The Dragons are unleashed
The winter weather in Sydney did not stop Dragon Slayers from across New South Wales competing in the first ever Australian Dragon event last weekend. 14 teams battled it out to become champions of the beast.
Red Paddle Co and Manly Kayak Centre hosted the first ever dedicated team SUP event in Australia on July 7th . The Dragon, created by Red Paddle Co, is a 4 person Stand Up Paddleboard designed for team spirit and fun. At 22’0” long and 34” wide the Dragon challenges balance, strength but most importantly team work. It’s a true test for anyone no matter their ability. If your team isn’t synced you’ll be taking the plunge, something teams at the Sydney event quickly came to realise.
The first heats were epic, with a Kids team smashing a Lululemon team, the all female team, Twister SUP Sisters, annihilating all teams in their path and even a pod of Dolphins coming to join the fun. As the heats continued a Westerly wind began to settle in. It proved too much for some teams as The Cubettes got pushed onshore by the gusts. In true Dragon spirit though, a few members of their rival team, which included Master Chef's Hayden Quinn, jumped on board to help them cross the finish line. As much as the Dragon is a competition it’s all about team spirit and fun which these teams sure proved.
“We had an absolute ball at the Dragon Event.The teamwork aspect takes the fun factor up a notch.Dragons are definitely the most fun you can have on the water!”
Claire Brown from Lake Mac SUP Club
The semi-finals were dramatic. The Twisted SUP Sisters VS Kite and SUP Slayers and Team Green VS
Team Deviants. The former both being from Sydney and the latter both from Newcastle. It was a battle to represent your city in the Sydney Dragon World Series final. Team Green smashed
their heat with the wind proving too much for Team Deviants, or maybe it was their Lifeguarding dress up complete with fake boobs and bums creating distractions. The other semi-final heat was a battle to the end. With all 8 members of the heat being from the same SUP Club, it was all to paddle for. It looked like The Twisted SUP Sisters had it in the bag until a late fall which allowed the Kite and SUP Slayers to get ahead. With their synchronised strokes and speedy buoy turns there was no hope for the ladies after the dip.
A losers race gave the finalists time to talk tactics and catch their breath. It was a bitter sweet win for SUP Cuz as they became champion of the losers. And then it was the moment we had all been waiting for. Who were going to be crowned the first ever Australian Dragon slayers? It was a close one to call, with Kite and SUP Slayers having regular Dragon meets but Team Green’s synchronisation like a well oiled chain.With a $100 bar tab on the horizon the race was well and truly on.
Both teams got off to a great start; strong, synced and determined. Team Green however were on fire. They sailed through the two laps and 4 buoy turns. They even had time to have a group picture before Kite and SUP Slayers were on their last turn. It was a well deserved win for Team Green!
Well done to Team Green for becoming Australia’s first ever Dragon Slayers! There was fire in all competitors eyes but only the greatest could stand tall on this occasion. See you all next time for the Australian Dragon World Series No. 2.
To find out more about the Dragon World Series click here.
Starboard SUP Dream Team Riders Crowned World Champions
Witness the spectacular performances of two first time world champions
Koh Chang: Lost in Paradise, Again with Daniel Hasulyo
Starboard Dream Team Rider Daniel Hasulyo, our photographer, Georgia Schofield and friends from Bangkok HQ took some time and headed to Koh Chang Island in the southern part of Thailand for a fun weekend of exploring and enjoying the great outdoors