August 10, 2003

gone boating, dragon boating.

POST #    287

for the past two weeks (week 1, week 2), i have had dragon boat practice for the hong kong dragon boat festival in new york, but this weekend was the real thing. two days of fun in flushing meadows corona park, where the water is green and with garbage on the shore. there is nothing quite like two days of racing for a person that is sorely (plenty of soreness to follow as well) out of shape.

2001 philly worlds - photo from the philadelphia dragon boat team, arguably the best in the nation.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Sports at 6:27 PM



day 1:
with two races, saturday was not the most pleasant of days. the waking up early didn't help. i blame myself for watching drumline the night before, but i digress. the first race was the 250-meter sponsor's race where with 3 other boats. without a decent drummer, this race didn't turn out too well, but we didn't do much worse than we expected. we placed 3rd.

race two was the 500m open, which is twice as long, but arguably more than twice as hard. with a last minute change in the drummer, we took the water to face two other boats. from the start, the race was head to head, with each boat going stroke for stroke. it's possible that we even had a lead in the beginning (calvin and i picked up some good starting techniques when we rowed in college). all three teams gave everything they had for about 2:30 minutes. the final result was 3rd place, which again was expected. the surprising part was that the whole race was close with all three boats finishing within 10 seconds of each other. even more surprising was that my team, the multicultural radio broadcasting inc. (mrbi), had the 3rd best time in the division (the three boats in our heat had better times than everyone else). quite an exciting day of racing for us with a great performance giving us hope for sunday.

day 2:
day two did not go quite as easily as expected. despite having only one race and having the race in the afternoon, a night of partying resulted in a hangover that was less than desirable. with a healthy intake of fluids (water, cane sugar juice, coke, capri sun) and some food, i was ready to race (well, as ready as i could be). the team did some rudimentary stretching, which didn't help my sore back or arms at all. both of these were remedied with the warm up on the water, which were lead by our third drummer in three races, jessica.

this race was the 250m media race that involved 3 other teams. again, with the fast start, the mrbi boat jumped out to the lead. this time, we held onto it for about half the race before the wnbc team started to turn it on (i think they had outside help, although i guess that's what i am too). in the far lane, they pulled even with us and then past us to take the lead. the other boats, directly to our left and right) pulled even with us too, with each boat going stroke for stroke, with the teams jumping around between 2nd and 4th place. each good stroke had the ability to push a boat into 2nd. each bad stoke could drop a team to 4th. the three boats stayed neck and neck for last 100m, moving towards the finish line at a high stroke count and a dizzying pace (especially for those with a hangover). the race for 2nd place was a photo finish, with a difference between 2nd and 4th of 0.19 seconds. wnbc won by a relatively comfortable 3 seconds, we came in 2nd, and 3rd place was 0.03 seconds behind us.

overall, it was a good two days of racing, and surprisingly fun, but i'm not sure that i would do it next year unless we had control of one of the boats (i think i said this last year too). post race events included more eating, race watching, and water fights with sas.

a brief blurb about the event on gothamist (we all know that's when an even is really news).

I was just surfing the web when I came across your page. I've also paddled in the Hong Kong Festival last year but I'm part of a more competitive team. It was interesting to read the thoughts and comments from paddlers on other teams. Thanks.

Posted by: Janet at June 25, 2004 12:06 AM

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