When George sent out the email with all the instructions of what to do and not to do at this 2km race regatta, along a bright early start of 7am, I was regretting my “yes” response. However, I was more fearful of how George might react to a change to a “no” response on Saturday night! So bravely I went by myself to Rodd point, getting lost as usual and then freaked out when I saw how crowded it was with buckley’s chance of finding a car park and getting to our tent by 7am! Thank goodness everyone was nice and relaxed with plenty of encouragement and great advice. Then the moment of truth came. When I first noted that I was placed in the “Premier’s mixed”, I was not thrilled. “Premier” usually indicate some sort of advanced level. What happened to “Senior class Z” level which I felt was far more appropriate for me. Anyway, I was snuggled right up the back hip to hip to poor Audrey. I looked around at the other competitors who all looked younger and fitter. Some of their outfits were pretty ordinary. The boats were all fancied up with dragon heads and tails. Ok, pay attention….there was no turning back now and before I knew it, we were on…3 strong strokes followed by 20 crazily fast strokes and then a million long strokes that went on forever. It got really exciting when we nearly caught up with the boat in front of us, who had a 20 second head start on us. That (and George’s booming instructions to dig deep) helped motivate us to paddle that bit harder even though my arms felt like dropping off. It felt good to finish. I was thrilled when we found out that we won our heat! Whoo Hoo! By the time we did our Premier women’s race, I was enjoying myself too much to worry about the “Premier” thing or the fact that 3 other boats behind us overtook us. I was a dragon boat racer!
12th November 2017