Adventure at the Ord River

In June 2012 some members of Colour City Dragon Boat Club along with one from Bathurst Pan Dragons travelled to Kununurra for the eighth Ord River Dragons Marathon.

Some of the participants from Orange and Bathurst competed in Darwin the week previously in the Dragons Abreast regatta. This was a great day and they achieved a 1st a 2nd and a 3rd place whilst having a fun day.

On the 9th June the members had all arrived in Kununurra by various means, some flew to Darwin and hired vans, some flew to Broome and hired vans, one flew to Darwin and then flew to Kununurra, whilst others towed caravans all the way from home.

Those towing caravans carried the paddles of some of the ones flying to reduce cabin baggage as you have to supply your own paddle.

Drinks and an informal meal were provided at the Pumphouse Restaurant on the night of the 9th. This restaurant juts out over the river giving a spectacular view including a marvelous sunset. Here we met all the participants and had a briefing on the following days itinerary.

On the morning of the 10th up early 0400 hours for a 0445 pickup by coach for the 70 Klms trip out to the dam where breakfast was provided at the Lake Argyle Resort. Then down to below the wall where it all begins.

There were 7 boats competing in the marathon and although they are capable of carrying 20 paddlers they were restricted to 14 paddlers and one sweep.

We had three sweeps who alternated throughout the day.

The first stage of the marathon was 21 klms which included “The rapids” fortunately Phil Lambert was our sweep for this part and he handled it with ease. Boy were we ready for a rest stop.

The only stop accessible by road is the lunch stop and therefore our supporters (non paddling partners) travelled in a Triple J support tour boat and cheered us on while enjoying the scenery and took all the beautiful photos for us.

Powered support boats followed all the way ensuring fluids and energy levels were maintained.

At the end of the day a bar b q dinner and drinks was provided along with presentations of shirts, mementoes etc. Following this we were all returned very gratefully by coach to our accommodation.

The whole event is a fund raising opportunity for Dragons Abreast and it is very popular and very successful.

-Yvonne

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