Our 2km race was scheduled for 3:00pm (race #7). The bus arrived to pick us up at the complex at 12 noon. After a short and sweet "pep" talk we were on our way.
We arrived at race site to find an Aussie team squatting in our tent space! "Somehow" the Rowbust sign that was posted inside the tent was flipped over and they thought it was there tent space. A few words exchanged and they were vacating our space.
With a bit of time before we were to be called to marshaling, many headed down to the waters edge to check out the action while others hit up the vendor section to get an event shirt before they were all gone.
There was a general feeling of excitement in the air as teams were warming up for their first races of the event. People everywhere were running, skipping and stretching in preparation.
The call to marshal race #7 came around 2:30pm. It was "go" time. Gear in hand, we made our way to the marshaling area and took our place in the shute for lane 6. IDBF officials checked our ID tags, race number and ensured that our paddles carried the proper IDBF licence. Here we had another chance to catch up with our Aussie friends that we met in 2014 in Italy before we loaded the boats and the niceties were over...for now.
Loading the boats was a little different than we are used to. There are no docks. The boats are beached. We load back to front and the volunteers push us off the sand. Different than we are used to, but it works!
We were the sixth of six boats in our 2km race. Five of these boats were in the BCS division, and one in the All Cancer Survivor (ACS) division.
The 2km race is a staggered start with 10 to 15 seconds between boats. We were with last boat to leave the start line.
We successfully closed the gap between us and boat 5 on the first 500m stretch. They were given the right of way on the turn but we overtook them on the second 500m stretch as we approached the second turn.
There was a lot of chatter in our boat. Key voices shouting words of encouragement as we dug deep and paddled on through turns two and three chasing the boats ahead of us. Laura (drummer) and Shirley (stern) called us in to power when we needed it and we gave them everything we had. We crossed the finish line with nothing left in the gas tank. Our shoulders and backs tired from the dog fight. There is nothing like the feeling of crossing that finish line after giving it your all. And we had done just that. Everyone in the race had done the same and it was obvious by the smiles and laughter as we unloaded and high fives exchanged between all competitors.
Because of the staggered start the results of the 2km races are not known until the times are calculated by the officials. So, we waited....patiently. Soon, Coach Sue emerged with news. SILVER! We did it! Our 18 months of training had paid off. No, we didn't take the gold. But for our very first race of our 2016 paddling season, to take a silver medal at CCWC is very exciting. Many of the teams we raced against are at the end of their season, when we don't even have our boats out of storage yet. We wanted competition. We got it! And it feels great! This is what will help build up the BCS division which is still in it's infancy.
Medals were presented at 4:00pm. Again, we waited patiently. Some of us chatting with the Brisbane team and we learned that they had not told their paddlers the results. They wanted it to be a surprise. When the results were announced, Brisbane erupted in joyous celebration of their victory. Many of their members were seen wiping tears from their eyes as they congratulated each other while everyone, Rowbust included, applauded their success.
- Gold - Brisbane, Missabittatitti
- Silver - Rowbust
- Bronze - New Zealand, A Breast for Life
There are two more days of racing ahead of us. Tomorrow (Saturday) we will race three 500m races and on Sunday three 200m races. Every race counts. These are not heats and finals. The winners are decided by their combined times in each distance.
Early to bed for us tonight!