Thursday, June 5, 2014

dragon boat 2014

On Tuesday at the office I wondered if I was coming down with something until I realized that there may be another explanation for my sore throat. My dragon boating colleague was in similar straits today and I started to recall just how much yelling occurs when you are paddling frantically to the finish line.

At the races I tried to avoid too much consumption of alcohol because I couldn't take the day off on Tuesday but there was all that cold bubbly and the street party.  What is it they say about good intentions?

While I continue to race with the same team for my fourth HK season, I heard back from the office team that I had been helping to train. They were a 100% rookie team and I had some worries. During their first race the strongest member's paddle broke and all the people behind him scrambled to find the replacement paddle in the back of the boat. They finished last. In the second race, some of the teammates ran out of steam and stopped paddling. The others on the boat were still enraged about this when they each stopped by to rehash the disaster that was their inaugural Stanley race. Despite this, most of the team are very keen to do it again next year.

In my team's first race we did only marginally better (8th place in the heat).  I twinged a muscle in my back trying to move the boat but luckily we were able to massage it until it released in time for the next races. We gathered the duds on our boat and had an encouraging but serious talk about blah blah ninety seconds of effort blah blah we have never done so poorly before blah blah we know you can dig deep and pull through for us. We then finished second place in our next race and advanced to the gold plate final, which was as high as you can go if you didn’t perform in the top three in your first race to advance to the cup, and were barely beaten in the final. Overall, we are very happy with our runner up trophy considering the stinker of a performance that was our first race. We celebrated like we had won runner up to the cup.

Then we heard an announcement that we had to re-race the final competition. Apparently one team was disqualified or something like that. Since this didn't affect anyone's time, our captain and several others went to find the tournament officials and ask for an explanation. Meanwhile several of my teammates had decided that they were too tired or drunk to continue on. The competitive members of the team couldn't fathom why anyone wouldn't want to keep going until we passed out. There was a big debate. angry words were exchanged. Then our captain returned to announce that the re-race was due to one of the boats having sunk to no fault of their own. Apparently the plug fell out or was pulled out by some prankster in the previous race (more likely scenario) and that team didn’t realize it until they took on a lot of water. They had tried to hoist a red flag before the race but no one saw them. As bad as I felt for that boat, we appealed the final race because we didn't have enough willing paddlers at that point. Several other teams joined the appeal and it was decided that a re-race was impossible. We kept our trophy and forgot all about the angry words that had been exchanged.

Our team made the critical error of not bringing enough beer so by the time that we disembarked for the street party, there were several people stumbling around clutching bottles of wine. And then there was the rando who crashed our junk with a bottle of tequila. By the time that I ran screaming from the street party, people were chugging bottles of wine like they contained apple juice. I’m sure that everyone that I left behind called in sick for work the next day.

When I arrived at home, the dogs chased me throughout the flat, trying to lick the salt off my legs with expressions of pure delight on their little faces. Elsie executed a lock around my ankle with her front paws so that she could lick my toes while Tippy went after my kneecaps.

Oh yeah, and SB opened his bag last night to discover a pair of women’s underwear. We had a good time trying to compose the most brilliant group message querying who tucked her panties into SB’s bag.

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