Akuna Bay Cruising Club

Kim's Dragon Boat Journal - FINALE !!

Thursday 01 November, 2007

Monday 17th September 2007

Well, this is it! This is the week that all the training has been for. I am being picked up by Sue at 10.30am in her VW Combi van and we are going to need every spare inch of space. Flagpoles, chairs, umbrellas, eskies, our own food for breakfasts and lunches. Training gear, paddling gear, partying gear! Sue is right on time as usual and we are dressed in our Australian team tracksuits, what a feeling! Off to Penrith to the Chifley attached to the Penrith Panthers. Nice room on the ground floor which gives us access to outside, excellent! Unpack, settle in and then off to dinner at the Silver Spur (or something like that) and join up with the coaches and have a chin-wag about the week in store for us.

Tuesday 18th September 2007

Sleep-in!! Sheer luxury!! But up and ready and in the foyer for a 1 hour training session at the Regatta Centre, I am the Land Captain so I am responsible for making sure that we are all present before we leave, I have to read the roll on every occasion, every day, twice a day at least! Ohmigod, everyone will be sick of my voice at the end of the week. I am also given a wonderful power, I am the mistress of fines for bad behaviour, tardiness, not wearing correct uniform, poor attitude etc, etc, etc.
Off for 1 hour this morning of gentle training and another hour this afternoon. Just to go through the motions really, practice a couple of starts, get a feel the SIRC so we don't get nervous. It is great to see other countries around, Macau, Germany, Canada, Great Britain, all of them going through their routines. Flags are flying at the SIRC, the weather is BRILLIANT!

Masters Team dinner at the Nepean Rowing Club tonight where we present the coaches with signed photos of the mens and womens teams. A couple of boys have got together too and had shirts printed up for ALL of us with a coat of arms on the front and the anagram S.I.U.P. and then on the back this quote.."If its meant to be, then its up to me" Very appropriate, indeed. But what does S.I.U.P. mean?? A catchcry often heard during training during our winter, when it was really cold, windy, raining maybe, generally not pleasant. "Suck it up, princess".

Wednesday 19th September 2007

Sleep-in again and gentle training x 2 at the SIRC. Then we get changed for the Opening Ceremony at Parramatta which takes place on the river about 6.30pm. It is very crowded and boring. It is the day before competition and we just want to be in our rooms relaxing. Commandeer a bus to take us back home to Penrith as soon as possible and head for bed.

Thursday 20th September 2007
1000m All Divisions and 2000m mixed
And so it BEGINS!! The boys paddle first and win their heat and that means straight through to the final. We paddle our 1000m and end up 'stone motherless LAST'!! I didn't need to train all winter and as hard as I did to come last. We are devastated to say the least. The only good thing we come out with is that we weren't exactly asked to paddle very hard. We get out of the boat pissed off but fresh and that is not what you want. We debrief, decide not to panic and to up the rating (strokes per minute) in the next race. We go through repecharge. We win the repecharge. We line up for the final of 1000m against Canada A, Canada B, Australia A, us (Australia B) and Great Britain. We win the silver medal which we are VERY pleased about after coming last in our first race. The boys win silver in their final beaten out by Canada. We win Bronze in 2000m Mixed.

Tonight we have an Australian Team Dinner in the Auditorium at Penrith Panthers where all teams are expected to put on a presentation of their "journey" to the World Titles. Gerry from the Masters men and I are asked to put something together. Gerry is a Powerpoint whiz and I am a poet (not a good one!) But we looked good after some of the efforts made by other teams, sometimes it was a struggle to stay awake. But there was generally much excitement in the Australian camp because in just one day we had collectively won more medals than in any previous attempts.

Friday 21 September 2007
500m Mixed
We compete as Australia A in this event because our mixed team won the gold medal at the National Titles but I was not fit enough to be selected for that team. Now, I am in Australia A after fighting my way in.
We win the bronze behind Canada A and Canada B. I am beginning to hate Canada.

Saturday 22 September 2007
200m Sprints (Splash and Dash)
This sort of racing is very exciting and noisy. The better Mens teams can really these boats up and flying!! The bow waves they create are huge! I sit out the Mixed races in 200m, my friend Sue paddles in them. They win a bronze behind guess who?? Canada again!

Sunday 23 September 2007
500m Races All Divisions
My fabulous family and friends turn up in numbers today. Thank you all so much!! It is very special to me when I consider than Penrith is a long way for you all to come. We're racing as Australia B behind Queensland who are Australia A. We fail to qualify for the final straight away and go to repecharge again. We race the repecharge and win that and Australia A fail to qualify for the final. They are very pissed off to say the very least. We have certainly had our revenge on Queensland for having the temerity of beating us at the National Titles. They have been soundly shown up during this regatta. But I digress. So now we are in the final of the 500m Masters Womens for the World Title against Canada A, Canada B and Germany. We come third after some nail biting paddling. We just beat Germany into the medals. We are thrilled and the word ecstatic doesn't seem to quite cut it.

So now its all over and it hasn't hit us yet and it doesn't until a couple of days later. We are now missing each other a lot and there's lots of emails and photos shooting back and forward.

It has been an exhausting, demanding time for me. It's the best thing I've ever done (besides marrying Scott) and I have met some terrific people. I can't wait to do it all again!!!