Strategic Brilliance – that was the catch cry of the day!
Local and interstate club’s chatter was overheard around the regatta coffee van line and whispers circulated aside the portaloo hand sanitisers “did you see Komodo, they’re racing half boats?”
Regatta 2 started just like any other regatta, arriving before the sun had time to rise above the horizon and dry the dew from the grass, old friends fighting over chair placements beneath the shady trees, all the while considering the earth’s rotation about its axis and its diurnal motion as it appears to move across the sky, heated config table discussions before the marquee had been erected, and ending with coffees warming hands during Roddy’s roll call.
Eventually the config sheets went up, and came down again and went up again. Was this all part of coach Kim and Lexie’s ploy to test our mental resolve and challenge our resilience?
All the while estranged Komodos hovering around the config board bewildered as to why so many empty benches?
Yes it was a depleted Komodo crew in attendance, many missing due to illness or on international duty with the Auroras.
Nonetheless warm ups began and marshalling for race one started with our women’s crew driving and setting perfectly around the 2km course. Up next, the power of the opens boat 2km race. Although missing six paddlers the team put in a perfect run incurring only one time penalty for being too fast around corners.
Next up the two Komodo boats went up against each other in the mixed 2km race. Being the prized event as always, honours went to Komodo white in a sizzling time of 12:50, 20 seconds ahead of Blue who took the safer wide option, paddling just over 2.47km in a time of 13:10.
With the fear of 2km behind them Komodo settled into its rhythm of 10s 200m racing. But again the numbers didn’t add up! “We only have seven paddlers” and “our sweep is also sweeping the other boat”. Confusing the officials in marshalling more than normal with our inability to alphabetise paddlers, most of whom were still on the water in another race, missing, in a coffee line or lining up for the one serviceable portaloo, we all eventually clambered into boats, swapping sides, swapping strokes or swapping banter enroute to the start line.
Ready, attention… boat one can you hear me…….? hands ups if you can ……me, this thing is not work–g, can you hear me–now……… GO! It’s great to see our officials keeping things moving despite equipment failures, thank you!
As always, all boats powered up and up and up and big ten now calls with 150 to go got the blood pumping enroute to the finishing line’s welcoming call of easy.
No we didn’t win! But it was so refreshing to be able to see other boats in the race. With fewer paddlers in the boat than normal 10s racing affords, Komodo crews performed admirably in every race, harnessing the lessons from training and applying teamwork, determination and technique to match it with the other full crew clubs. We know that’s Strategic Brilliance, and the hard work now will pay dividends later in the season.
It was a perfect day for racing, the scent of sausages sizzling from the Ice Dragons tent wafting tantalisingly on the mild breeze, Komodo’s attuned Alisha eloquently announcing the races and informing us of the portaloo reductions, charismatic Cindy’s safety boat safetying and jubilant Gina’s officialising contributed to a memorable day. Big thanks to our volunteers who as always make the regatta more enjoyable for all.
I don’t really know who won any of the races, but we did win the race to the line at the coffee van and got first crack of the portaloos by being first ones there.
All race results are on the DBACT website and check the link sent around for the Auroras race times. Training is on tomorrow at 9am with coffee likely to be on afterwards and where all the weekend’s racing stories can be exagerated further.
Until next time – I’m Roving Reporter 2 signing off.