|This year was a new experience for the dragonboat team.
In the past, we’ve paddled under the blazing HK heat, in the topical swelter of the Boracay sun, in a T3 storm with sheet rain and rolling black clouds, but we’d never paddled at 6am, Stanley beach, Wednesday morning – who’s stupid idea was that??!!?
Well, it was ours of course, as we embarked on our campaign to strip our paddling techniques back to raw basics, re-learn our stroke and train harder than we had before, throwing car tyres into the water, tied to the back of the boat. All this, so that Fair Dinkum could represent Hong Kong in the 2012 Club Crew World Championships (CCWC).
As productivity in Hong Kong workplaces suffered, but sales of cappuccino and double espresso’s went through the roof, our crew gradually improved, to a stage that the core CCWC squad was even stronger than it was when we paddled at the Stanely Cup.
With the confidence of this behind us, FD went into the CCWC qualification competition at Sha Tin, fielding teams in all categories across all distances, over the two-day event. It wasn’t easy but over the duration of the event, through masterful paddler rotation and placement by Alvin, our Chief Strategist, and Al, the Coach, our Men’s small boats and Mixed 2km boats qualified to represent Hong Kong in 2012.
The highlight of the day though, without a doubt, was to see our girls team charging it’s way into the finals and qualifying in the small boats category. This was the highlight because it was the first time our girls have had a podium finish in a competitive category – FD Girls R-O-C-K-!