Paddlers set to fire up in search of back to back titles
HERVEY Bay Dragons president and crew member Jan Isbel expects her team to fire up when they begin their quest for back-to-back titles on Saturday.
Hervey Bay will host round one of the 2013 Wide Bay Regional Dragon Boat series, which will also be contested by Bundy, 1770 and Cooloola.
Isbel said the team had been training hard in the lead-up to the series opener and despite some changes to personnel she was confident they had the crew to defend their crown.
"We've got quite a few new members, but we've trained hard and we're ready," she said.
"We're competitors and we're going out there to win."
Tomorrow's regatta will also mark David Taranto's debut as sweep.
He will share the duties with experienced steersman and mentor Alan Schneider.
"Dave has been taking us through weekly training and is managing very well," Isbel said.
"Everyone has lot of confidence in him."
Because all heats and finals are raced over 200m, Isbel said getting a good start was pivotal.
"Your start has to be explosive because it's important to get off the mark well," she said.
"You have to build up your speed with short, sharp strokes then once you stretch out you just keep going as fast as you can."
Isbel said the best place to view tomorrow's event would be in front of the Hervey Bay Surf Life Saving Club.
8.30am: Dotting of eye and blessing
9.15am: First heat
11.15am: Minor final
11.30am: Major final