Paragon Point, Redwood City

Our 1st racing event in 2008 was on Saturday, May 10th at Redwood shores. It was a beautiful crisp morning with a gentle breeze on the water. We had a recreational mixed Gold and Red crew as well as a Masters mixed crew.  This year we sponsored a Washington High school youth crew as our third mixed team.
Races don’t just happen. It takes many people involved with the planning, staging and execution of the event. All teams help with assignments in the preparation and clean up for races. This is a great time for learning more about other aspects of dragon boating.

We arrived at 7 am. Half of our team set up our tents and the other half went to complete our assignment, which was to unload the dragon boats off the trailer and onto the water. Our Event Planning Committee under the direction or whip of Tracy G did a fantastic job of organizing our set up. Warm up began with the Masters crew starting the day with the first race. We raced with a goal to improve on last year’s time and we succeeded. Next up was the mixed crew seeding races. We all felt GREAT leaving the boats after the heats. The semi-finals heats gave us a surprise that we did not imagine and that was having all 3 mixed crews racing against each other! The youth crew prevailed, followed by the Gold crew and then the Red crew. The Red crew did have a slight disadvantage because we had to borrow a drummer and steerperson, both unfamiliar with the Red crew’s biorhythms. It seems like we never left the water that day, with the mixed crews racing and the gender races sandwiched in between.

Overall the day was rewarding. It gave us a benchmark for improvement for the rest of the paddling season. The Youth crew and the Gold crew competed in the C division final with the youth’s taking 1st place winning eco-friendly tote bags. The Gold crew took 3rd place winning a tent for the team. The Red crew, not to be outdone by the Gold team for door prizes, placed a strong and impressive 2nd in the D division final and brought home a Coleman outdoor cooking stove. All race times showed an improvement from the seeding races: Gold team, 2:25:14 vs. 2:23:36 and the Red team, 2:39:16 vs. 2:30:00.

As the sun comes down and the weather becomes cooler, clean up is a must. Another day on the Bay with the sun, water, friends and the sea breeze, i.e. dragon boating!