National Dragon Boat Championship to bring in thousands
ABOUT 3000 dragon boat racing competitors will add firepower to what is shaping up as a bumper Easter for Sunshine Coast tourism.
The Australian Dragon Boat Championships will take over Lake Kawana from April 15-20.
Paddlers from 74 clubs will travel from across Australia to take part in the five-day event, and Sunshine Coast Destination chief executive officer Simon Ambrose believes the titles will have positive flow-on benefits.
"The Sunshine Coast can hold fantastic events with our great weather and fantastic facilities," he said.
"Events of any type that bring thousands of people to the Coast are very good for the economy."
Lake Kawana has played host to the event once before in 2009, and local teams are looking forward to competing on home soil.
Sunshine Coast Dragon Boat Club head coach Deb Matthews said her team had spent the past nine months in training for the event and would have about 40 competitors take part.
"It's a great advantage for us to be here on the Coast," she said.
In preparation for the nationals, the Queensland team took to the water yesterday to give racers one last chance to compete against one other.
Jason Ferrari, 2014 Queensland Dragon Boat Federation president, said yesterday's "bonding session" was a bit of fun before the mammoth Australian championships.
"Lake Kawana is about the only place that can handle that sort of volume," he said.
Dragon boat racing has grown in popularity with about 2000 registered paddlers in Queensland.
Mr Ferrari said competitors and their families would take advantage of the Coast's warm weather and sandy beaches before, during and after competition.