DBS Marina Regatta 2012
Champions of the Inaugural DBS Marina Regatta….an historic weekend for the British Dragons in the heart of Singapore.
The British Dragons are on a winning streak…..a golden winning streak!
On Monday morning members of the British Dragonboat team were waking up to realise that it wasn’t just a dream….after weeks of preparation and training in the days running up to the Regatta and some serious paddling, the British Dragons are the winners of the Inaugural DBS Marina Regatta 2012 event, collecting a Silver Medal in the 200m category, a Gold Medal in the 500m category and a very large cheque!
The weekend began bright and early on Saturday 5th May as the team arrived at Marina Bay and set up tent for a brand new style of event. This high profile Regatta took place in the heart of Singapore, in the shadow of Marina Bay Sands Hotel and the Financial District, and for the first time presented International and National teams with the opportunity to race over both 200m and 500m courses and claim prize money for overall performance. Those teams who positioned in Gold, Silver and Bronze over both races not only collected medals, but also points – 13 points for Gold, 9 for Silver, 7 points for Bronze and 5, 3 and 1 points for 4th, 5th and 6th positions. The team with the highest number of points at the end of the weekend in each category was presented with a cheque for between S$10,000 – S$25,000.
The British Dragons fielded two 22 crew mixed boats in the Singapore International Community Mixed 200m & 500m category, and one 12 crew mixed boat in the Singapore Corporate Open
200m category. Day One was all about sprinting, and after Boat Quay Regatta the team had something to prove. The Brit 2 crew raced first in a tough opening heat against Dragon Riders from Hong Kong, Spanish Armada, the German Dragons and AustCham2, followed by the Brit 1 crew who faced the American, Filipino, Canadian and Gaelic Dragons. Both boats qualified for the semi-finals, with the Brit 2 boat going on to the Minor Finals and Brit 1 crew entering the Grand Final. Our toughest competition came from the Filipino and AusCham teams, with the AusCham1 crew taking Gold with just a 0.09 sec lead over the Brits who achieved a fantastic time of 0.53.26 and won 9 points.
Whilst in the past making the Grand Final was the primary goal for the British Dragons, nothing short of Gold was good enough this weekend. We had trained for it, and we knew we could achieve it.
Day Two dawned and the British Dragons were back at Marina Bay, focused and ready to give it everything over the 500m course. This is the length of race that best suits our long, powerful maintenance stroke, and the work that had been put into improving our starts and charge paid off. The Brit1 crew was first out on Sunday, qualifying for the semi-finals with a time of 2.17.08 seconds. It was the Brit2 crew, however, who put in perhaps the most impressive performance of the weekend, cruising through their heat with a clear lead and seemingly without the need for a final charge at all! Whilst they were unfortunate not to qualify through to the Grand Final, our Brit2 crew certainly put in an amazing performance over the course of two days.
The Brit1 crew took first place in their semi-final heat with a time of 2.13.39, and lined up against the Candian Dragons, AusCham1 , Filipino Dragons 1 and 2, and the Gaelic Dragons in the Grand Final of the Singapore International Community Mixed….we knew it would be a closely fought race. The AusCham team was with us all the way, but in the end we did what we do best…..we came together as a team, we gave it everything we had as individuals and paddled for each other, for our Captains and for our Coach.
We took Gold, we won much needed funds for our team, but perhaps most importantly we proved the power of our training! Every member of the team was committed before they even arrived at Marina Bay and it made all the difference. Physically we were stronger….what’s 500m when you’ve been repeating 2k circuits at 7am in the morning, completing a day’s work and then tackling land training in the evening??….but mentally we were stronger too, more focused, and more determined.
As agreed between the International community ahead of the race weekend, the prize money will be shared among the top three teams, with AusCham receiving S$6,500 and theFilipino Dragons S$3,500.
An enormous thank you and congratulations to our fellow International Community team dragon boaters for a fantastic weekend of racing.
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