Monday, September 13, 2010

Great White North Challenge

Update: final results from GWN are posted here.


What a weekend! In some ways it was not what I was expecting, in others it more than met my expectations.

The hotel, pardon me, motel (that should've tipped me off): did not meet expectations. Apparently some people don't understand the definition of clean/safe. Old rusty, squeaky (double, not queen) beds, sliding doors to balconies that don't lock, holes in the wall directly to the outside, ants in the bathroom, old toilet pipes coming out of the wall, broken toilet paper holder, no towel holder, mirror sitting on the floor, SHAG "rug" ... the list goes on.

The races: exceeded expectations. Competition was tough. We raced some of the best races ever but it still wasn't good enough to make the cut for Final A. We finished 2nd in Final A consolation, which means 8th place overall. The team was hoping for a top 12 finish, we achieved that. Some were hoping for a top 6 finish, we didn't achieve that. This does not surprise me.

I hate being the voice of doom on the team but I just don't think we're there yet as a team. We still have a fair number of new people on the team, whose technique isn't the same as the rest of us, and our timing is still a big problem for the team.

Continuing, the race site: met expectations. It was big, there were lots of trees for shade, lots of portable toilets with portable sinks, decent selection of food stands, some shopping, good places to watch the races, good marshaling area, great announcer (dude must have no voice left by the end of the weekend).

Team spirit: met expectations. Although we, for the most part, did stay together, it felt like there was a little bit of team spirit missing. I wonder if that had any effect on our races, or if it was as a result of our performance. It's hard to say. Funnily enough, after all the brou-ha-ha in Ottawa about needing to have a team dinner, it was decided that we wouldn't do that in Toronto. What ended up happening of course, was that 22 of us had a most-of-the-team dinner, even if it did mean eating at 3 separate tables. The table I was at (with 12 of us) was the best (of course!) we had a great meal together and then went out for dessert afterward to the fanciest bubble tea place I have EVER seen. Apparently they take their bubble tea a whole lot more seriously in Toronto than here in Montreal.

All in all I had a great weekend. It was sunny, it was not hot but it didn't rain (ok, a few little drops but not enough to complain about). Any plans to retire from competitive dragon boating are naturally gone, again. What is it about competing, or more precisely losing, that makes me want to paddle harder, train harder, compete more??? Whatever it is, I want more and next weekend I'll get it. Last competition of the season, Quebec Cup will take place at the Basin. See you there!

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