Dragon boating results, 5th May @ Queens Dock, Liverpool

Tao had a successful start to the season bringing home 4 trophies from this event; while our performance may have improved, sadly the trophies have not, but on the plus side, we only had 2 to bring back to Wraysbury with the others going back to Bristol. Wraysbury provided 10 of the 21 people there (we borrowed a young lad from Crusaders to drum) with Dave helming, so there were no changes during the day and we broadly sat with Bristol in the front and Wraysbury at the back.

There were some ‘innovative’ events, with only one contributing to league points, the standard 500m distance, which was the first contested; this was followed by a timed race in pairs out from a racing start to a buoy, which you had to go round, and then back to the start; the final event was a 2000m race in a figure of eight from a race start at around the 500m point, out to a buoy for a left-hand turn, then 1000m back to another buoy to do a right hand turn and then back to the start.

Although only 13 crews made the trip (3 of those were from Amathus and 2 from Worcester), which was a shame, because it is a good venue and a good event, there was some keen and close racing… in fact extremely close.

In the 500m, the format was such that there were additional races rather than the normal 3 we might do; we ‘breezed’ through our 2 heats to the semi where we managed to avoid Amathus, but were up against Worcester, with the winners and the fastest losers going through to the final; this was our first loss of the day going down by a few seats in a close race, but as the fastest losers, we were in the final. You are always in with a chance if you are in the final, but it was not to be, with Amathus winning from Worcester and Tao third, with all three boats overlapping.

The out to a buoy and back event was interesting with the winning and losing all really being in the turn, which was a tight one rather than a comfortable arc like in the International 20000m; we had practiced at Wraysbury several times with our course buoys slung in to try to simulate what it might be like,  but of course there were as many theories as there were people in the boat; this was compounded by then seeing what other people were doing on the day and wondering whether it was better than what we were going to try and do; the format was the fastest 6 from the first round of races went through to the next round; we safely negotiated our first race to get through into the last 6; now it was the fastest 4 through into the semi’s; we had to race Amathus Bees, and while they were not the fastest in the straight bits, they had got into the last 6 by being very quick round the turn and made us work very hard to make the last 4; In the semi, we met Hurricanes, our close neighbours and friends, but they had to be beaten, which they duly were, but not in a fast enough time to get us into the final, which was for the 2 fastest crews, so we were third again; times were about 1 min 55 sec+ for the better crews for those interested in how long it took to cover around 300m.

The 2000m was a straight time trial split into 2 divisions for the Cup and the Plate based on your finishing place in the 500m; as we were 3rd we went off 3 from the back with Hurricanes in front and with Worcester and Amathus behind. Our goal was to catch Hurricanes and not be over taken by Worcester, both of which we achieved, overtaking Hurricanes on the final turn and getting to the finish what looked like well before Worcester and Amathus, but was it enough?

There followed a ladies race and a juniors race, but still no result for the 2000m; this was held back to the presentation as there was much checking of the video at the finish, the timing and the maths.

Both Tao and Worcester had completed the course in 9 min and 3 sec, so it was down to 10th’s of a second with Tao just getting the better time by about 0.3 of a second, but good enough for a 2nd place.

And the 4th trophy… well, we got one for coming 3rd overall on the day.

The whole day was a great team effort.


Categories: Results

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