Roving journalists Pam, Sandi, Trev and Dan, reporting from on location at ACT Champs 2023!

The weekend of 18 and 19 March saw the culmination of the 2023 ACT Dragon Boat racing season with the ACT Championships. Crowds came along to Grevillea Park, Menindee Drive to watch all the action and the weekend was a huge success for DBACT.

With a lack of standing room available, many spectators resorted to hot air balloons.

Clubs battled it out over 200m, 500m & 2000m with Komodo crowned champions in all categories entered!

The racing was fast, furious and of course fabulous.

The meeting of the Kpaddlers, Ksweeps, Kdrummers and Kvolunteers at Grevillea Park commenced at 0645 sharp.

A quick acknowledgement of those present was recorded in the minutes.

The temperature was a tad colder than expected with many of the crew looking for some morning sun and eyeing off the potions master working his magic in the coffee van.

After a brief warm up Coach Kim rallied the team reminding us all why we were there, how hard we had worked, and what now needed to be done, finishing with a rousing call of ‘let’s get this party started’! Followed by the confused (‘is it on 1, after 1 or before 1’) 3,2,1 Komodo!

"Ok, where's the Party?"

The crew returned to Komodo barracks where members eagerly read the crew lists and memorised where they needed to be every minute of the days racing program, before settling into the familiar “hurry up and wait’ mode.

First up were the 2k races. Komodo crews White and Blue 10s women and opens and 20s mixed launched into butt kicking, thumping, twisting, getting forward and finding more water 2k racing. Sweeps mastered the corners, turning tighter than a camel’s a*se in a sandstorm and crews relished the chance to work as one in chasing down other boats.

Next up was the 200m, fast and furious sprint races 10s and 20s again. Komodo starts fired up like a bat out of hell and scorched a pathway down to the finish line. The Pitt crew were in shock and awe at the White and Blue women’s boats performances. By now the weather and wind were starting to heat up but DB ACT powered through the finals as did all Komodo boats.

On day 2 the opens crews put on a masterful demonstration for the spectators, thumping down the course in the 500s to the tune – ‘this is how we do it’.

A sight to behold, was the mixed Blue crew which put on a truly mesmerising display of synchronised paddling in the 500m race. Timing was ‘perfection in motion,’ leaving the komodo supporters on shore ‘speechless’. Even coach Kim had no words but clearly thinking ffs – they just needed an audience!

The mixed crew fought against the ‘we will rock you’ soundtrack all the way down the racecourse  in the first heat of the Senior A race. The technical glitch was ‘spoted’, and after a quick reprogramming of heads, with a more fitting soundtrack of ‘we are one’ installed in time for the second heat, the crew found their komojo, and way into the finals.

Overall Komodo rose to the occasion time after time and commensurate with the rising temperatures – a sizzling 34 and 36 degrees (eventually), turned up the heat on the competition and all crews made the finals on 500s days as well.

Unsanctioned performance enhancing popsicles

It’s been said before and will be said again because it’s true, the team is so grateful to the wonderful volunteers eg who gave up their time to support the team and represent Komodo. Komodos and friends of the family were in marshalling, time keeping, announcing (sadly because of an injury), wrangling. Our thanks to these individuals who made it possible for others to paddle.

Finishing up at the Jetty for post ACT champs hydration, the team engaged in ‘recovery’ activities before heading home and switching off into komotose mode.


To our coaching team – big love and our thanks 💙

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