Aoraki will let our paddlers know what is happening in our area, but also what is going on in other dragon boat circles.
New Rules for Right of Way an the Avon - Keep LEFT but pass in the middle.
If you look a the Training page ("Owles Terrace" tab), it describes how:
Dragon boats (and all forward facing craft) now travel on the LEFT of the river (UP-stream or DOWN-stream) whereas rear-facing craft (such as rowers) keep RIGHT.
Dragon boats now PASS on-coming rowing craft (who will hold their line close to the bank) by moving to the centre of the river before completing their passing manoeuver and then returning to the left bank.
Canterbury Crusaders use Dragon Boating for player development
Aoraki had the opportunity to give the Champion Crusaders Rugby squad a special session of training and racing in Dragon Boats.
Big Changes to Aoraki Board.
As per Facebook Aoraki 2016 Annual General Meeting was on Thursday 11th August at Airways offices in Russley. Two of Aoraki's founding members (Noel Anderton and Meri Gibson) stood down from the board, because there is a limit to how long they can stay on. That is, we continuously need fresh blood, new ideas.
We had four very strong nominations from new members, which resulted in three new faces on the Board of Management: Izac Frunt, Steve Greaves and Gavin Ryan. They join Rick Smith, Janice Melville, Ian Macbeth, Scruff Hewinson and Caleb Te Kahu.
Meanwhile, a Remit was tabled which proposes that Aoraki changes from a "Board of Management", to a "Governance Board" plus an "Operations Board" (actually an "Operations Management Team"). The proposal is that about 3 people will be on the Governance Board – these would most likely be local Dragon Boaters, but they could equally be people who are brought in, with the right skills and vision. So they are ensuring that the whole organisation has a commonly agreed direction and a plan. And that they are working in a sustainable way, within acceptable risk level in terms of safety and financial controls.
But it also allows for us, at some stage, to nominate a rep from Dragon Boat hierarchy and/or one from the local sports authority. This is so we can ensure we are in touch with the strategy and direction of like-minded bodies.
The proposal was for the Operations Management Team to have about 5 members, but this may not be realistic. It would include people who look after the running of Events, Equipment, Training and Development, Mentoring, Communicating (newsletters, Facebook etc) Financial Management and so on. The concept was accepted in principle at the AGM, and now there needs to be some changes to the Constitution, and that will be the next step.
Thanks to all for coming along to the AGM to discuss it more fully.
Aoraki were privileged to be entrusted again to host the pinnacle race event in the NZ Dragon Boat calendar on behalf of NZDBA. Two very full days of racing 200m, 500m, 2k Turns in Standard Boats and Small Boats at Lake Hood, Ashburton on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th March 2016.
Akaroa Super 12 Regatta
Congratulations to all teams who were at the Super 12s on Sunday 17th January 2016 in Akaroa. Winners were:
Then the Beach Races, with the Le Mans start and finish. Winner: Ridge Riders with a time of 1 minute 40.71 sec.
Le Mans Finals
Girl Guide Jamboree - CBee16
Aoraki introduced Dragon Boating to Girl Guides in their Jamboree. On the morning of Friday 8th January we took 38 Girls (plus Leaders) for training and races in Two Big Boats, which was followed on Sunday 10th we had another 40 Girls. Thanks so much to the crew of Sweeps/coaches Biff Frederikson, Amber Murphy (from Beca), Rick Smith, Evan Roper, Janice Melville, Andy Jones, Noel Anderton and Meri Gibson.
Ice Breaker 2015
Last season's first official Race Day was Sunday 6-Dec-15 at Lake Rua for the "Ice Breaker". Congratulations to Waimak Attack for winning the 700 metre Turns Race in 176.36 seconds, 6.67 seconds ahead of Aurecon (on adjusted time). And to Aurecon who had an amazing finish-line surge to pip Waimak in the 250 metre Sprint Final, taking it by 0.85 seconds. Sampan Warriors won the Women's Grade of the Tug of war, beating Catholic Cathedral College in the Final. And Waimak Attack beat Beca Crewsaders in the Men's Final.
