Roving poet Ben Kemp, reporting directly from the storm front that was Regatta #1!
Get to know Ben better by taking a look here before moving on.
The first regatta of the season started with a bang! but sadly ended up being a windy fizzle. The anticipation and excitement amongst the club members leading up to the day was palpable. A good deal of rigour had gone in at training and the joy of our blue and white community was on full show as we assembled for the 6.45am roll call. A generous amount of banter and wise cracks from the usual suspects was observed; a few fresh haircuts to celebrate the dawn of a new season, and it was particularly lovely to see some new faces. It was great to see them celebrated and supported throughout the morning.
After a good deal of the obligatory waiting around, the excitement rose when the configs were posted. A few reunited seat buddies in the women’s boat, and a good deal of empty seats in the opens boat! i.e., only six paddlers in each boat. A moment of surprise quickly turned into a willingness to rise to the challenge; the steeliness heightened further on the start line when we observed all the other crews had a full complement of ten paddlers in their boats (we Komodo folk relish a mountain to climb!)
On the racing front, I was personally excited to have that feeling once again as we sat on the line waiting for the starters call: a shared nervousness and a curious desire to push oneself into glorious discomfort! Isn’t that why we love this sport? Strange folk we are!
Despite the challenges of drifting boats at the start line, the women’s crews blasted out of the blocks and did the club proud. Personally, I enjoyed the challenge of a smaller crew in the open’s boats, and it was noticeable that with each race, we relaxed and settled into the task. The mixed boats are always a joy to be in, and naturally brings out the competitive spirit within the club i.e., mate vs mate. To be frank, I am not entirely sure whether I was in the ‘la,’ ‘di’ or ‘da’ boat. I just waited for a familiar voice to call me over “Oi! over here mate” Sadly, it was at this point that the regatta was called off. From my understanding, all crews would have qualified for the final.
For reasons of posterity, I felt compelled to include this endearing image of Zac yelling expletives at a gazebo pole that would not cooperate. It was whispered to me by an observer (who explicitly asked to remain anonymous) that he might need to engage in a little more gym work to successfully get the job done. What exactly Zac might have been yelling at the gazebo pole. Well, I’ll leave that open to the comments section…