From Marion Egan, IBCPC National Representative for Ireland.
The Irish teams have had a very busy start to our training and racing season. Regatta season is underway with our first Irish regatta taking place in Athy in April.
In May, three teams from Ireland travelled to the 4th Barcelona International Dragon Boat festival. Lagan Dragons, Plurabelle Paddlers and Suir Dragons competed in 200m and 500m races in both BCS and open categories. Apart from a weekend of tough racing, the event provided an opportunity for fun with lots of new friendships being formed and with lots of singing too. Thank you to Fiona Slevin for this photo of the Irish teams.
Caron Tierney was the solo Irish representative in New Zealand in April. Having paddled in Florence in 2018 with the Wild Atlantic Warriors (a composite team), Caron joined Nore Dragons in Kilkenny in 2019 who have provided great support for her since. She has also continued to make new friends as she travelled to various overseas regattas. She joined with the Vienna International Paddlers for their team in New Zealand. She found it a fantastic experience paddling with so many nationalities, there were 10 flag carriers from the Vienna team alone.
It was an unusual experience being the only Irish paddler, but Caron was incredibly proud to carry the Irish flag. She really enjoyed meeting up with friends from Florence and other friends she has made since. A real advocate for dragon boat racing, she feels that IBCPC and dragon boating help breast cancer survivors by giving us back confidence to enjoy life and travel while exercising and improving our fitness. Caron loved her trip to New Zealand, an amazing and beautiful country. She’s already saving for the next event in 2026!