Thanks to those that came along on Friday 16-Oct-15 for a chat at Airways (28 Sir William Pickering Drive, Russley) to hear about what's happening in the Dragon Boating World. For those that missed out on the pizza, see the Season Pack "Aoraki_TeamPack_2015-16.pdf")
Thanks those who have already offered (Beca Crew, Aimee and Chris from Paddlateers and Waimakers) to spend an hour or two on Mothers Day (whoops, sorry) 10-May-15 to stack our boats etc in the shed in New Brighton.
South Island Teams perform well at the biggest ever NZDBA National Champs
Congratulations to the Aoraki-affiliated teams who raced at Lake Pupuke in TWO intense days racing on 28th and 29th March 2015. There were thirteen full-sized teams, many of whom split into one or more "Small Boats". Teams included ABOL Amazons and Abreast of Life, Simply the Breast, Avonside Girls, Marian College and Chch Girls High Schools, Hillmorton (Mixed) HS, Beca Crewsaders, Airways Paddlateers, Ridge Riders, Tu Meke Dragons and Waimak (Attack/ The Force/ Thunder and Storm).
How a Team Grows
Aoraki was touched to read the following email from one of our crews in the days before the Season ends:
"Dear Meri, I've just gotten home after completing our last morning training on the river with this season's team. It's always a strange week for the school teams. A whole lots of "lasts"...
Last training session. The 2,000m race at Nationals becomes the last race that this crew will ever do together.
Some of this team will return next season for a second year but 15 of this years team are year 13 girls who will be leaving school this year. For so many of those girls it will be the last time that they ever paddle a dragon boat.
Next week all the girls experience a huge void. No more getting up at 5:30 to get down to Owles Terrace for 6:15 three mornings a week. For 6 months they build a very strong team bond... the focus on each regatta gets more and more intense with the increasing importance of the event. 6 months building up to compete at Nationals. attempting to emulate the success of last years exceptional team.
Then after the 2,000 race...
They miss each others company, they miss the training and the racing...
I miss it too!
They grow so much in six months. From the first time they sit in a boat, knowing nothing of the technique that makes a dragon boat go fast, I see them transform into a slick, strong, well drilled team. The lessons they learn in this six month season transcends the sport itself. Dragon boating is all about working together as a team.
Immersed in an environment that has the building of a strong team as it's primary focus, they learn the value of supporting and encouraging each other. They learn about setting goals and how to evaluate the progress made along the road in the attempt to accomplish those goals. They learn that success has to be earned. You don't get what you wish for in life, you get what you work for. I see girls developing motivational and leadership skills. All of these lessons learned will be useful in their home, work and social lives in the years ahead.
Thank you Aoraki and NZDBA for providing the opportunity for us all to enjoy a sport that provides us with so much on so many different levels. Evan Roper"
Aoraki is pleased to to announce the addition of of Reon Tiweka to the manangement board, following an election that finalised at the Akaroa Super 12. We look forward to Reon joining us at the table from our meeting of Tuesday 10-Feb.
South Island Dragon Boat Champs:
Despite a cloudy start on Saturday 14-March, and a light Northeaster, the South Island Champs at Lake Hood, Ashburton was a roaring success. First races were 200 metre Sprints, with two Heats and a Final. Congratulations to Avonside Girls, Hillmorton (Mixed Schools), Waimak Thunder (Womens) and ABOL (BCS) as well as Aurecon (Corporate) and Tu Meke (Open).
From about 1 pm we had the 500 metre races, the 'elite' distance. From about 3:50 pm the 2,000 metre Turns Races started, in Two "Flights".
Last Minute loss of our racing lake! - Change of location for the "Aoraki Open"
"The 2015 Aoraki Open" was the very first Dragon Boat Regatta to be held on Lake Rua, north Christchurch. We believe this is a fantastic venue, especially for short distance racing.
This followed the shock news that week before racing that Lake Pegasus was closed due to toxic algal bloom in the water. This means that we strongly recommend that teams DO NOT TRAIN at Lake Pegasus.
The signs are that it will be quite some days before they open Lake Pegasus BUT Lake Rua [proved to be] an AWESOME "Plan B"!
Probably the greatest disadvantage is that we cannot have full 500m Straight Line Racing at the lake, but we ran 'one-turn races' down the lake and back toward the beach (containers).
