Thats a wrap for 2018!

So the end of the year has rapidly drawn to a close, as so with it the first half of the regatta season. It’s been a little while since I updated this page on regattas and paddling, but now it’s Christmas/New Year holidays, I finally find myself with some time on my hands! Hooray!

Our last regatta was just before Christmas and was 10’s boat racing in 500m distance, in scorching hot weather. I’ll tell you one thing, I forgot how brutal the summer regattas were in Canberra. In Melbourne we were always blessed to have fancy race courses with plenty of shade, or plenty of tents to share between the team. Here in Canberra, he race course doesn’t have a lot of shade and our team is too big for one tent! It was about 33oC the day of the regatta and I usually deal with heat quite well but I forgot how dry Canberra heat was!

But I digress. Let me tell you about the regatta first.

As the sun rose, and the wind fluttered across the water, we were an excited bunch of Komodo’s who were ready to take on a days worth of 500m racing. 10’s crews in 20’s boats is always a hard slog, but we came well equipped with strength, energy and determination. The conditions were simply glorious too – completely flat water that was a great temperature which made for a relaxed day of racing. In this regatta I only paddled one crew (Womens) and the drummed in the Mixed Green crew – My first time drumming with Komodo!

Broken up into Masters and Prems crews for a bit of fun and inner-club rivalry, we took to the water with force and gave the other crews a mere taste of what they can expect of us come Nationals in April 2019.

Flying off the start, the Komodo mixed, women’s and opens crews dominated the field and were boat lengths ahead of the other crews in many of their races. We reached out, drove deep and sat up hard, giving the boats plenty of speed and power. From the sidelines, each boat simply glided across the water with ease, with everyone thumping their paddles into the water in unison. There were smiles all round, plenty of fist bumps and cheers from the crews as they came off the water after smashing each of our races.

And then came the finals ….

Two women’s crews battled it out side by side for first and second place, finishing with a mere breath between the two crews at the finish line. The two dragonheads played leapfrog with each other throughout the race with the Prems crew coming in first by 0.307 of a second a head of Komodo White. The ladies were absolutely elated with the results and the footage from the last 100m of the race was nail biting – it could have been anyone’s race!

The opens crew battled it out to take first place in the A and B final, edging out Southern Warratahs and Navmat respectively.  The opens crew showed incredible strength and determination throughout each of their races and never gave up without putting up a hell of a fight. They’re going to be a force to be reckoned with come Nationals in April.

In the mixed final there were three Komodo boats battling it out for glory, all sider by side. Mixed Blue, White and Green (the crew I was drumming) all shimmied up to the start line, ready to battle it out within the club. All crews nailed the start, but it was my crew, Green, who simply flew down the race course, completely in sync  with one another and we took out first place. Mixed Blue came in second, and Mixed white in third respectively giving Komodo the mixed final trifecta! Apparently, my coach said she could hear me from her boat during the final, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing a lot more drumming within the club now they know that’s where my strength lie.

Admittedly, I was disheartened to be on the drum again after paddling for so long, but once I was perched on the drummers seat it was like my second home and I remembered why I love drumming.

Truthfully, I’d be happy to drum at Nationals. I would love to paddle a couple of races just to say that I’ve paddled one Nationals in my life, but we all know I’m very competitive so I like to be in charge of the fierce crews!

After racing wrapped up we had our team Christmas party – there were hot chicken rolls, salads, dips, chips and drinks ready to feed a bunch of hungry paddlers. The sun was scorching hot and the beers were ice cold as we all sat down and reflected on the first half of the season.  You can’t beat a visit from Santa and some chilled out beach tunes playing the background.  I totally got sunburnt and got a headache from dehydration (my own fault) but it was totally worth it. Bless Aloe Vera gel ….

Now we’re on a break for another week before we ramp up the training into the critical part of the season. I feel terrible that I can really only get to training two times a week but with a sick animal at home I just can’t make morning sessions. I think I’ll try and talk to my coach about how best to tackle the second half of the season as I don’t want to be left out.

We have our next solo dragonboat paddle (UGH!) and ERG Bench testing coming up in February. That means I essentially have 4 weeks of solid gym work to build up some muscles so I get better result than what I had last time. My ERG was OK based on my body weight, but I’m sure my solo paddle was terrible – I’m dreading having to do that again because I barely made it through the first time.

So that’s it for 2018. In 2019 we have the Jindabyne Flowing Festival to look forward to which is always my favourite regatta of the season so I’m really excited to have that to look forward to. There’s another regatta in a few weeks as well so starting to get prepared for that as well.

Fingers crossed everything goes well for us in the second half of the season!

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