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Fast Five Series: Renee Salar

Welcome to the Fast Five Series, where we chat all things dragon boating with some of the club's members, in five short questions.

A fresh new year calls for a fresh face, so this month we caught up with one of our new recruits, Renee (Right Stroke)! Not one to shy away from a challenge, Renee has taken to dragon boating like a duck…dragon…to water. We love the enthusiasm she brings to the team, and we can’t wait to see more of it this year!

1. How did you get into dragon boating and when did you start paddling?

I was craving to return to a team sport environment having played team sports years prior and had a break. Josh T from the club suggested that I attend a Come and Try session on a Sunday morning. Initially I was skeptical due to unfamiliarity with the sport however after persistent encouragement, I attended another come and try session and it reignited my competitive spirit.

Now I have paddled a few months for the club and am always eager to attend a training session to improve my technique and general fitness.

2. How would you describe your experience with dragon boating so far, and how does it compare to your very first session?

My first training session was very intense, to say the least, as it was two weeks before a regatta. I could not complete drills as I was struggling to keep in time. My whole body was in a state of total shock as I had never used certain muscles in complete movements I had never attempted before. I do recall our captain Declan had messaged me afterwards that I would be sore and broken the next day and I sure was.

Fast forward to the present, having participated in two regattas and regular sessions weekly, I look forward to the feeling of being sore and exhausted during and after every session - something I never thought I would say!

3. What do you enjoy most about being a member of DSA?

Easily it would be the camaraderie and culture of DSA and its members. The common goal of working together in unison, striving to do your best but also the constant support to do better physically and mentally has been very motivating as a new member.

4. What was your first regatta experience like, and what did you enjoy most?

My first regatta was Round 3 of the DBNSW Regatta Series at Rodd Point. I was on edge in the morning due to the race format being a long 2km and on top of that, the gloomy weather and early start were definitely not incentives! Yet being called towards the marshalling area, getting loaded into the boat as a team and hearing distinct calls from our coach George, pushed me to make the effort of every stroke count. The exhilarating feeling of being in ‘race mode’ and focusing towards the finish line and executing that was very rewarding.

5. What is something you would like to achieve personally in 2023 as a new member of the club?

In 2023, I want to work towards achieving a score of 400 and above for the 90 second rowing erg trial. Another personal target involves completing the Rhodes parkrun, which a few DSA members take part of too, in under 30 minutes. With consistent training sessions and enthusiasm from the rest of the team, I know I can achieve these goals.

Renee & Josh T

DSA Women's Crew

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