Lake Rua is accessed off the end of Greywacke Rd, which is off Johns Road (turn North off Johns Rd by the Crematorium, by Smiths Crane Hire). See the map on http://www.aoraki-dragons.co.nz/pic/rotokohatu/ge_roto_kohatu_tahi_rua2.jpg
Meanwhile we are looking at how we can help teams prepare for 500m Racing (for South Islands, and Nationals). At this stage we expect this will be a "Twilight Racing" session at Kaiapoi or similar, or back at Lake Pegasus if it opens in time. Please let us know your thoughts.
Corporate teams have a taster - A Fair Win For Duncan Cotterill
The combined teamwork of the Duncan Cotterill crew outpaced the Christchurch City Council-CERA crew on the water at Pegasus on Saturday 22-November.
The annual Corporate Challenge day began with a fierce tussle between CCC/CERA and Corcoran French. The race began with a slick neck-to-neck start from both of these teams. However the Corcoran French crew found the timing hard to hold on to, faltering just after the half way mark of the 250 metre course. A stylish recovery drew them closer, but Corcoran French just managed to win by a dragons head.
Race two was an easy win for Duncan Cotterill over the less experienced, all female crew of the Ministry of Social Development (MinSocDev).
With no time to recover, Duncan Cotterill paddled straight back to the Start Line to take on the Corcoran French crew, fresh from a break on land. With a strong wind across the lake, Corcoran French were forced to start well outside their lane. However, they managed to paddle cleanly, neck and neck with Duncan Cotterill for much of the race. In the exciting final quarter, Duncan Cotterill pulled ahead with impressive synchronicity of their paddle entry, despite their tiredness from the previous race. That precise timing eventually gave them a clear boat-length win to the race. Battling the strong nor’west winds meant that neither crew finished in their own lanes. Normally, that would mean disqualification, but as no other crew was affected, the results stood.
CCC-CERA crew were slow from the start against the MinSocDev crew, with their timing still being in the developmental stage and causing some erratic paddling. However they managed to draw ahead for a decisive win by more than a boat length.
The unfortunate MinSocDev crew then had to quickly make the return trip up the lake to face the now refreshed Corcoran French team. In this race, the teamwork of MinSocDev resulted in some well-coordinated, precision paddling. However, their strength was no match for the muscle power of the Corcoran French crew.
With the luck of the draw, the sixth heat became the final. With equal race points at this stage, the odds were evenly spread between CCC/CERA and Duncan Cotterill ("DC D-Rag").
DC had a fast start, building their power from their initial four strokes and speeding up over the next fifteen. CCC/CERA had accurate paddle placement, but less power on the strokes. Half way through the course, DC was one boat length ahead. CCC/CERA managed to squeeze back some of that distance over the next quarter. However, DC D-Rag pulled out extra power with their final twenty strokes to draw away again, finishing by one boat length.
With that third win, Duncan Cotterill had a clear, though narrow win over their CCC/CERA rivals.
1st: Duncan Cotterill
3rd: Corcoran French
4th: Ministry of Social Development (MinSocDev).
New roles on the Board
Unfortunately, Toriana has resigned from Aoraki Board (effective 3-November), as a result of extra responsibilities she has taken on at work, on top of the pressures of daily home life. She assures us we did not scare her off, and she is still keen to help in other ways.
So the great news is that she has offered to run the Race Starts at Aoraki for our regatta - an offer that we were very eager to accept. For paddlers, it means we will have an experienced, savvy and consistent race starter for our season. Thanks, Tolz.
Meanwhile, Biff Frederikson stepped up to help Aoraki in whatever way she can. For a start she took on the role of coordinating the Corporate Give It a Go day on Saturday 22-Nov-14. Others from the Dragon Boat community also stepped forward, and at the Akaroa Super 12 regatta, Aoraki announced that Reon Tiweka of Aurecon Engineering won the election for the nith position on the Board.
Season Launch at Trevinos
Team managers, captains, Sweeps and Paddlers met at Trevinos in Riccarton on Friday (17-Oct) from 6pm to hear about what is in stall for the coming paddling season.
New Board Members
At Aoraki's Annual General Meeting on 7-August-2014, we welcomed three new faces to the Board: Andy Jones, Toriana Hunt and Dale (Scruff) Hewinson. These people are certainly not strangers to Dragon Boating though - they have illustrious careers of paddling, coaching and sweeping behind them. Welcome aboard!
