beaches, Bridges and Bays event will get underway at 7.30am, giving the paddlers plenty of time to cover the marathon route and be back in time for lunch.

The crews from the seven 20-seat boats will break for a mid-morning snack at Prince of Wales Bay.

Mr Lovibond said many of the visiting paddlers had participated in dragon boat events in Tasmania before and were always keen to return.

“We try to offer them something different each time they come,” he said.

“The New Norfolk to Hobart Four Bridges paddle in 2016 was so popular that we hosted the Huon Challenge in 2018 and now we have been asked to stage this event.

“Paddlers love coming to Tasmania.

“Most of them stay for a week or two, and many travel around the state visiting Tasmania’s other dragon boat clubs at St Helens, Launceston and Devonport.”

The Beaches, Bridges and Bays dragon boat fleet will be accompanied by a flotilla of support boats.

The motor launch Egeria, carrying interstate spectators, will shadow the event.

The public will be able to see the boats from various onshore locations throughout the morning.

The paddling for visiting crews will continue the next morning with a mini regatta at Lindisfarne Bay.

Caption: Interstate dragon boat crews are coming back to Hobart to race on the River Derwent.

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