Different Strokes and Arufura Dragons battle it out for supremacy at Outgames
Caitlin Perry from Darwin’s Arafura Dragons has been paddling dragon boats for over a decade, however this year marks the first time Perry will compete in the Outgames.
As one of the convenors of the Dragon Boat event, Perry is extremely pleased with the turn out for the Outgames, which has both a social and competition component.
Perry told GNN, Dragon Boat racing is a very inclusive sport. “it’s easy to participate. You can decide to go to the top and be very competitive or you can just get in the boat and paddle and I think that’s why we were so open to joining the Outgames as it is about inclusivity and giving it a go."
Perry said they weren’t sure how the competition was going to unfold today, as they had limited numbers of competitive paddlers registered, but said she is delighted with the turn out.
“We have pro paddlers and inexperienced complete novice paddlers, side-by-side and it may seem a little shambolic – but everyone is giving it a go on the water and having fun."
With temperatures already over 30 degreees and even higher on the water, Perry thinks the Arafura Dragons might have a slight advantage over the teams that have travelled in to compete from interstate.
“It’s certainly hot – and looking at the expressions on people’s faces as they paddle in – glazed eyes and blank looks – I think they’re getting slightly dehydrated. So that’s an advantage for us local paddlers. I’ve noticed even when we have boats of novice paddlers, I think the Northern Territory team is doing really well, as we’re used to the conditions.
Nonetheless Perry doesn’t expect it will be a landslide when it comes to picking up medals at the day’s end.
“it wont be a landslide - the Different Strokes (Sydney) have a lot of experienced paddlers with them – so I think it will be a pretty even spread."
Check the 3apog.com.au for the final medal tally later today.
Check out the photos from today's races and festivities here