For the third year in a row I got the chance to compete in the Lethbridge Rotary Dragon Boat Festival. This year I raced with the City of Lethbridge team Dragon R’ Butz.  We got off to a really rocky start on Saturday, 2:42 in the first race then something like 2:54 in the second. I got worried, even though I do this for the fun I can’t suppress my inner competitive athlete.

Since the team was made of a lot of City employees we strategized after each race and discussed went well and what didn’t. We figured the problem was that we were doing too many Power 10’s and the lead paddlers were going to fast (oops!).

On Day 2 we decided to have no more than two Power 10’s in a race and to have the whole team yell “Reach. It. Out.” during the race to keep us all on track.

Boy did that ever work! We got down to 2:33:94 in the first race of the second day! Who-hoo! We found a strategy that worked. We ended up in the “C” division  medal race. While waiting in the marshalling area the other teams (including the University and ATB) were singing their chants and cheers. We remained silent. I dubbed us “the silent, serious killers.” We quietly got onto our boat and paddled out.

When the race started we stuck to the original strategy; no more than two Power 10’s and “Reach. It. Out.” It worked for us because we came in first! Gold! With a time of 32:36:44 we had won by 3 seconds. I was very excited, my inner competitiveness could rejoice, we won the gold!

It was another great festival. It was super hot the whole time, there were a ton of great enthusiastic teams, and the entertainment was great.  I love this festival and I hope that I’ll be competing in it every year until I’m 80!


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