A large contingent of the British Dragons team travelled to busan to compete in the 2nd Korea Open International Dragon Boat Regatta. This proved to be a truly memorable event with exhilarating race action leading to unprecedented team success on the water and a whole range of fun social activities on the shore.
As always the team spirit was amazing and the British Dragons enjoyed a high profile and great popularity with all the other teams taking part. Indeed at the farewell “Friendship Dinner” the team was constantly mobbed by other competitors wanting to swap for our race shirts and jackets and to be photographed with our paddlers! We were also delighted that our team Coach (Jason Chen) was also able to join us and offer his guidance and support (and some tour guide and translation services!) throughout the event.
The two days of races were covered by an 8 camera HDTV outside broadcast unit by MBC (one of the major national TV networks) and the live action and results were shown on a videowall opposite the British Dragons tent. The coverage culminated in an extensive two hour TV broadcast on the Saturday afternoon where our team was often featured competing. In addition the regional news lead story on the Saturday night bulletin featured the regatta and included shots of our team winning gold plus an interview with our team coach Jason Chen (subtitled of course!).
Here are the race results for our team:
Friday 2nd September 2011
200m Mixed 22 crew BRONZE – 50:08 (1st Macao – 49:83, 2nd Hongkong – 49:91)
200m Women 12 crew BRONZE – 59:97 (1st Indonesia – 54:70, 2nd Macao – 59:80)
200m Mixed 12 crew SILVER – 57:69 (1st Guam – 57:11, 3rd Fair Dinkum United – 57:96)
Saturday 3rd September 2011
500m Mixed 22 crew GOLD – 2:08:20 (2nd Macao – 2:08:22, 3rd Germany 2:12:81)
500m Women 12 crew SILVER – 2:32:40 (1st Indonesia – 2:20:52, 3rd Macao – 2:33:69)
The 1st Place in the 500m mixed was certainly a nail-biting-photo-finish affair with the judges using video playback to determine that we had pipped Macao for Gold with a lead of just 2/100ths of a second!
Congratulations must also be extended to Kate, Natalia, Amelia and Karen from our team who graciously responded to a request to paddle with the Australian team who were short-handed for the 200m and 2,000m races. They all won SILVER medals for their splendid efforts!
The British Dragons would like to thank the organisers and sponsors of the 2nd Busan International Dragon Boat Regatta for being such generous and gracious hosts. The team certainly enjoyed exploring some of the many attractions of Busan and sampling the food. It was also very pleasing to
see the event receive such a high standard of TV and regional news coverage from MBC and to have the chance to compete and make friends with so many other enthusiastic teams and paddlers from across Asia.
‘Dynamic Busan’ certainly lived up to its name!