A warm welcome home to the five YRD paddlers who have spent the last week in Thailand at the 14th Asian Dragon Boat Championships. After an intensive six months on-water and land training programme, 5 of our paddlers made their way into Australia’s Dragon Boat team – the Auroras.
The 14th ADBF Asian Dragon Boat Championships was held between the 16th and 22nd of November in Rayong-Pattaya, Thailand. The Aurora’s team paddled in and took home three silver medals and broke numerous team records.
This campaign marks the first overseas campaign for the Australian Auroras. The new inaugural perpetual Auroras crew has been established under the new AusDBF High-Performance Framework lead by Head Coach David Abel. The framework aims to further develop and retain talents in the sport of Dragon Boating within Australia.
The 6 month selection process comprised of several fitness tests and elimination camps. Five YRD members made it through the process and were selected to be part of the team. Emily Mason, Sophia Franke, Trish Kane, Eric Chams and Oliver Yang joined Auroras crew and represented Australia in Thailand at the 14th Asian Dragon Boat Championships.
During the six months of training, the squad trained twice a week on the water with the VIC state contingent. On land the crew followed a 21-week gym program by Adrian Migani (who is also YRDs’ personal trainer) and completed two time trials on the rowing erg, paddle erg or single craft every week.
(From Left to Right: Emily Zitkevicius, Emily Mason, Eric Chams, Mark Alexander, Oliver Yang, Trish Kane, Sophia Franke, David Abel)
The emotions and excitement reached an all-time high a week before the championships, when the Aurora’s team assembled in Docklands to train one final time before leaving for Thailand.
On the 15th November the team flew to Bangkok and the first overseas campaign since 2019 began officially began.
With the warm and humid conditions in Thailand, the Auroras raced against 10 countries from Asia. The team competed in 1000, 500, and 200m – in both small and standard boat.
The crew achieved three silver medals for women’s standard boat 1000m,500m and 200m.🥈🥈🥈 They ranked 6th and 7th in the mixed and opens categories.
The campaign has been a valuable learning experience for the crew. Determination is now at an all time high after racing against the best in Asia and the crew are busy preparing for their next campaign.
Over the next nine months the crew will be getting ready to attend IDBF’s World Nations Championships 2023 in Rayong, Thailand in August next year.
Congratulations Auroras! You made us proud and bring it on at the Worlds next year!
If this story inspires you to race as an Auroras to represent your country at the highest level, reach out to your coaches and we will help support your journey. Find out more about AusDBF Auroras Program.