Monday, 11 October 2010

Dragon boating

What a weekend! Dragon boating is such fun. Our team did really well, we threw the first race and then won the B final by over a boat length. Well that's what our captain said in jest anyway. It was more like we all stopped rowing too soon in the first race and then managed to cut 12 seconds off our time in the second. It's nerve wracking competing after such a long time away from competitive sport. Nerve wracking but fun!

I love being out on the water and that was made all the more enjoyable by being in a team containing many of my good friends. I got to paddle twice on Friday then met Mel who recognised my accent (not that we kiwis really have an accent) and wanted another kiwi woman paddler for the Wahine Mar team. Mel is a goddess, tall and athletic and an awesome paddler. I'm not sure how many races she competed in but she seemed to do this effortlessly.

I had a moment when I woke on Saturday morning after a late night. I wondered what on earth I'd done saying yes! I had visions of the other Amazon women goddesses who had been wandering around all day looking bronzed and fit laughing when they saw this rather small and unfit white girl joining their team. I nearly bottled out, but I had said yes so I fronted up.

Phew, to my great relief it was a team of friends and colleagues from other companies, some of whom I hadn't seen for a while so we had a good catch up on the news. We were all in the same boat, mostly inexperienced paddlers just out for some fun. Off we went, 4th in our race against some of the more professional teams. Not a bad effort. Talk on the beach turned to wanting more of this sport. There's now a group of us wanting to travel to Abu Dhabi to train once a week and compete on the UAE circuit. Hopefully we'll manage, more pics to follow if we do.

We stayed the night at Traders, part of the Sheraton complex, and had an enjoyable night out at the beach party. There were some funny things that happened there, they're another story for another day. I took my old camera and Gilly was an able photographer. Funny to be in so many pics when I'm usually the one behind the camera.

The pics are of the winning team coming in; the teams ready to to paddle to the start line (we're the ones in the black t shirts, what were they thinking in 40 plus degree heat!); the girls with the trophy and Ulas who loves being in photos; and the bows of the dragon boats waiting for their crews.

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