Andy is a Science Master at Avonside Girls HS, and (along with Evan Roper) has brought the AGHS team to the top of the Girls School league. Torianna has paddled with Tu Meke for many years and is recently their main Sweep. She is also in demand when visiting teams (such as STB) come to our regatta. And Scruff has been a vital part of Aoraki's set up and maintenance crew for the past 7 years and more. He is a vastly experienced Sweep and Coach for numerous teams, Schools and Adults
Twenty Years Abreast - "Abreast Around The World” – 13 June 2015 - Did you know that it is Two Decades since Dragon Boat paddling was recognised as a good thing for patients with lymphodema? Dr Don McKenzie recognised that Dragon Boat had the key features that would benefit recovery - a safe entry level activity allowing high intensity upper body execise.
Aoraki and 'Abreast of Life' were among the first to celebrate this on the Kaiapoi River from 1pm on Saturday 13-June-15. Two boats went out in beautiful sunny conditions, in a very high tide. Photos (courtesy of Pete Mitchell) coming soon.
The 20 Years Abreast Committee has posted a video with an interview with Dr Don McKenzie to mark the event. Carol Dale, President of Abreast In A Boat provides a brief introduction, followed by Dr Don and Jane Frost (Member, 20 Years Abreast Committee and
President of IBCPC International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission) concludes with best wishes for a happy day.
"As the sun dawns on June 13th in the South Pacific, our Kiwi friends will be the first to celebrate, followed shortly by the Aussies. Those two countries, along with South Africa, will undoubtedly be chipping the ice off their boats while we in the Northern Hemisphere will hopefully be paddling in the glorious summer sunshine. It feels poignant to me the last teams to paddle that day will be those on the west coast of North America – where indeed this amazing adventure began just 20 years ago! And, when you wake up on June 14, it will not be long before you hear who will host the next International Breast Cancer Paddlers' Commission Festival. Best wishes for a happy celebration. Jane Frost.
Working Bee 2015 secures our assets (or does it?...) - Thanks those who have already offered (Beca Crew, Aimee and Chris from Paddlateers and Waimakers) who have offered to spend an hour or two on Mothers Day (whoops, sorry) 10-May-15 to stack our boats etc in the shed in New Brighton.
Sadly, one or more vandals broke into the Owles Terrace Compund within a week, spray painting a Swift Boat and stealing about 6 paddles. They also took three of Te Awa Haku's waka out onto the Avon, smashing a single in two - very sad and disappointing, to say the least.
Tu Meke dominate in Wellington 2014 - Christchurch's Tu Meke Dragons featured in an Advertorial in Press in May this year. Team captain Lorraine Flintoft used the feature to thank The Golden Mile for their generous sponsorship over the years, and to give credit to the team's new coaches, Alex McLeod and 'Slim' Johnson for some impressive results this season.
Tu Meke won the Open Final at the Wellington Festival in March 2014.
Horomaka Shock in AusChamps. - Hillmorton High School took 14 paddlers to compete at the Australian National Dragon Boat Champs from Wednesday 16 to Sunday 20-April. Watch Facebook for updates from Caloundra.
Working Bee at Owles. Thanks to those paddlers that came down to our base in Owles Terrace, New Brighton to reorganise and reshuffle our 16 boats in the shed, so that we can do our Winter Maintenance.
New Schools "Enter the Dragon". ALL of the Secondary Schools who were at our "Secondary Schools Challenge" in Feb/March 2013 have signed up to be 'full season teams' in 2013-14 summer season. This includes Rangi Ruru, Kaiapoi High, Rangiora High, Papanui High School and Catholic Cathedral College. This is a direct result of their intro for new schools to the sport, where 6 new teams had Five weekly training sessions, culminating in a Race Afternoon on Wednesday 20th March. A great conversion rate, in anyone's books.
[11-July-12] Sampan founder, Julian Yee. 1962 - 2012. Aoraki mourns the passing of our Dragon Boat legend, Julian Yee.
[10-May-12] All hands on the boat. Another very short working bee please. Just about an hour's work from 10 am on Saturday morning. We will unload the boats off the trailers and lay them upside down on tires so that over winter we can repair any blemishes, scratches or wear on the Gel Coat hulls.
Did you hear?... Our thoughts go out to Rick Smith who is recovering from a fractured kneecap - ouch!
