Boat Blessing – Nogard


Saturday’s weather was always going to be a concern. Crews from Nowra and Moruya Dragon Boat clubs arrived early and trained on the Inlet from 9.30am until noon. At 2pm, combined Sussex Inlet, Nowra and Moruya paddlers positioned the 20 seater boats on the Inlet in front of the RSL to meet the 10 seater “baby”. All four boats then raced back to their moorings to be ready for the “Boat Blessing” ceremony.

On her trailer in front of the RSL, “Baby” and the Sussex Inlet River Dragons waited in front of a crowd of 90 or so spectators. Russell Donnelly, our MC for the day, introduced and welcomed our visitors and guests. Representatives from Nowra, Moruya and Port Hacking clubs were present, Ron Kelly and staff from Burton Dragon Boats, David Horvat Acting Principle from Sussex Inlet Public School and many students and parents.

Russell called on River Dragons President, Mal Wearn, to present the winners of the two competitions. “Name the Boat” was won by Ethan Keywood with his entry “Nogard” (Dragon spelled backwards). Runner up was Ben Ewings with “Happy Dragon”. “Colour the Dragon Boat” winner was Brodie Critcher and runner up Jorge Tekis. The four students were awarded prizes generously donated by Sussex Inlet NAB.

The Reverend Marty Davis was introduced to conduct the blessing ceremony. Marty performed the blessing using well chosen Bible references and alluded to his experience the previous week when paddling with the team. At the end of the ceremony, almost on cue, down came the rain.