It’s time

And just like that, the season is over!

I’ve barely had time to write about the last few regattas because we’ve been gearing up for Nationals, and now our final week of training is here. This time next week I’ll be competing and it’s hard to believe that not so long ago I was there thinking “Nationals is months away” and now I’m sitting here writing a list of things I need to buy and do this weekend so I’m all prepared for competition.

Our last regatta, the Victorian Championships, was fantastic. We had a lot of great results in that regatta, and we all had a fantastic time. Have a look at how well we did!

17458151_10154774694378445_2133471455391097873_n

Pretty neat, huh? Perhaps my favourite race out of all of those was the 2km sweeps race. I was on the Blue team in the second heat, and we were up again 2 YRD crews. We managed to over take one of the crews, and hold off the other crew that was behind us enough to take out first place. As the drummer up the front of the boat, I rode that crew so freaking hard that I needed to get a strepsil off Darren afterwards. 🙂

After that regatta wrapped up, we grabbed a picture of the whole Victorian crew. and what a great looking bunch we are! It’s so fantastic so see so many different clubs represented this year! In the premier division alone, we have a great mix of Southern Storm, CYSM, YRD and Flames, to name a few, and I’m so excited to see us all come together I feel like we’re going to perform really well at Nationals this year.

state

I’m unfortunately on all the “B” crews for the state teams (Possibly because I’m a bit of a fatty right now) but I think it’s still going to be great to see our “A” teams go out there and kick some ass. I’m excited for the 100m relay races actually – I’ve never done one of those before and 100m is such a tiny distance – it’s essentially nothing in a dragonboat. It’s Essentially a start, so if you don’t have a good start you’ve essentially lost it from the get go.

It’s interesting being in a 10’s boat too – they’re extremely tippy and I’m still really nervous on them because they’re quite prone to capsizing. You really have to trust your sweep and trust your crew and being up the front, I have to have my poker face on and not let my nerves show because I don’t want that passed down onto the team. Plus, you know, I’m a professional. I shouldn’t be nervous about a tippy boat by now. I’ve capsized before! It’s not fun, but we wear life jackets so if we go over, I’ll be buoyant.

I’ve been struggling drastically with my weight prior to Nationals which has been stressing me out to the max. you see, I’ve just started this awesome new job which has an unlimited supply of Tim tams, and I might have gone a little bit crazy and I got up to 53kg which is porky for me. I’ve managed to get back down to 51.5kg which is where I think  I’ll try and sit for Nationals because there’s only so many eggs and salads I can eat before I crave rice from the lunch trolley guy (chicken korma and rice today guys, instead of the usual roast chicken salad. Gotta live it up, it’s the long weekend!)

So! Nationals. I was absolutely honoured to be asked to drum the Masters crews for Melbourne Flames. It means an extra two days of racing and that means an extra 2 days of a chance of medals! Not that I’m competitive or anything 😉 But in all seriousness, I like out masters crew – they’re a good bunch of people and there are some amazing paddlers on that crew. I think we’ll perform well and I’m looking forward to being on the front of the boat with them.

I’ll be travelling up to Albury after work on Wednesday night, leaving by boys (read: boyfriend and guinea pig) to have a week long bachelor party at home. I wonder what they’ll get up to? No doubt Caesar will lose some weight because Reece doesn’t over feed him like I do! I’m thrilled to have my parents coming to Albury to support me for Nationals this year – doesn’t get much cooler than having your own personal cheer squad now, does it? They followed me to Canada a couple of years ago, and now they’re bringing their caravan to Albury and following me there to watch me drum for a week. Awesome parents? Yeah, I got a couple!

tc

See you at nationals guys!

Advertisements

State Trials

It’s always interesting participating in dragonboat trials around Australia. I’ve definitely noticed the difference between ACT and VIC states with their testing, and I think right from the word go, how you trial sets the bar for what kind of standard you’ll have for your team.

And for the VIC team? Only the highest standard.

I’ve never done benchmarking in an offsite facility before, so the trials were a real eye opener for me. We had them at AAMI park and the equipment was all state of the art. Perfect for beep test, chin ups, sit ups, kettle bell, bench press, and weigh ins.

As a drummer, I don’t have to do too much for bench marking as all my trials are on water. But I turned up to AAMI park, and watched in awe as these paddlers showed off their amazing strength with their individual tests. I think about how many sit ups these guys and girls did, and I don’t think I could compare – I struggle with crunches alone right now! And the chin ups …. The upper body strength these folks have is so amazing. I’m still working on my upper body strength but I can tell you right now I am in AWE of what these guys can achieve. Some of the paddlers could bust out some chin ups like they were sitting around having a cup of tea on a lazy Sunday morning, whereas I know if it were me I’d be flailing on that bar so badly. They make it all look so EASY, and I know for a fact it isn’t! I remember sitting on the front of the boat a couple of years ago watching our strokes paddle during training, and they both had such a beautiful stroke that I remember sitting there thinking that I could sit there and watch them paddle for days because they made it look so effortless. That’s the sign of a great paddler!

I’m going to say that the calibre of the people who trialed were out of this world. Every time I attend bench marking as a drummer, I am SO impressed by our paddlers. They’re fit, they’re strong, they’re dedicated and they’re excited to be part of the team. As a drummer, that’s what I love to see. I love to see the enthusiasm of each of the paddlers at bench marking, and it actually gives me something to aspire to.

Right now, I’m not much of a paddler, because I haven’t done much paddling in the past. But I’d love to get to a level of fitness where I could pick up a kettle bell and swing it around for 2 minutes continuously like it weighed nothing more than a feather.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve made the Victorian state team this year, and I am STOKED to represent my second state within Australia. When I represented the ACT, I was always in awe of what the Victorian team achieved, and now I get to be a part of that, so to say I’m thrilled to be a part of the team is a bit of an understatement.

And do you want to know what makes victory a little bit sweeter? Our uniforms have sea horses on them. SEA HORSES. I fricken LOVE SEA HORSES.

rh1g9rnhzzytaicd

SEA HORSES FTW!!!!!!

So we have a State training camp next weekend which will be our first one together which I’m super excited about. I’m looking forward to meeting the team and seeing what we can do together at Nationals this year. Like …. SUPER excited. I’m expecting great things from this team this year -we have a stellar coach, we have amazing paddlers and we definitely have the enthusiasm and dedication behind us that’s going to help us be successful.

Did I mention that nationals are only 2 months away. TWO MONTHS, PEOPLE.

Get excited, because in no time at all we’re going to be crashing Albury/Wodonga and bringing the competition! *excited happy dance*

More after State Camp, guys!

Until then, paddles up!

Rach xx