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Ottawa Dragon Boat Race Festival

June 26, 2006 @ 09:04 By: gordon Category: General

This past weekend was the Ottawa Dragon Boat Race Festival weekend. The weather was perfect for racing on both days — not too hot, not too cold, not too wet and not too windy. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions.

I was steering for the PCL Singapore Slings who were competing in the Hospitality and Tourism challenge cup. Our first race Saturday morning, which determined the winner of the cup, saw us clock a time of 2:22.76, a very respectable time which won us the Hopitality and Tourism Challenge Cup.

Our second race on Saturday, which was the last race of the day,ended up with atime of 2:29. A lot of factors contributed to this slower time, such as there being a bit of a headwind and rougher water, having sat around for the whole afternoon waiting for the race, but mostly it was because there was a bit of chaos at the start line and we couldn’t hear the starter. We had about 1 second’s warning on the start of the race, but the team quickly got in time within 4 seconds. Later, we learned that every boat in that race wanted to file a protest because no one could hear the starter clearly.

Our best time from Saturday, 2:22.76, put us in 44th place out of 190 teams, so we advanced to Sunday.

The first race on Sunday saw us log a time of 2:21.00, almost 2 seconds faster than our best time from the previous day. We were very happy with this time, but felt we could do better. One of the people on the team challenged us to break 2:20 with the incentive that he would buy a round of beer if we did. With an incentive like that, we finished our next race with a time of 2:19.93. Heading back into the dock after the race, our caller had us chanting “Beer!Beer! Beer!” rather than the more mundane “Hit! Hit! Hit!” she usually used to keep the paddling rate even.

Overall, it was a great festival and I really enjoyed steering for them. So much so that I will be steering for them throughout the summer in preparation for TheFall 400 in Carleton Place in September.

Many thanks to everyone who sponsored me! It helped raise a lot of money for good causes!

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