Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta, Viaduct Harbour, Monday 30 January 2017

It wasn't for a wine and a meal that season newbie Jo Hooper headed to the Viaduct for on this occasion ...

We gathered at the Viaduct early ready to race. The day started and continued in perfect conditions with 24 degrees and next to no wind (could this be true after all these windy training sessions?) Being my first competitive race I was looking forward to the day and the opportunity of putting into practice all the elements we had concentrated on in training. Also nice to be at the Viaduct for a purpose other than eating and drinking!

Dressed in our racing shirts and with our light racing paddles it was exciting getting into the small, much less stable, boats. The beautiful dragon heads and tails were attached and with drum in front the boats were quite magnificent. The first two races were run close together and we did good times in both. We came third in our first race and a close fourth in the second, with a mixed team taking first place.

We had a long break before our 3rd race which gave us a chance to check out the opposition’s styles, have lunch, shelter from the sun and have a chat of course. In our 3rd race we knocked a few seconds off our previous race time and it felt really good employing the race plan we had gone over in training and seeing the results. In the final we were up against Bay Dragons, Waikato Treasure Chest and Jaffettes Red and came in an extremely close third with only .85 of a second separating 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Paddling in the Viaduct in the confined space and calm water was a whole different experience to training and the feeling of the boat lifting and responding to our efforts during the race was very strong. The day was filled with a lovely sense of competitive spirit and good sportsmanship between all teams.

It’s a long time since I’ve been part of a sports team and it feels great to be part of a fabulous group of friendly women who have had a shared experience and to improve fitness at the same time. Go Busting!