[10-March-12] South Island Champs at Lake Hood. Congratulations to Tu Meke Dragons, winners of the Open (Adult Mixed) 500m races, edging out Waimak Attack and Sampan Warriors, who celebrate 20 fantastic years in Dragon Boating. Beca took out the 'All Adult' 200 metre Sprints, and also the Corporate 500 metres.
In the exciting 2km Turns Race, Tu Meke had this under control, ahead of Beca and Shirley Boys High. Shirley proved they are a great Sprint Crew, posting the fastest time all day (49.01 seconds in Heat 2).
Girls High dominated their favourite distance (500m) but Marian took the 200 m Sprints and also the 2,000 m Turns Race. More...
[12-Oct-11] Season Launch. A handful of motivated team captains came along to Riccarton Club to hear what we had planned for the 2011-12 season, and to have their say in what they would like to happen. For example, one team suggested that some race days can drag a little long, so Aoraki have pledged to (a) keep the raceday schedule manageable and (b) stick to the time target.
Then a few days later, some more dedicated paddlers came along to help with another Sweep Training Day. Well done to Debbie, and Richard Bowler from Waimak Wanderers (Thunder), Barry from CIAL (ex NZ Post) and Andrea Kendrew from Hillmorton HS.
[23-Sept-10] Everybody out of the rivers. Following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake of 4 September, Christchurch's rivers have suffered water contamination from damaged sewers and infrastructure. Ecan declared the Avon River and Kaiapoi River (and others) out of bounds for an indefinite period.
Fortunately, Pegasus Town have welcomed us to use their lake for early season training plus some of the events we had planned for Kerr's Reach or Owles Terrace.
[9-June-10] Spring Challenge Camp. Aoraki and ABOL planned to help "Fit for Life" to run an "energetic weekend based in Christchurch, lead by experienced and motivated coaches [to] learn the necessary orienteering, navigational and mountain bike skills required for the Spring Challenge race".
Unfortunately their registration numbers were too low so they cancelled at the last minute. The weekend (10 and 11 July 2010) was intended to "learn how to dragon boat as a team, an experience requiring similar skills as the rafting section in the Spring Challenge".
[15-Jan-08] "Capsize Practice" dates. All teams should set aside Sunday 17-Feb-08 for a "tip-out" practice at Magazine Bay in Lyttelton Harbour [click here for a map]. In case of weather cancellation, Capsizes will be run on the following Tuesday evening (19-Feb). Coaches, please ensure your crew are fully familiar with the Safety Protocol (esp 5.9 to 5.20).
[8-Dec-07] March regatta brought forward. Aoraki have brought forward the date of the season's second regatta (the Christchurch Dragon Boat Regatta) by one week. Corporate and Open teams will now race on Saturday 1st March 2008. School teams will race on Sunday 2nd March. This assures us of better access to Kerr's Reach, with rowing crews being at Lake Ruataniwha for the weekend. And it also avoids the clash with the Wild Foods Festival in Hokitika on 8th and 9th March.
[13-Nov-07] Safety protocols under development. Aoraki Board are reviewing the safety protocols and waivers etc that have been in use in the past. Obviously, using the Avon for training and racing, safety procedures need to be re-assessed. Drafts of the forms are being circulated and will be considered at the next Board meeting. Meanwhile the Safety summary and team waiver can be downloaded here.
[11-Nov-07] Owles Terrace is the preferred training area. Aoraki Dragons recently met with representatives of Canterbury Rowing and local Kayakers. They are concerned that Kerr's Reach is particularly busy on weekday evenings. So we need to restrict trainings to one boat per time-slot, with most training down at Owles Terrace, New Brighton. That gives us much more river to play with, without having to watch for scullers, kayaks etc.
[4-Nov-07] Dragon Boats have arrived in Christchurch. Aoraki DBA have taken delivery of four more boats kindly gifted by NZDBA. The boats were unloaded off the Pacifica ferry from Wellington, and were set up on the new storage frames in the Owles Terrace compound on Sunday 4-November.
[Oct-07] New venue for Dragon Boating in Christchurch. Kerr's Reach finalised as new regatta venue (also for training, as well as New Brighton end of the Avon).
14-Sept-07. Mainland Dragons rejects Aoraki offer to buy assets.
