Aoraki Dragon Boat
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The "Aoraki Open" - 2012
Paddlers enjoyed a great day out for the "Aoraki Open Dragon Boat Regatta" on Sunday 26-Feb-12, at the fantastic Lake Pegasus. Weather was a little overcast, and a light easterly kep the temperature down to about 18 degrees. Teams set up tents on the western end of the Swing Bridge, and load into the boats on Kings Beach.
First race was at 9:30 am, with one Heat of 250 metres. This was the teams' first use of seats and drums (on a race day, this season) so the first races were a 'rolling start'. That is, boats are edged up to the start line in the middle of the lake, but the Drummer don't have an overhead start rope to hold. This early in the morning, the easterly hasn't started so teams handle that very well. The fastest eight teams progress to two finals, resulting in:
Sprint Finals were immediately followed by the very popular
Tug Of War
Teams nominate a 4-person crew. They have 30 seconds to pull the other team across the line. Waimak Attack are defending Champs from 2011, and the Challenger Series saw Airways Paddlateers hold off a strong challenge from Give It A Go.
But in the Grand Final, Paddlateers managed to repeat their domination of the (water-based) Tug Of War (in December's Ice Breaker) to emerge as Land Champs.
After lunch Rounds 3, 4 and 5 are 500m Heats, then all teams have a 500m Finals. These start with Girls B Final through to the Open A Final at 4pm.
The four boats paddle to the start line at the beach on the north end of the lake (with a start rope for Drummers to use for alignment), and then race back toward the swing bridge. Full race commentary is broadcast around the great viewing sites on the bank. Results are:
Last year in the "B Final", Waimak Attack edged out Sampan Warriors ahead of Give It A Go. Note, up till last year, this event was still known as the "Early Bird".
In the 2011 Corporate final, Beca Carter continued to dominate (as they did at last two year's Early Bird), but Airways' Paddlateers managed to edge into second spot.
In 2011, Girls High just edged out Marian, a virtual repeat of 2010, where there was again a titanic struggle with Christchurch Girls High School (who had been the dominant players) found Marian College were very close on their tails.
In 2011, our visitors from Wellington dominated the Mixed racing.
Click here to see all Aoraki regatta (incl past seasons).
Paddlers knew this event as the "Early Bird" Regatta, but these past couple of years we have at least two extra regatta before now, so it is clearly no longer that 'early' in the season. So the event is relaunched as the "Aoraki Open Dragon Boat Regatta".
Teams affiliated to Aoraki and who pay season fees have automatic entry. That is, their entry fees are included in the season's fees.
Entry Fee to the "Open" for non-Aoraki teams (i.e. those that don’t pay Aoraki a season fee) are $300 incl GST, plus a fee to cover provision of a tent and/or other amenities they request.
Similarly, South Island Champs (Lake Hood, early March) cost $300 incl GST (plus a fee to cover tent etc)
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(c) Noel Anderton