Back to the main page Aoraki Dragon Boat
Association (Inc)
Christchurch, NZ

Click these tabs to see the regatta Aoraki ran this season (incl NZDBA Nationals).

Ice Breaker 2013

Location: Lake Pegasus.

We started the season with our traditional Icebreaker in December 2013 at Lake Pegasus, this event gives the teams an opportunity to see how they are gelling together and for new paddlers a bit of a fun day to try out their new found sport and to get over those competition nerves.

The turns race is fun, and new paddlers learn that it is possible to keep going for a whole kilometer!

Date: -Dec-13

Major Winners: not applicable

See all Ice Breaker history.

Super 12 Festival 2014

Location: Akaroa

We also ran the now much-anticipated ten-man regatta racing at Akaroa on January 12th 2014.

Akaroa is an awesome day out and the weather has been kind to us both times we have run it. It takes a big logistical effort to get all our gear over there and set up but it is worth it. The ten man boat racing and the Le Mans starts are great to watch. This year some overly enthusiastic boatie hooked up our start line and dragged it off down the bay just as we were finishing setting it up, but setting up the finish line is easier - we do that when the tide is out and we just walk the buoys to where we want them. The stressful part is hoping the tide comes in so we have enough water to race in!

We had thought that by running the event two weeks earlier than last season that we may not have a full contingent of teams but that was not the case with more teams entering than the previous season. We saw our team from Greymouth come and join us and compete very strongly and also some of our Blenheim, Simply the Breast, paddlers also travelled down for the event, it was great to see these outlying areas represented.

Racing out in a harbour setting adds such a fun and challenging element to the day. The camaraderie of our teams and supporters, coupled with a huge spectator turnout made this yet again another fabulous event. One of our Tu Meke paddlers Alex McLeod carved beautiful trophy paddles for each winning team. These will be treasured in pride of place for those lucky enough to win one.

Date: 12-Jan-14

Major Winners:

See all Ice Breaker history.

Aoraki Open 2014

The Aoraki open at Pegasus ran really well again this year. The overhead ropes for the starts and the well-marked finish line make for even racing, and the "Yacht Club" platform makes for great viewing.

Venue: Lake Pegasus

The Aoraki Open was on the 23rd February 2014. This regatta is a serious run for the build-up to the South Island champs. The regatta was held at Lake Pegasus and there was good competive battling out on the water.

See all Early Bird history.

South Island Champs 2014

Aoraki's main Dragon Boat Regatta, the South island Championships were held at Lake Hood, with another great days paddling. This is such a good venue and we always have a very good days racing on lovely flat water and with such a brilliant venue we know that the teams will be very competitive on a level playing field.

The South Island Champs signalled an opportunity to test run all of our new initiatives before the Nationals the following weekend, also to be held at Lake Hood.

There was a tremendous amount of work done by the board members and helpers to get all the gear to Ashburton and back two weeks in a row. Special thanks to the members of Ridge Riders who helped us out with transport and set-up for both events.

Date: 22-Mar-14

This year's presentation of the Julian Yee Memorial Trophy went to Rangiora High School who had entered a girls crew in the season competitions. Avonside Girls High School - the first recipient - presented the Julian Yee Memorial trophy. This showed outstanding sportsmanship, camaraderie and general excellent attitude at regatta days. Avonside were very pleased to see the trophy go to Rangiora as a new entrant to the Aoraki family of paddlers and were very happy to explain its special significance.

See all South Island Champs history.

NZDBA National Championships 2014

29-March-14 at Lake Hood (hosted by Aoraki Dragons).

The NZDBA Nationals - hosted by Aoraki - were outstanding with many teams saying it was the best Nationals they had attended. This is huge kudos and a massive thank you to the board, volunteers and helpers who put everything into making this such a successful event. The number of teams who turned out was the best yet and the Aoraki member teams acquitted themselves exceptionally well with many medals staying in the South Island.

Ten Champion Dragon boats (for 5 lanes of racing), 200m Sprints (with a static start) then 500m Races (with a Rope Start for the Drummer) and then 2km Truns races.

Featured three race cameras, one behind the start line (positioned on the tray of a vehicle, on the beach at the northern end of the lake), one just south of the 200m Start Line, and one just south of the Finish Line Tower.

It also was the first time we moved the Crew Marshalling and Loading tent about 20m south of the Finish Tower.

Event Director for NZDBA was Meri Gibson (who also ran all the Race Starts), Aoraki's Event Director was Rick Smith and Techincal director was Pete Mitchell. Jennie Colver (Akld) was Race Director on the day.

Race timing was by Nigel Marx (including telelmtry to the start trigger and photo finish) and Commentator was again Richard Bromley.

The Nationals this year were one of the best in the modern era. We have had really positive feedback from many of the crews who raced there. We had more teams than ever before and with Amy on crew loading and the crews coming down early ready to load, we actually ran ahead of schedule for most of the day.

Amakura Kapa Haka Group provided volunteers for paddler scrutineering, carpark patrols, boat wrangling etc.

See all NZDBA Nationals history.


From the report to the AGM by Rick Smith ( Event Director): "I would like to take this opportunity to formally thank everyone who has helped us put on our events this year. There are lots of volunteers, dragon boaters, and friends and family of dragon boaters who are always willing to step up and help when needed.

"I strongly believe that this was our best year yet as far as Aoraki events go. This is our seventh year and we have learnt a lot along the way. We are very experienced now and we have good systems in place which enable us to consistently deliver high quality events. When we run a regatta everyone on the board has a role and plays it well. We have a large network of suppliers and service partners covering all aspects of the racing and after partying.

"A couple of special mentions here. Firstly for Amy who looks after crew loading and to Meri who did the starts at most of our regatta this year.

"In addition to our four South Island events and the Nationals we also ran a corporate day for 6 teams in November last year. This was incredibly successful and everyone had a fantastic day. Special thanks to Marie Childs and Meri Gibson for organising this and signing up the teams.

"Over the years we have fine-tuned the way we run these regattas and they keep getting better and better. The photo finish, the sound and communication systems, the race caller and the food vendors all added to the quality of the events. We had a new location for crew loading this year which reduced the congestion and really smoothed the unloading and reloading of the boats both on and off the water."

Affiliated to NZDBA updated: 10-Aug-2016 :: (c) Noel Anderton