Sunday, November 27, 2011

Savas, Serangoon!

The last few Sunday mornings have been spent on a dragonboat with a bunch of other paddlers under the scorching heat of the sun.

For about two grueling hours every Sunday, we would do various training exercises to prepare for a competition almost every DB team in Singapore is looking forward to.

That competition - the Singapore River Regatta 2011 - happened yesterday.

It is my second DB rowing competition, and I was more confident about this one. During the training days leading up to the race, I really saw the difference in how I rowed. There is still so much more room for improvement, but I've got a number of things already figured out thanks to Coach Yosef and my teammates who constantly remind me how it is to be a good rower.

The Singapore River Regatta is also special because it is said to be the mother of all DB races in town. For me, getting to be part of it was already such an honor and a privilege.

I was also extremely happy about this race because my best friend from Manila, Tey, was here for holiday so I had my very own one-man cheering team. Hehe!

Our team, the Serangoon CSC DB team, was slated for the 11:25 race. We would be competing against the PLK Paddlers, the Punggol North Dragons and the Kebun Bahrun CSC Team. I wasn't sure how good the other teams were but our edge for sure was that we were really determined to do our best during the race.

I arrived at the race venue by 9AM. Ian was already there. We secured our area. Competition was definitely in the air. All around, you would see hundreds and hundreds of paddles, floatation devices, and other gear. You'd see men and women, teens and adults, walking around clad in their team uniform and shorts all excited for the race.

Thirty minutes before the race, we did our warmup and the mandatory pep talk. We talked about our strategy and did a simulation.

Close to the race time, our team was called to head to the pontoon to get on the boat.

The next thing I know, the usual commands were given and we were off paddling like there was no tomorrow.

A little over a minute and it was all over.

It's amusing, huh. You spend hours and hours on the water, at the gym to train and the actual race would only take about a minute or so.

We didn't get to win first place. But we did get into the semis.

I wasn't able to join the semis anymore because I had to take care of something.

The Singapore River Regatta was definitely one more experience that made my new life in Singapore much more memorable. We may not have won the race, but I was just really happy to be able to do the race.

Never did it cross my mind that I would one day be a paddler. Haha!

Savas Serangoon, savas! :D

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