Despite a couple of wet and miserable days we awoke today to a drier, brighter day than expected. A good job too as this afternoon was to be my first experience of racing in the dragon boats and a warm, sunny day will always be more preferable to a rainy one – although you get wet whichever, so rain wouldn’t stop us!
Usually there are only enough paddlers for one boat to go out, but today the team were joined by the Purple Warriors. This is a group of either serving or retired members of HM Forces who have some form of disability or impairment as a result of their service, but don’t let that mislead you, they are formidable!
Fortunately they decided to mixed the teams up, so it wasn’t all them against us. It doesn’t matter if you are paddling with people you’ve never met, we are all in the same boat both literally and figuratively, the aim is the same and the camaraderie is part of what makes dragon boating such a fantastic sport to be a part of.
We were only on the water for an hour or so, but we managed to get three races in and each was great fun and close finishes, not being competitive I wont mention that our boat won two of the three…
As I’ve probably mentioned before, the great thing about this sport is not only is it a great form of exercise, but the people are there lovely, to which end when we get back on dry land the usual routine is to get the boat out of the water and safely stored away, a cool down and stretch and a chance to ‘Hug a Hurricane’ – a group hug. Then we are back to the clubhouse for food and a drink, this time, thanks to the Purple Warriors, it was a barbecue. Sitting with friends and family, in the warmth of the sun with a cold drink and a plate of food, what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon….