Enter the dragon-boat challenge

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Andrew Ragless (author), LEUT Andrew Ragless (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, New South Wales

Finalists paddle for victory in the inaugural Fleet Commander�s Dragon Boat Tug of War Challenge, held at Fleet Landing, Fleet Base East, Sydney.  (photo: LEUT Andrew Ragless)
Finalists paddle for victory in the inaugural Fleet Commander�s Dragon Boat Tug of War Challenge, held at Fleet Landing, Fleet Base East, Sydney.

A team of four from Navy’s Fleet Headquarters, Sydney, has emerged victorious after round one of the inaugural Fleet Commander’s Dragon Boat Tug-of-War Challenge.

Unlike conventional tug of war, opposing teams are seated in the same dragon boat facing each other.

Each team paddles forwards with all their might attempting to out muscle their competitors and push them back past a designated point that signifies they have won.

The unusual contest between Navy teams from across Sydney took place in pristine autumn conditions.

Up to six teams consisting of eight paddlers (four male, four female) can enter the fortnightly competition.

The event is conducted in a round robin format, with teams needing to win two out of three heats to advance.

Fleet Sport and Recreation Manager, Lieutenant Ian Rushton, said the first round was a success with plenty of healthy competition.

“We saw some fierce paddling by the teams but the competition remained cheerful and friendly,” Lieutenant Rushton said.

Lieutenant Rushton said the competition was part of the Fit to Fight program, with a strong focus on team building and mental and physical stamina.

“It’s about people working together and having fun,” he said.

The program actively encourages participation at all levels of command in small teams, in sports within units, and across forces.

Activities are designed to develop teamwork and improve individual resilience and confidence as essential enablers of a workforce that is active, and promotes wellness and fitness.