Thursday, July 05, 2007

Summer Splash

Here's my report on my first Dragon Boat competition from Saturday.

Saturday, June 30

Today was my first race day. All in all, I had a pretty fun time of it. Our team was there at 8am to make sandwiches for our food stand (to raise funds for the next competition). It was pretty cold and no coffee or even hot chocolate to keep our motivation up!

10am – first race 400m. I was anxious to see how it was going to play out. I had a fair idea that it would be a lot different than our weekly practice and boy, was I right. For example, during practice I find that I don’t really get wet at all. Not so on race day. We were all paddling so strong and moving so fast that each and every one of us basically got soaked from head to toe on one half of our body, depending which side of the boat we were seated on. Think we came in 3rd or 4th (of 4 teams).

11:40 – second race 200m. Obviously was much faster than the first and because it was so much shorter, we didn’t have the long stretch of just going at 85% of our force. It was pretty much a start, immediately up to 100%, then a short burst at 85% and then the final 50m at 100% again. This time I’m pretty sure we placed 3rd.

1pm – 3rd race, 100m. This was a rush. Our standard hard 5 strokes to get the boat out of the water and then 100% push for the finish. It was over in less than 30 seconds. Apparently we had a great start; really getting the boat out fast. Think there were only 3 boats in this race and we came 2nd. Not too shabby! Shortly before this race started, my friend Super C showed up to see what this whole thing was all about and to cheer me on. Thanks a bunch and especially for the pictures!

2:45pm – 4th and final race, another 400m. Despite it now being the end of our day and although I was starting to feel a bit tight in my back, we had an amazing race. We were really pushing hard and by the time we hit our last 100% push to the finish, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it – that’s how much we were putting into it. Luckily it’s all over in less than 3 minutes though and we all survived. For this race there were 3 other boats and we came in 2nd again. I was so pleased with how it all turned out. Considering we don’t have a full team yet, and had about 6 people (who have never trained with us) sitting in to fill the empty spots, I think we did incredibly well.

Some hours later I am feeling exhausted from the huge energy output but also rather proud of myself. I had a good time today and now that I know how a race works, I’m looking forward to the next competition at the end of July.

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