A few years ago DSA entered a crew for the Bei Loon 8km Challenge race, unfortunately the race was called off when we were a few kilometers in and we never got to finish. Club members have often talked about the conditions on the day “if you think that was rough you should have been at Bei Loon” so some of us were keen to give it another crack. The Board agreed that we could create a TeamApp event and see if we could get the numbers. I was pleasantly surprised when in the space of a few days we had enough for a full crew! The day started and ended in brilliant sunshine, perfect for our adventure. The crew turned up (mostly) on time, apprehensive but very much looking forward to the adventure! George Dimech talked us through our start and what to expect during the race including how and when we would be swapping sides, very sage advice. Over half of the crew had never done Bei Loon. Before we knew it we were getting loaded into the boats, race time!!! This year, the weather Gods weren’t completely with us and the course was altered, no Scotland Island for us, disappointing but such is life. Instead we did a course of three laps around the bay. It was fairly choppy conditions, water came at us from all angles, was a bit like being in a washing machine at times! Luckily we had a Bei Loon sweep who made some well timed calls throughout the course, backed up by Shirleen at the front, great teamwork between fellow sweeps! We settled into a good rate set by George D and Simon (great job strokes). I don’t know how the other paddlers felt but I thought we kept it together well, I didn’t feel the boat drop at all, we paddled consistently the whole way through and the race finished without drama. I am waiting for a bill from Bei Loon for the bailer that was lost mid-race by a person whose identity shall remain unidentified ( “what happens in Bayview stays in Bayview…”) We finished up the day with some downtime at the Newport Arms and just listening to the buzz around the table it was clear that a good time was had by all. We were all immensely proud of not just our own efforts but of the whole DSA crew, reminds me of the saying “a family that plays together, stays together”. Looking forward to our next adventure! P.S. We later found out that we came a very credible 5th out of 11 completing 8.9km in 47.11 minutes, go DSA!!
25th November 2017