This is the third year for the Abreast of Life Dragon Boat team to run this promotional session on behalf of Aoraki Dragons. Entry levels are looking to be slightly up on last year (28 teams in 2017, up from the 27 in the last two years).
This was the second year that the Abreast of Life Dragon Boat team ran this promotional session on behalf of Aoraki Dragons. Entry levels were the same as last year (27 teams) although one team had to pull out in the last couple of days before the event. Just to keep the race schedule running, Aoraki and ABOL threw together whoever was available into a boat to make up "Ridge Rockers".
Aoraki had been adding more and more events to the annual race schedule, getting funding for better equipment, running courses, developing Sweeps and so on. This had put great stress on their organisational capabilities. So local team Abreast of Life offered to run the event 'on behalf' of Aoraki, in return for a share of the entry fees that Corporate teams paid.
So 2015 was the first year that the Abreast of Life Dragon Boat team ran this promotional session on behalf of Aoraki Dragons. Up till then, entry levels had been 4 to 8 teams per year (session). But thanks to having a whole team using all their network connections, ABOL were able to enlist more than 30 teams, although that dropped slightly to 27 teams.
Teams that have a go should think about joining us in Akaroa for the Le Mans races:
Crews minus one runner sit on the starting Beach, stern/sweep on the sand.
Start-Runner sits on a line behind the boats and on the hooter, the Start-Runner races to the boat.
The boat may have started at that same time but the Start-Runner jumps on board and joins the paddling.
Start-Runner must be on the boat at the finish.
The Finish-Runner jumps off the boat once the bow has crossed the thick rope on the beach.
First Finish-Runner across the line at the path wins.
We remove the traditional Heads and Tails on the boats (and the drums) for the Le Mans races, because the races involve rapid entry and exit from the boat by the 'designated runners'. There are enough crashes, spills on the sand, and in the "high speed rear entry boat loading" without Dragon bits getting in the way!
Teams use the old 'plonker' paddles for this race because the waters are very shallow on the beach, and that is rough on 202a spec paddles - save them for the 250m Sprints.