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

Aoraki Dragons can offer groups an introductory session in the Sport, for school groups and Juniors, or corporates and businesses. Click the tabs above to see other groups that we can accommodate.

Corporate 'Give-it-a-Go'

In November each year, Aoraki brings together several Business houses for a 'crash course' in Dragon Boating.

Aoraki provides a Sweep (helmsman) and Coach for the day. The package includes pre-race “on the water” paddle instruction and race training, culminating in an afternoon of fierce competition between rival corporate teams.  We provide the Dragon Boats, paddles, buoyancy aids, qualified helms (“Sweeps”), instructors, safety boat and driver, Marshals, Results Officials, competitor safety briefing and race schedule.

This season it was at Lake Rua (in 2015 it was at Lake Pegasus) on Saturday 7-Nov-15.

  • Teams arrive at 9, set up by 9:30. Safety briefing 10 am.
  • A Coach and Sweep takes each team through the basics on land and water.
  • Racing from 11am culminating in Grand Finals. Features a Full Professional Race Commentary.
  • Prize giving is around 2 pm.

The fastest of the fastest - but it was still a Dead Heat!

Event Manager Meri Gibson (ph 027 2273979)

Corporate entries (Total 26):


  1. Deloitte "Let's Gone Deloitte"
  2. RJ Preston "Preston Paddlers"
  3. BDO Spicers "BDO Dragons"
  4. BDO Spicers "Boat BDO"


  1. Mike Greer Homes "DisOarders"
  2. Mike Greer "Oar we there yet"
  3. Finishing Touch "Finishing First"
  4. "HSOB Assassins"


  1. CCC "Rebuild Rats"
  2. "WDC Floaters"
  3. "WDC Mish Mash"
  4. "City Care Slayers"


  1. Batchelar Mc Dougall "Puff the Magic Dragon"
  2. Davis Ogilvie "Team DO"
  3. Riley Engineers "Team Riley"
  4. TE Connectivity "TE Titans"


  1. "Southern Cross Tau"
  2. "Southern Cross - Loon"
  3. "Southern Cross - Ho"
  4. St Georges "Dragon Slayers"
  5. St Georges "St G's Bees"
  6. St Georges "George and the Dragon"
  7. St Georges "Oarsome Dragons"
  8. CSC Laboratories "Scientriffic"

Service Industries

  1. Concept Computers "Team Concept"
  2. Taylor Shaw Lawyers "Shaw to stay afloat"


Final: Lane Team Min Sec Place


Minor Final 2 Southern Cross Loon 1 36.3 1
  3 Dragon Slayers 1 43.9 2

Minor Final

  1 BDO Dragons 1 25 2
Minor Final 2 2 Are We there Yet 1 26.1 3
  3 TE Titans 1 21.7 1


  1 Lets Go Deloitte 1 18 2
Grand Final 2 Boat BDO 1 17.4 1
  3 Preston Paddlers 1 22.9 3


  1 WDC Floaters 1 23.4 2
Grand Final 2 Rebuild Rats 1 20.3 1
  3 WDC Mish Mash 1 29.4 3


  1 Southern Cross Tau 1 25.6 1
Petite Final 2 St G's Bees 1 30.9 2
  3 Scientriffic 1 33.5 3

Service Industries

  1 Shaw to stay afloat 1 24.2 2
Grand Final 2 Team Concept 1 16.1 1
  3 Aoraki Waka Jumpers 1 26.1 3


  1 Puff the Magic Dragon 1 17.7 1
Grand Final 2 Team DO 1 18.2 2
  3 Team Riley 1 20.8 3


  1 Finishing First 1 13.7 2
Grand Final 2 HSOB Assassins 1 12.7 1
  3 DisOarder 1 18.2 3


  1 Oarsome Dragons 1 25.4 1
Grand Final 2 Southern Cross 1 27.1 3
  3 George and the Dragons 1 25.8 2


  0 BDO Boat 1   4
FASTEST 1 Team Concept 1   3
  2 Finishing First 1   1
  3 HSOB Assassins 1   1
  4 Aoraki Mish Mash 1   5

See the drone footage from the day on Youtube.

Lake Rua hosting the Corporate Intro races

In 2014-15: teams included Duncan Cotterill, Christchurch City Council & CERA (combined), Corcoran French, and Ministry of Social Development.

In 2013: Five new Corporate-based teams had a great introduction to Dragon Boating on Sunday 10-Nov-13.

Great feedback, like: "you guys came across as a pretty slick operation (especially in dragon boat terms) and things ran like clockwork".

It's always great to share the thrill of Dragon Boating!

Youth, Schools or Juniors

Aoraki Dragons can run an introductory session in the Sport to your School or Youth group, such as Scouts or Girl Guides.

For example, we ran the "Windsor School Dragon Boat Experience" in mid December 2008 and again in Feb/March 09. Groups such as Girl Guides are also interested in gaining an appreciation of this very accesible (but rewarding) sport. Aoraki can also run special intro sessions for High Schools.


A session is typically about 2 hours long, with two groups each session, and around 14 children in each group/boat.

  • The school provides at least 3 adults per boat (in addition to Aoraki's sweep plus instructor).
  • Session includes:
    • introduction and background,
    • safety talk,
    • paddling techniques and strokes (stable, attention, paddles ready, stroke, back-paddle, draw etc)
    • dry-land practice of the skills and drills (maybe in the old boats),
    • the move the boats to the ramp, and put skills and strokes into practice,
    • time on water (to refine techniques and timing) and
    • one or two races.
  • Children must be able to swim at least 50m with confidence.
  • All paddlers must wear a PFD or life jacket (we provide adult PFDs).