16-Aug-07. Reps of almost all the Christchurch teams nominate
2-Aug-07. Mainland Dragons announce their retirement.
[31-March-12] NZDBA National Champs at Lake Hood...
Well what do you know? It IS possible to have great weather at NZ Nationals at the end of March! And what an awesome event. Great match ups. Fantastic Racing. Plenty of colour and excitement. And, of course, Well organised. More...
[29-March-10] Paddlers battle unseasonal cold at Nationals
Twenty four adult teams converged on Lake Hood on Saturday 27 March to determine the NZDBA National "Champion of Champions". Ashburton laid on a scorcher when Aoraki was setting up on Friday, but a Southerly change made for very testing conditions. School teams faced similar conditions on Sunday. More...
[29-Oct-09] Kiwi girls at Dragons Abreast Australia
Sunday 25-October saw several NZ dragon boaters compete in the Dragons Abreast Australia Regatta on Sydney's Darling Harbour. Meri Gibson and three other Abreast of Life team members paddled with the DAM Buster from Melbourne. They were leading BC teams in the event until... the skies opened up, thunder boomed and the forked lightning forced all off the water for the rest of the day.
NZDBA board member Mary McAvoy (and Julia, her CanSurvive teammate) joined a DAA composite team, some of whom had come from far and wide within Australia to take part.
The two Kiwis were placed as Strokes and were amused by a few grumbles regarding pace which resulted in our team holding their own in races. More...
[Sept-07] New concepts on show...
Crews who recently travelled to Australia (World Champs in Sydney and BCS Festival in Caloundra) are hugely impressed with the IDBF-approved boats. The (German) "BuK" and (Chinese) "Champion" were particularly impressive.
This bid is also supported by the City of Florence, the City of Barberino del Mugello, the Tuscan Region, Canottieri Comunali Firenze, the Italian National Olympic Committee and the Italian Dragon Boat Federation. The international panel of judges thanks all the bidders for their excellent submissions and for the hospitality they each demonstrated to the IBCPC team that visited each of the sites. The event will take place between the months of June and September in 2018.
Dates and registration details will be available next year (2016)."
[10-June-14] First World Champs of Dragon Boating
IDBF launched a new concept of Dragon Boating in the Chinese city of Fuzhou from 10th to 12th June 2014.
Mike Haslam advises that "the 2009 World Corporate & Community Championships, in Miami, which includes the BCS World Championships are 24 -26 April 2009 and NOT 24-26 July as published in the IDBF Calendar of Events and DBI Newsletter.
The change of date was made because of concerns about forecasts of possible hurricanes in late July 2009!"
[21-July-08] World Club Crews & Asian Championships – Penang, Malaysia
At least two NZ teams registered at "Penang 2008" - the 6th Club Crew World Championships (CCWC) and 8th Asian Dragon Boat Championships. All racing will take place on the Teluk Bahang Dam (a fresh water reservoir based paddle sport facility) from 31 July to 3 August 2008. Races are 200m, 500m and 2,000m
Apparently there are "92 Clubs with a total of 179 Crews racing in the CCWC and 40 crews from 10 ADBF Member Teams racing in the ADBC, giving a total of 220 crews from 22 countries entered for Penang 2008, including new Members India and Iran. In total Penang 2008 has attracted just over 4000 participants".
[21-July-08] World Champs in Europe
Poland will not be the venue for next year’s World Dragon Boat Championship. Shirley Boyswere due to travel to “Malta Regatta Course” Poznań in August 2009. But Mike Haslam of IDBF explains that a scheduling clash with canoeing regatta means the event is now moved to the reserve location Racice, just outside Prague in the Czech Republic.
The event had already been moved once from Moscow to Poznan, due to local organizational difficulties.
The purpose built regatta course in Racice, near Prague and the original dates of 26-30 August 2009 have been confirmed as being available. In a departure from previous Worlds, it is likely that most of the 2000m competitions will take place on the river in Prague City centre, with the famous Charles Bridge as the top turning point. The remaining races will be held on the Racice Regatta course some 30 minutes drive from Prague.
IDBF says "... the decision is in no way a reflection on the ability of the PDBF or the City of Poznan to organise and host an IDBF World Championship Regatta, having already done so in 2003, as well as a European Championships in 2002..."