3rd-8th of March 2018

By Mark P (Pendo)

And so, began the great DSA Nationals migration to Queensland where truth in advertising should advise “beautiful one minute, wet and windy the next.” Our State paddlers, premiers and master, men and women were bound for glory at Lake Kawana. 36 of our best against clubs from all over Australia. Our mighty paddlers included:

Annette, Ashur, Brett, Claire, Cliff, Corina, Declan G, Declan R, Ed, Eric, Fiona, Gary, George D, Janine, Jean D, Jean E, Jim, John V, Kathryn, Ken, Kira, KK, Liz H, Liz M, Mark P, Milly, Neville, Sabrina, Shirleen, Simon, Steph, Tim, Tina, Vlad, Yan, Warren, George L

States Day: Our awesome State paddlers were the first to wet their blades. There was success in all divisions winning silver and a bronze. NSW won the Australian Championships narrowly beating out Queensland by just 2 points.

Somewhere in the photo below you will find: (if you look hard enough)

Gary, George L, Jean, Jim, KK, Mark P, Shirleen, Stephanie, Tim and Yan

Day 2: Our prems were next to hit the water with 500m racing. We raced a standard boat opens, mixed crew and small boat women’s. As you lined up in the marshalling you were very much aware of the step up in competition at this level – there no teams that could be considered easy beats and every team was to be respected as a fierce competitor.

Our mixed crew showed some strong performances with a 6th in the heat and a 4th in the repecharge but unfortunately not making the cut for finals. Our women’s crew were next up and performed very well with improvements with every race – a 3rd in their heat, 2nd in their repechage and placing 6th in the semifinal. Meanwhile the boys raced a standard boat, placing a 4th in the heat and 3rd in the repecharge. Our mixed crew also raced the 2km in a 20’s boat placing 15th overall with a time of 10:56 while the winners managed a 9:51.

Day 3: Premier 200m racing was off to a wet and windy start. The races where lightning fast with all the best crew fighting for a place in the finals. There was no room for error as we paced at 84 strokes per minute down the course. Our mixed team bowed out in the repechage with 5th place in a time of 50.82, missing out on a final berth. Our girls performed better coming in 2nd in the repechage and placing sixth in the semi. Meanwhile, the boys got a 3rd in the repechage and bowed out. Our girls ranked 8th in the 2km, unfortunately no results for the opens 2km could be found.

Below is our awesome premier women’s crew. Missing in action is Sabrina – makeup obviously took too long.

Oh, here’s one with Sabrina

Day 4: Senior A 500m racing was the worst of the weather days with winds gusting up over 50 km/h. We only managed to get the morning mixed racing in before the storms blew in. Our DSA Senior A crew made the final and came in 5th with a time of 2.08, 2nd fastest of the NSW teams.

The rest of the days’ races were called off for safety reasons and it was nana nap time!

Results from Senior A Mixed 500m

Day 5: Senior A 200m racing was to prove to be our best day of the competition. Senior A mixed was our first event of the day where we made our way to the final placing 6th. Our opens crew scored a bronze in the 200m opens small boat in a fast and furious race, just edging out Komodo by a dragon head. It was a massive high to come into the final qualifying 6th to smash out a perfect race and steal a bronze.

Due to the cancellation of the afternoon events from day 4, it was decided to run 1km races to finish off the competition. Late in the afternoon as the wind and rain started to close-in our mixed, women’s and opens hit the water. In a shock result our opens crew managed to snaffle a silver!

Results from the mixed 200m grand final

Results from the Opens 1km DSA winning Silver!!!

Here are the boys celebrating and showing off our bling after a great days racing.

DSA came to nationals and showed that we are a team to be respected – we paddled with passion, strength and pride. We bonded as team and learned our strengths and weaknesses, accepting the challenges and learning that there is more we can all do in order to be competitive across all categories. A team is the sum of all participants. We are proud of the bling our senior men have won, we are equally proud of our women, prems and new paddlers stepping up to this level of competition.

A massive thank you to George for his leadership and Liz for her management, and all others that who assisted making Nationals 2018 a great event.

And so, as Vlad and Warren wander off into the beach sunset – the muscles begin to soothe, the drums are silent and the erg sits idle. We look forward to being back in boat soon, getting ready for Canberra to chase more bling and glory.

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