Australian Dragon Boat Championships 2023

Published Sat 06 May 2023

“We didn’t see Invictus coming.”

Canberra’s Invictus Dragon Boat Club started the 2022/23 season with the goal of putting competitive crews on the water at the Australian Dragon Boat Championships (AusChamps).

Having just wrapped up those five days of racing on Gateway Lakes at Albury- Wodonga, our club is busting with pride about our achievements on and off the water.

Over 4000 paddlers from clubs around Australia took part at AusChamps. The weather popped – blue skies, warm sun, no wind for five days, in a stunning eucalypt forest setting, dotted with street performers, a live music stage, good coffee, craft beer, and food stalls.

On the water, the Invictus Women built on their 2022 AusChamps success and the strong results recorded during the 2023 ACT season:

  • Gold - Senior A (40 to 50 yrs) Women 200m small boat (10 paddlers)
  • Silver – Senior A Women 500m small boat
  • Silver – Premier (All ages) Women 200m small boat
  • Silver – Premier Women 500m small boat
  • Bronze – Senior A Women 2000m small boat
  • Bronze – Premier Women 2000m small boat

Our Invictus Women are the Australian Champions over 200m, and only missed out on the same crown in other categories by a split second.

For the first time at AusChamps, the Invictus Men paddled out in Mixed and Open Crews and held their own against bigger, more established clubs from Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania.

Our Senior A Mixed Crew is the sixth fastest in Australia over 500m; our Mixed Premier crew narrowly missed out on making the grand final (by 0.77sec!) and our Senior A and Premier Open crews left nothing in the tank and can hold their heads high.

Invictus was also well represented in the ACT squad where the Senior A Women came away with silver in the 500m and the Senior B Women came away with a well deserved bronze in the 500m.

For a club like Invictus though, success on the racecourse is only part of the story. Invictus is a club that seeks to grow and build a strong community within our ranks and wider dragon boat circles.

Comments from our members say it all:

An amazing few days. Thanks everyone, you are awesome!” Michal

“Great fun and a lifetime of memories,” Penny

“My head, heart and hands are the strongest they have ever been. Thank you!” Ian

“The best 5 days EVER!! This club rocks in soul, courage, commitment, faith, love, camaraderie within the whole club,” Renee

“So many wonderful memories with my lovely team!” Sue

“Very keen to get back into it with y’all for the ‘23-‘24 season,” Cody

In summing up the experience, Head Coach Cath (uncharacteristically!) was lost for words, “Words on paper will never convey how I feel about what we accomplished,” Cath wrote.

“Your commitment to our club and dedication to each other is something we should all be proud of.

“Our ‘gold medal’ moments at AusChamps included:

  • Support for each member and every crew
  • Outstanding team spirit
  • Graciously accepting our losses and wins
  • Supporting and respecting our competition
  • Respecting and thanking the volunteers
  • Competing with pure pride and heart

“I am so proud of this club and the culture that has been created. The support and contribution of every member is vital to our success. I hope you have all been inspired to become the best you- physically and mentally. What we achieved was truly inspirational.

“In only our third season as a club we have left our mark. Our competitors paid us many compliments, one sticks in my mind, from one of Australia’s top dragon boat coaches - we never saw Invictus coming.

Invictus is now taking a short break and will be back on the water at 10am, Saturday, 13 May. The off season gives us a chance to introduce new members to the sport, and continue to grow our fitness, technique, and bonds of friendship.

New paddlers or paddlers keen to get back into the sport are invited to join us. A special Winter Dragon Pass gives you three months of free paddling between now and August. Register HERE.

Our goals for the 23/24 season include the continued growth and development of our men’s squad while deepening the ranks of our women’s crews.

At Invictus you will find a community of people ready to support you and help you have a go. If you have any questions email –

What ‘gold medal moments’ can we achieve together?



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