Akuna Bay Cruising Club

Kim Murray - Dragon Boat Champion

Tuesday 17 April, 2007

Easter is usually a busy time for boating and for me, this Easter was no exception.

I spent 4 days of the long weekend travelling to Penrith to the Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) to paddle dragon boats.

Dragon boats are approx. 35' long with twenty paddlers sitting side by side, a drummer up the front and a sweep steering the boat.

Thursday before Good Friday was a 500m event on a State Vs State format. I was fortunate to be selected to paddle in the NSW Womens team (Masters). Selection was based on ergometer tests on my left and right side and a more realistic water trial where I was required to paddle the dragon boat by myself over a set distance as quickly as possible. I was also very privileged to be the captain of the State Womens team. We trained hard leading up to Easter but Queensland came down to Penrith and spoilt the party. They sure gave us New South Welshmen a lesson in paddling. Our Womens team secured a silver medal but unbeknown to us, second place still won us the right to wear the 'green and gold' at the World Titles in September this year. (Think Australia 'A' and Australia 'B') so we were still very happy with the result. For me, representing my country at anything is the ultimate goal.

The rest of the weekend was a Club Vs Club format over 3 distances: 1km, 500m and 200m (splash and dash).

My club is the Northern Beaches Dragon Boat Club (NBDBC) based at Manly Yacht Club and we only entered a Women's team (open age).

We are a young and inexperienced crew and I was very proud of how the girls performed given the strength of our opposition. We made the final 6 boats in each distance against teams from around the country. Our best result was a fourth in the 1km race.

Our club season is over now but the Womens' Masters team will be retrialling in early May so I need to fight for my seat in the Australia 'B' crew which will then train over winter.

Thank you to everybody that has offered their support and best wishes to me but keep all those fingers and toes crossed. The journey is far from over.

Kim Murray
(Scott Free)

Check out the photos of a very happy Kim and her team in the photo gallery