Not only was the venue new, so was the format of the races. Yes, there was the requisite 500m Mixed, Collegiate and Genders in 20-man boats, but day 2 had something very new to the West Coast: 10-man boats racing a 250m course. Yes, Mixed and Genders divisions pulling super-sprint 250’s, and for ca$h prizes!!!
|Space Dragon grooming train!!|
It was cold, cloudy and soon a heavy drizzle blanketed all, attacking the tent-huddled crew by collecting on the tent tops and releasing between the tents on unsuspecting teammates. One nice thing about the overcast is that it kept the notorious SD wind down to a light breeze.
A special thanks goes out to Susie for organizing Subway sandwich platters for those that wanted something more solid. They fed hungry bellies for 2 days!
Sunday started just as early, but on this day the races started around 9 and the SD Ladies started off the day with a bang! More on that later…
This day also brought with it some relief for our wearied crew. We were joined by Kim and AJ to fill out the mixed and men’s boats along with AJ’s steering prowess to allow our only other embattled steers, ‘Scottie Too Sicky’, ‘Sammi the Great’ to get some paddling time. Also, we got 2 fresh callers with ‘Tran the Conqueror’ and ‘Felicious’ joining the crew.
Before I get into how awesome our crew performed on Sunday, let’s not forget the challenges of keeping this train running. To this point, the coaches: Jackie, Ceez and Devant have been working and reworking the seating charts from Fri morning to now and into the rest of Sunday races to maximize team participation and effectiveness due to paddler illness, soreness, weather and boat conditions all on top of a very ‘fluid’ event organization. Give each one a BIG hug next time you see them!!!
Today was CRAZY! The SUN was out, but along with it came that WIND. It started as a head wind, then shifted to a tail wind which blew clouds back in for awhile before settling in as an offshore wind making a side pass across the course ( LIKE LB >.< ) This played havoc with starts ALL day with boats losing control during races, collisions, OH SHAT! starts, etc… It was like NASCAR for dragon boating =p
The men fought hard against ‘stiff’ competition ending up in the Consolation round with Guppies and Rogue and a 2nd place finish just 2 seconds off the Championship 2nd/3rd times! (8th over all) in the CRAZIEST race of the day in which we became a “Space Dragon Sandwich” at the Finish line with boats on either side converging on us as ‘Sammie the Fearless’ guided the boat to minimize impact as the 2 boats pushed all the way in to the gunwales!!! 3 boats as one as we all grabbed each others’ boats and kept stability. Thankfully the only casualty was our lovely drummer Felicia’s finger and a little blood.
With every group ending with 1st and tight 2nd place finishes, we all finished the weekend on a high-note, with an eye on next season, what a great way to end the season XD