Fast, furious and physical

THE Ipswich Chargers had a nail biting victory in the 2009 Canoe Polo Championships played on Sunday at the Ipswich Grammar School pool.

Chargers claimed victory for the first time in the grand final, said club spokeswoman Debbie Brown.

“It was a two-all draw at full time and the rules say that you then go into an extra five minutes, and the first goal scored is the winning team,” she said.

Team members in the Chargers range in age from 19 to 54, with one female.

The team also includes a mother and son, Lenore and Ryan Solomon.

Other members of the winning team include captain Donald Leigh, Dave Peters, Johnno Marshall, Liam Thierens, Ryan Solomon and Lenore Solomon.

“We started the comp four fortnights ago, leading up to Sunday's grand final,” Ms Brown said.

“Apart from the Ipswich Chargers and Ipswich Bulls from Ipswich District Canoe Club, there was the Centenary Canoe Club, based at Springfield, and the Broken Paddle Canoe Club at Boonah.

“Competition started in 2004 and has been played annually.

“Players travelled from the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.”

Centenary took out third place on Sunday, with the Ipswich Bulls fourth.

“People said it was a closely-fought game right to the end,” Ms Brown said.

“They commented it was good, fast, furious competition.”

Graeme Leigh, a life member of IDCC, presented the trophies.

IDCC trains at Ipswich Grammar School pool every Thursday night from 7pm to 9pm.

To the uninitiated, polo may seem like a weird and wonderful sport, combining the skills of slalom and freestyle kayaking with the skills and tactics of water polo and basketball.

It's played by two teams of five players, in a pool measuring 35 metres by 23 metres.

The action is fast, furious and usually very physical.

At the highest level, the kayak skills of the players rival the best slalom and freestyle paddlers.

Games last 20 minutes, plus extra time if needed, and all the major rules are based on safety.

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