News

Change of Location. South Island Champs 2024

Published Mon 15 Jan 2024

We are switching to Plan B again (or is it Plan C?).

South Island Dragon Boat Championships will be on Saturday 9 March as per Aoraki Events page. That said, the plan was for Aoraki Dragons to "run this at Lake Hood, Ashburton, with a backup of Lake Ruger, North Canterbury."

And we did that because we knew there was always a risk of Lake Hood being overrun by the dreaded algal bloom.

Well on 5 January, routine testing found that to be the case. Bearing in mind that NIWA have prediced a long hot summer, it is very likely to get worse, not better. This is despite the lake owners/ Property Owners and District Council having installed aerators etc to improve water quality at the lake

Aoraki Events team has now made a firm booking at Lake Ruger for Saturday 9 March.

So thanks to all the teams that replied to our email on 16 January asking for feedback of the options (hang on to hope of Lake Hood being OK, versus switch now to Lake Ruger). Hence we have made the decision to make the move now.

We briefly considered moving South Islands to the weekend of 23 March to fit alongside the Secondary Schools Dragon Boat Cup, but most paddlers will have set up their calendars already. 

Thanks for your understanding,
Noel Anderton,
President, Aoraki Dragons

Background: On 5 January 2024, Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has issued a health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae was found in Lake Hood. Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health says "People should avoid the Lake and animals, particularly dogs, should not be allowed near the water until the health warning has been lifted. The type of cyanobacteria that is currently present is Dolichospermum". See lawa.org.nz 

The Ashburton Aquatic Park Charitable Trust, the Property Owners Association, Lake Hood Extension Project and Ashburton District Council having installed aerators etc to improve water quality at the lake. https://www.ashburtondc.govt.nz/news/2023-news/lake-hood-interventions-under-way-to-improve-water-quality

Aoraki had pushed hard to run South Islands at Ruataniwha this year, but School Rowing teams wanted to use the week between thieir Regional Champs and Maadi Cup to do more training.


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