Our rookies, carefully nurtured and hatched were straining at the leash to hit the water and rampage over 500.After a rainy few days Komodo awoke to a clear, calm and crisp morning. It would have been a terrible day for sailing but it was the perfect day for Dragon Boating.
Girls on Fire
After a quick warm up and briefing, the Women were on the water for the first heat of the day. The 500m Dragon Boat race is the distance where technique is of the upmost importance and Komodo women are the current 500m National Champions. At the end of the 500m it was Komodo first, and daylight second and third.
Sweep With No Name
Next up was the open team, and while off to a good start, there were a few hiccoughs along the way. Maybe it was the smell of bacon and coffee wafting across the water, or maybe a subconscious urge to get a little of that lane 6 winning glory, but the Komodo opens took a notable detour towards the Kingston side of the lake, crossing into lane 6. The sweep managed to right their course, and came off with first place, leading the other teams home by 5 seconds.
Then was the mixed racing, and let’s just say things did not go as smoothly as the other two divisions; with Komodo racing with only 18 paddlers in each boat, we were going to have to race with 10% more determination.
Heat two rolled around and went pretty much the same as heat two but with some slightly better paddling, and to oursurprise, we were ahead of time when we looked at the race schedule! This caused much confusion around Grevillea park, as being ahead of time in Dragon Boat racing is as rare as tasty school lunch. Speaking of schools, it was good to see some of the children of Komodo members out paddling with the school teams, as I’m sure in years to come we will need to replenish our paddling stocks.
The officials then got a to have a quick break which is also rare, just ask Mick Barlow (aka Canberra’s number one boat holder/wrangler). Mick was witnessed trying out some new boat holding techniques due the calmer than usual water, allowing him to get a bit flamboyant with his boating holding routine.
The finals were then upon us and the Komodo Women finished the day like they started; with a resounding victory in a time of 2 minutes and 26 seconds, which was a staggering 16 seconds in front of 2nd place.
Up next were the Opens, and Komodo powered home in a time of 2 minutes 17 seconds, 4 seconds in front of their nearest rival. A certain sweep, who has been promising carnage, may have bearishly veered ever so slightly across into another team’s lane. Luckily, this team was cool about it, perhaps because during their time in the Navy they learned to appreciate the difficultly in such manoeuvres.
Komodo v Komodo
The mixed finals were then called to marshalling; Komodo White and Blue were in lanes 2 and 5, which is unfortunate because racing side by side seems to bring out the best on both teams, as no Komodo wants to lose to another Komodo. The race announcer yelled go and both teams got off to a good start with Komodo Blue in lane 5 establishing a slight lead with 100m to go but unfortunately, they were just pipped at the post by 0.02 of second with Komodo White coming home in fourth 2 seconds behind the winner, which with 18 paddlers in both boats is a good result.
A special mention must go out to the rookie paddlers who saddled up for their first regatta Rodney, Nathan, Nikkie, Vivian, and Alix. Watching from the shore line, you couldn’t tell who was a rookie, and who was a seasoned paddler.
Finally, we must thank our official volunteers Heather Walsh, Mick Barlow, and Sue Taylor, for giving up their weekend.