DRAGON BOATS: The Observer sports reporter Nick Kossatch caught up with Australian Dragon Boat youngster Regan Yea.
The 16-year-old Boyne Island resident is this week's Yaralla Junior Sports Star winner and she told the Observer of her journey thus far in the sport.
NK: How did dragon boat racing start for you?
RY: I went to a come and try day with the local club when I was living in New South Wales and liked it straight away.
NK: At what stage did you realise this is the sport for you?
RY: Pretty much straight away, there was a juniors club there and I really enjoyed the teamwork showed by all the paddlers.
Dragon boating is a very friendly sport where all clubs support each other.
NK: Who have been your biggest influences? Eg coaches etc etc
RY: I have a fantastic Queensland coach, Martin, who lives in Brisbane but goes above and beyond to help me out with my training, going through my videos and giving me one on one support whenever I am down there.
He also coaches the combined Queensland team -the Sonics - which has members from all over the state.
He does an awesome job!
My dad has also been taking me out on the single craft leading up to this event offering me heaps of support and feedback.
NK: Other than France, where else did you compete in and what comps were they?
RY: We have State and National titles each year.
In 2016 it was Bucca for states and Adelaide for Nationals.
After that was the selection camp for the Australian team - the Auroras at the AIS in Canberra.
In 2017 states were in Brisbane and the Australian Nationals were at Albury Wodonga.
The world titles are held every two years and will be in Thailand in 2019.
Locally the Wide Bay holds five regattas and I often go to Brisbane to compete in other local club regattas with the Sonics.
NK: What is it about drag boat racing that other sports don't have?
RY: I'd have to say the teamwork.
There are up to 22 people in the boat and we all have to have exact timing and the same technique.
There is no room for anyone to be 'better' or 'faster' as you all have to work together to ensure the best results.
We race seven boats abreast, that's 154 people in one race that can last less than a minute.
The energy is amazing.
Do you play other sports?
Not at the moment as I have been training on the water and in the gym leading up to these Championships.
I enjoy running and crossfit.
Member of the Australian U18 Auroras
1770 Dragon Boat Club member
School: Tannum Sands Year 11
Work: McDonalds, Boyne Island