This was our second time at Nagambie Lakes Regatta Centre this season, this time to compete in both 500m and 200m events as well as a sweep’s turn race to keep us on our toes. And once again, Brave Hearts put everything in and were well rewarded for their efforts.
The conditions for this regatta were mixed throughout the day, with the sky well overcast in the morning along with some light drizzle. As the morning proceeded, stormy weather edged in on the regatta site, threatening to delay racing, fortunately the clouds stayed back and allowed all the teams to continue racing. After lunch, the clouds parted and provided some excellent sunshine to finish of the day and the last of our 500m races.
Racing started early with a 1000m turn race, an event that has usually happened at the end of the racing schedule. Today this event saw eight teams compete in the open category, our crew raced in the first heat, taking on Geelong, Peninsula Dragonflys and Southern Storm. Our sweep, Murray, kept the boat well under control as we took the corner, just bringing us into the turn with right of way to Geelong, Overall, we came fifth in over the two heats, with only 10 seconds between us and first place.
The mornings events consisted of 200m racing with Brave Hearts competing in the masters open’s, mixed and women’s events all with 10s crews.
Our Masters Open crew was strong in their first race, pulling well in front form the start and keeping their lead throughout the heat, taking them straight to the the final. The masters open final was hotly contested, with Dragon Masters as well as Geelong Green and Blue qualifying. Brave Hearts was able to shave over a second of their qualifying time, however, it wasn’t enough to place first with Dragon Masters just getting in front with a time of 56.79 over Brave Heart’s 57.25.
The Masters Mixed crew also qualified strong with first place in their heat, as well as the fastest qualifying time of 56.77. Come finals time, Brave Hearts saw themselves up against, Melbourne Flames, Dragon Masters and Geelong Dragon Boat Club, all very strong competition. Again, pulling away with a strong start, Brave Hearts managed to pull away from the start. Previously known for fading at the 50 metre mark, Brave Hearts hard work and training has paid off, as the fade never came, allowing Brave Hearts to keep their nose in front to take first place by a second.
Keeping with the trend, our Masters Women’s crew qualified first in their heat, taking them straight to the final against Peninsula Dragonflys, Dragon Masters and Golden Dragons. The Women’s crew, again, started strong, keeping an excellent controlled rate and powering through to a strong finish, taking first place with a gap of over one second between them and second.
Moving up to the 500m mark for the afternoon marked a change in strategy for the Brave Heart crews. The 500m events consisted of 20s crews, allowing for more power, but a tighter fit in the boat.
Brave Hearts competed first up in the Premier Mixed event, an ambitious feat by any means. This time, Brave Hearts were beaten out of the blocks, but it didn’t let the crew discourage them, refocusing, and keeping it strong, the crew kept hot on the tails of the younger premier crews. Although the crew came in last, entering thisallowed our growing premier base to compete in their division, and it showed us the increasing fitness and work Brave Hearts has been doing is paying off.
Next up Brave Hearts competed in the Masters Mixed event, this time against Dragon Masters and Geelong Dragon Boat Club. The crew pulled out from the pontoon with Dragon Masters just dragon’s whisker in front. As the last race of the day for Brave Hearts, the hard work earlier in the day was starting to show, Dragon Masters started pulling ahead over the first 200m, with a strong lift at the midway point from our Brave Hearts allowed them to start closing the gap. However, it was a little to late, with the crew placing second just 0.49 seconds behind Dragon Masters.
Our junior paddlers also got to compete in an extra event, racing in the Melbourne Rapids team with other juniors from across the state against the Masters Mixed heats. Charlotte, Ella and Matt performed well with their team mates finishing in a time of 1:01.10 (3rd in the heat). We were also excited to find out that our junior members have been invited to compete with the Melbourne Rapids at the 2018 Australian Dragon Boat Championships in Kawana Waters.
To the north, Brave Hearts members also visited Bidgee Dragons in Wagga Wagga to assist them with their community and DBNSW sporting regatta. Our volunteers that headed up their had a great time, and it was the least we could do to thank Bidgee Dragons for their support at our community regatta last weekend.