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My Rio Tinto Alcan Weekend

23 Jun

This past weekend was the biiiiiig dragon boat festival! We spend all season gearing up for this festival, training! training! training! Rio Tinto is the largest dragon boat festival in North America, teams comes from all over the world to compete, it is a big thing in the dragon boat world.

I absolutely love this festival! Not only are there 160 dragon boat teams competing against each other for coveted medals there are food vendors, booths set up with free samples, coupons, random information about all sorts of topics, live performances, this festival has it all! It is one of things I look forward to all year.

All us dragon boaters will be the first to admit that unless you know someone in a race watching dragon boat racing can be a bit, um, boring…I know! It sounds horrible to say but it’s true. Each race heat can take what seems like forever to get set up because you can’t tell from the shore how much the tide has moved the boats as they try to line up or any of the other random things that can happen that make the start of the race be delayed. That’s why having all the on shore entertainment helps, it keeps people entertained when they stop being quite so entertained by the races lol

The weather on Saturday was perfect! Sunny, warm but not boiling hot, abso beautiful! πŸ™‚ I’ve competed at this festival when the weather is cold and pouring rain so the warmth and sun was much appreciated lol. I of course was coating my exposed skin in 110spf sunscreen and wearing long sleeves and pants, oh and a hat! lol I look like I hate the sun, and I kinda do because of how easily I burn, but I also don’t, I just hate the UV rays that try to not-so-slowly turn me in to a lobster, shrug.

Our race times on Saturday were strong, 2:06 then 2:05. They put us in a nice solid position for day two of racing which (obviously) is important.

Sadly I can’t tell you much about Sunday, sigh. By the time I went to bed Saturday I had a fever, no voice and an upset stomach. I kept telling myself “you are not sick, you’re just tired” but no matter how many times I said that to myself I really was sick, not just tired, sigh. I woke up in the morning after a night of crappy sleep to the realization I was too sick to paddle, heck, I was too sick to get out of bed. 😦 I debated still going, pushing myself, I was hoping maybe I would feel better once I was up and moving and there but I know better than that, if I can’t manage to get to the sink to get a glass of water no way I can keep up in a race piece and no way in hell am I going to risk my team winning a race because I insist on being on the boat. Damn self-sacrificing instincts, sigh.

I got text updates from teammates during the day and I was glad to hear how much fun they were having even though I was curled up miserable on my living room chair. Then the best news of all came, they won Silver in B Division! I’m so proud of them! I don’t know what the actual finish time was but I know it had to have been awesome lol πŸ™‚

One of my teammates posted this to our facebook wall:

Of the SIXTEEN teams that raced above us in both A Rec Consolation, and A Rec Championship, there were only THREE times faster than ours β€” 1 in Consolation, and 2 in Championship. Our time bested 13 of the 16 teams in A Division”

How amazing is it that our time was only beat by three other teams! *shock face*

I didn’t take any pictures of the festival on the Saturday because I was planning on taking them all on the Sunday, a decision I now greatly regret, sigh. So here are some pictures I stole from facebook and the media images that were used in papers and websites…that’s right! We made it in to media footage!

one of my teammates medals resting on his jersey

one of my teammates medal resting on his jersey

that's our caller and the first two rows of the boat (left side) in the final race

that’s our caller and the first two rows of the boat (left side) in the final race

Normally I sit second bench left side but since I wasn’t there on the Sunday I am not in this picture, my good friend KR is though and she looks awesome! πŸ™‚

we are the team with the white sleeves

we are the team with the white sleeves

So there we have it, it was an awesome weekend, the parts of it I got to experience and the parts of it I missed. I’m really bummed I wasn’t there with my team to win the medal but I’m so so so happy for them and proud of how great they did! πŸ™‚

Only 362 days until the start of next years Rio Tinto dragon boat festival…not that I’m counting or anything… πŸ˜‰

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