Port Macquarie paddler Tayla Coubrough collected a haul of medals at national titles in Brisbane

Medal haul: Port Macquarie paddler Tayla Coubrough emerged from the national titles with five medals. Photo: Ivan Sajko
Medal haul: Port Macquarie paddler Tayla Coubrough emerged from the national titles with five medals. Photo: Ivan Sajko

TAYLA Coubrough must think dragon boating is a simple sport.

After signing up to join the Port Macquarie Flamin’ Dragons just over three months ago, the 16-year-old emerged with a bag of medals from the Australian Dragon Boat Championships.

Coubrough claimed gold for the NSW Zodiacs in the under-18 200-metre mixed event at Lake Kawana on the Sunshine Coast on March 5 and 6.

She also picked up three silver medals in the 200-metre women’s, 500-metre women’s and 2000-metre women’s divisions along with a bronze in the 500-metre mixed paddle.

“There was a pop-up store in the shops at Settlement City and mum wanted to join because she didn’t want to join by herself,” the teenager said.

“Then we went to a few regattas and there was a lady there that said I could join and then it went from there.”

After paddling for the first time, the club’s youngest member enjoyed it so much she kept on returning.

“I liked it because it’s in the morning and it’s really good because they push you really hard,” she said.

The Port Macquarie teenager said she enjoyed the experience in Queensland where her team exceeded expectations.

“I didn’t think we’d get any medals,” she said.

“We were pretty bad to start with and we ended up with some medals which was great.”

She said the standout performance was the gold medal effort on the second day.

“It was my second last paddle so we really improved and it gets easier the more you do it because the first race is the hardest out of all of them,” she said.

“It was really good after only paddling for a few months.”

The teenager said she noticed the difference between the “A-boat” and the “B-boat”.

“When you go in the A-boat you feel like you’re actually doing something because it’s quicker than the B-boat.”

And how much longer did she plan on paddling for?

“After the first time I enjoyed it,” she said.

“I’ll probably do it for a while, but I might stop in the winter then come back when it’s a bit warmer.”

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