Aoraki Dragons relies on the generosity of paddlers and sweeps to give up their valuable time (we all have Day-jobs), and we also need to cover the costs of maintaining our beautiful boats.

The fee is around $8-10 per child/student in the boat for the 2-hour session. Thus for a class of 28 kids in two boats (with 2 sweeps and 2 to 4 Aoraki volunteers), the fee is about $220-280 incl GST.

To enquire, email or call Noel on 351 2336 (after hours) or 358 1633.

Canterbury Secondary Schools Dragon Boat Challenge

In 2012, Aoraki decided it was time to introduce more local schools into the mix, so at the AGM a sub committee of Marie Childs, Terry Coyle, Ian Macbeth and Karyn Barisford were tasked with developing a program to stimulate growth. The result was...

CSSDBC - February to March 2013

This package includes five weeks of pre-race “on the water” training, as part of the Wednesday sport option at local schools, culminating in a full day of competitive interschool team racing.

Dragon boating offers an opportunity to develop excellent physical and mental skills. Timing, focus, discipline, determination, communication and mutual respect are all required to become a successful team. Style and rhythm of the paddlers are more important than raw power.

It is a non-impact, non-aggressive sport suited to a wide range of physical abilities. The process of practising together creates strong camaraderie, builds mutual trust, confidence and friendships that improve the overall well-being of each paddler – the whole is greater than the sum of the parts! The sport also provides multiple leadership opportunities.

Several Canterbury Schools (Shirley Boys, St Margaret’s, Hillmorton, Marian, Avonside, Villa Maria, Riccarton & Girls High) already have teams that compete for a full season, racing in several regatta during February, March and attending both South Island Champs and the NZ National Champs, so we invite schools to join up for the Challenge!


Just $500 incl GST per team. Why that's only about $20 each!

Season schedule

Five “on water” training sessions with a qualified sweep/coach (provided by Aoraki) at Lake Pegasus or Lake Rua or Avon River (New Brighton).

First training is on the afternoon of Wednesday 13 February, then every following Wednesday for four more weeks. Each training session is one hour on the water.

Teams included Rangiora Girls, Rangiora Rugby, Papanui Mixed, Kaiapoi, Rangi Ruru Girls, Catholic Cathedral.

Aoraki Open at Lake Pegasus, Sunday 24-Feb-13

South Island Champs at Lake Hood, Sat 9-March-13

Full day of racing on Wednesday 20-March-13. Prizes for 250m Sprints (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and Prizes for 500m Races (1st, 2nd, 3rd). Prize for the most spirited Team Chant.

Race Programme:

The general race day schedule looks like this.

Time Activity
13:30 (1:30 pm) Arrive at Lake Pegasus and set up team base/marquee etc
13:45 Welcome and Safety briefing at Race HQ. Then Start of Inter school heats 250 metre. For the 6 School Challenge teams only. Two lanes, 12 minutes between starts. One heat (race) each team.
14:00 Team A v B (250 m)
14:12 Team C v D (250 m)
14:24 Team E v F (250 m)

Challenge Petite Final 250 m (runners up from the first 3 races)

15:00 Challenge Grand Final 250 m (winning 3 teams of the first 3 races)
15.20 Break & School Chant Competition. Other Schools arrive (Hillmorton, Marian, Shirley etc)
15.50 All Schools (Challenge plus Full season) in 250 metre races.
15.50 Challenge Team A v (Full Season School) 250 m
16.00 Challenge Team B v (Full Season) 250 m
16.15 Challenge Team C v (Full Season) 250 m
16.30 Challenge Team D v (Full Season) 250 m
16.45 Challenge Team E v (Full Season) 250 m
17.00 Challenge Team F v (Full Season) 250 m
17:15 Interschools Minor Final
17.30 Interschools Grand Final 250 m
17:45 finishing by 18:00 Prize Giving for: 250 m Splash and Dash – Chant Competition.

What we have done in the past

Active Women, via Sport Canterbury

Sport Canterbury ran a program that actively encouraged the locals to 'get amongst it'. In 2008 and 2009 they ran an "Active Women's Festival" during March, and Aoraki Dragons played a big part in these.

Training on the waterThen they have changed it to "Move It Month", and brought it forward to October, so the participants had the whole summer ahead of them!

This as an opportunity to introduce Dragon Boating to people who want to try something new, fun and active. At the same time it is a chance for teams to attract new recruits.

The schedule (from about 5:30 to 7) included a Safety briefing, Background and history, structure of a season, basic techniques/calls/commands, warm up and timing drills, easy paddle upstream, around the corner, under a bridge or two, practicing basic technique, timing etc then practice a Race start and Run a race distance back to the pontoon.

Experienced paddlers are there to ensure we have stability in the boat, plus provide new people in the boat with tips and encouragement.

Aoraki allows for up to about 16 new paddlers per boat, to join our experienced paddlers.

General enquiries to

Safety first...

All teams will have a briefing on our safety protocol plus techniques and skills.

Supervised training

Full-time Adult and High School teams train from Aoraki's bases in Owles Terrace, New Brighton, Lake Rua or Lake Pegasus. Teams use the new Champion Dragon Boats which take 20 Paddlers (plus a Sweep and a Caller) or the Swift "Small Boats" which take 10 Paddlers.

Bear in mind, we may need to fit groups in around our athletes' preparation time. Normal season training sessions start after Labour Weekend with about 6 weeks before our "Ice Breaker Regatta" (first weekend of December) and another 2 weeks training before Christmas. Training resumes a week into the new year, allowing another 9 weeks training before the South Island Champs and another 1 or 2 before the Nationals (end of March).
Affiliated to NZDBA