Sunday, May 31, 2009

First race of the season

Yesterday we had our first dragon boat competition of the season. After all the training all winter long, we'd finally arrived at the moment where we'd see the results of our effort.

We competed in the sport mixed category, against 8 other teams (other categories were men, women and community mixed). One sport team pulled out sometime between Friday night and Saturday because we were only 8 sport teams in the end. This meant there would be two sport divisions, A and B. Of course we wanted to place in division A and we did!

It was a rough start to the day. We had to be at the site by 8:30am. It was cold, raining and windy. I was frozen and wet before our first race. Our first race was 1000m. We were in the second heat (not against any of our real competition) and we won! Off to a good start. Funnily enough, by the time we were getting out of the boat after that first race, it stopped raining and the sun came out. A few hours later we had our 500m race. Again in the second heat (this time against THE best in Montreal.) We lost by 0.08 seconds. So we placed second but were thrilled that we'd done so well. Our competition was rather surprised to see us so hard on their tails. Apparently they had quite the debriefing after that race. Our combined times from the first two races gave us our position for the third race, a 250m. We had placed in division A. Still don't know how we finished in this final race, but either third or fourth. It was a bad race. We had a bad lane (yes, there are bad lanes), we had to contend with the wind (lanes 1 and 2 are protected from the wind by the grand stands) and we also don't train for sprints. Anyway - as bad as felt, we knew that we'd either place third or fourth in the final results so there was still a chance for a medal at the end of the day.

About half an hour later, after a change of clothes and lots of chocolate milk, we found out. We listened to the placings and winners of all the other categories before ours. Even though we didn't have any more races ahead of us, I was still nervous. Finally they got to calling the fourth place winners - it wasn't us! Some of us were surprised (me). They called the third place winners - it wasn't us! Now all of us were surprised because that meant ... we'd placed second! And a moment later it was confirmed - we had indeed come in second place. I was so surprised! Really shocked! Never, ever expected us to do so well against those teams. The team that came in third was not happy with us - at all.

In the end, we were 4 seconds off the first team, and still 2 seconds ahead of the third team. Quite a big gap.

To celebrate our (unexpected) victory, we went out for great Chinese food in China Town. A long day (left at 7:30am, got home at 7pm), but an eventful, surprising and GREAT one!


Sue Titcombe said...

That's great! Do you happen to have any races on the weekend of July 30? That's when we'll be in Montreal and it would be great to get out to watch you racing.

Sue Titcombe said...

Sorry that's the wrong date. It would be the 25th.

Stef said...

Yes! That's the big Montreal International Dragon Boat Race Festival (MIDBRF) weekend. About 200 teams will be competing. We'll be racing on Saturday and Sunday.