LIVERPOOL 5th May 2013
Monday, 06 May 2013 17:31
The first BDA League Race of 2013.
After last season’s racing we were optimistic about doing reasonably well given that we still had the core of the team that represented TAO (Bristol & Wraysbury) so well.
With familiar faces travelling a minimum of 3 hours to get to Liverpool (some set off at 3am with the boat – our new racing boat YinLang) we needed to do well. On arriving it was dull and overcast but not cold – we had an interesting time getting the boats launched – luckily there were enough helpers from different teams all giving each other a helping hand.
The days racing consisted of a 500 metre event, a Timed Paired Buoy Event and a 2000 metre staggered start race.
By the time the racing started the sun was out and it was warming up nicely but there was a swirling wind that needed careful attention from a helms perspective.
Our first race was against Pershore Phoenix and Amathus Wasps. Pershore had been promoted on a faultless racing season in the standard league claiming some premiership scalps along the way including ours! So we needed to put our plan into ractice. A good start saw us through the bridge in first place and pulling away nice and relaxed we carried on over the line in front. Job
done. Our next 500 metre race saw us against Nott’s and Cool Running’s (I think). Again the plan was to get out in front and stay there, Nott’s pushing harder than Pershore in our first race but we pulled away and again finished first with clear water either side.
The first semi was to be between us Worcester and Pershore once again. Another good start was need and we got away cleanly not breaking Worcester as we had done with the other crews but we were in front, Worcester came back at us and started to edge in front we pushed again narrowly finishing 2nd. Despite this both ourselves and Worcester were through to the final against Amathus.
We lined up for the first time not in the centre lane but still keen to give all – at the off there was nothing in it and through the
bridge Amathus holding a slight lead by mid way Amathus hit the “after burners” and pulled out a lead that we were not going to match. At the finish both Amathus and Worcester had broken the 2 minute time 1:57:00 and 1:59:00 respectively. Despite our best time of 2:02:00 we were well beaten. After a short turnaround the course was readied for the paired buoy event – not having done this before made it an interesting event and had us discussing all the different ways of going around the buoy. None of them helped us so something to practice for next year. Due to our fast starts and good acceleration through the heats saw us make the last 4. Amathus, Worcester, Hurricanes and us. We started well but Hurricanes made up time going around the buoy a great push saw us pull away and finish ahead of Hurricanes unfortunately Amathus and Worcester had
great turns so we didn’t get into the last two. Worcester and Amathus were left to fight it out again with Amathus once
again taking first place.
The last race was the 2000 metre with a left and a right hand turn just to test the helms a bit more. Due to our overall 3rd
placing on the day we started 3rd from last – Worcester and Amathus breathing down our necks – we were determined not to be passed in front of us was Hurricanes and three other crews. Our aim was to catch at least one of them. With 25 seconds between boats it was going to be interesting. We set off after Hurricanes and by the first turn had them in our sights. Dave was pushing us on demanding that we had to pass Hurricanes before the next turn which we did once around the bend a push for home gaining on the boats in front. Where would finish hard to say with this type of racing.
At the prize giving we were to find out we weren’t 4th that went to Nott’s so top 3 but where. Apparently the 2nd place was checked several times to make sure in 3rd place Worcester and 2nd Tao with a tenth of a second or so splitting us both teams completing 200 metres in around 9:02:00 but in first were Amathus in 8:45:00 – putting us all in the shade.
A great days racing well organised by Amathus and the BDA officials. Thanks everyone putting in the effort.
Monday, 27 August 2012 11:21
Worcester has been kind to us in the past but this was a new format starting with 450M races and a 1500M City Loop race. Just before the race we realsided that we had no boat so at the last minute a pool boat was ordered.
The first race set us against Secklow whose spare boat we using and Worcester Source. We had 27 paddlers and had to keep 8 ladies in the team at all times as most ladies were lefties this made rotating the men quite difficult. We also had four complete novices in the boat here for their first race an three after one training session the other his fourth time in a boat. We are always keen to get new talent into the boat and get them involved in racing as this is the real fun part of dragon boating.
Monday, 27 August 2012 08:35
A new venue to experience and was easy to find - but parking was an issue for some we were on the side of a dual carriageway and others right around the other side of the lake so transporting equipment and tents was an exercise in itself!
The weather was kind and the lake looked good although it was difficult we found to know where the start and finish lines were.
Our first race was against Secklow and Anaconda Challengers - both teams looked very strong so we had to be switched on - we had guest paddlers in the shape of Phil Endecott and Chris Fowler and they made the full boat /- it's always a struggle to get paddlers as TAO is made up of two very small teams Bristol and Wraysbury and this year three Batchworth paddlers Paul Atkins, Nick Evans and Rob Crowley without our friends joining us when they can we would really struggle.
Up North in Teesside - Saturday 4th August
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 21:52
The furthest race venue for us to travel to but well worth the trip. The race was on Saturday which gave us the opportunity to stay overnight - most of us on Friday and Saturday night.
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