It has been a little over a week since our return from a very successful festival in Portland! It was a weekend of lots of exciting racing for everyone…I know my voice was still pretty hoarse from all the yelling for several days afterwards! It’s a long wrap-up but when there’s so many exciting things to report on – what can you do?!
The Angels won their first two races handily and found themselves sitting in 2nd place in the women’s division after the first day of racing. Sunday’s races also proved fruitful – we were the underdog going into the finals based on the morning, semi-final times but we had a spectacular final race for a silver-medal finish in the Women’s A-Division (2:23.09)!
*A big thanks to the NAVY Dragon Anchors women who rotated 4 paddlers (out of 6) for each of our races. We could not have done it without you!
The Yahoos also won their first two races on Saturday – busting out one of the fastest race times on the mixed boat this season, (2:00.76) in the morning race. A win and equally fast time was also the result of the Mixed A Semi-Final (2:01.38)! We were all looking forward to meeting up with Kai Ikaika in the final – they had already posted times sub-2 minutes twice through the weekend. It was an exciting final with roughly four and a half seconds separating the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams. Crew Yahoo earned a silver medal (2:25.95)!
* This may be the only time ever that I will get to point something like this out: Angels posted a faster time than Yahoo in their final…I’m sure water conditions had something to do with it but on paper it still looks pretty darn good :)
Our men joined with some of the NAVY Dragon Anchors men to form a team with a semi-final race Saturday and a final race on Sunday. The “NAV-Yoo’s” stepped it up and beat the home-town favorite, Kai Ikaika, in a photo finish, semi-final race (1:56.27 and 1:57.0 respectively). The big question going into the open final was whether we could do it again?! It was a battle of wills but Kai Ikaika somehow got the edge on the NAVY Yahoos in another photo finish – a few more meters and it might have been a different tale (1:57.57 and 1:57.67 respectively). NAVY Yahoo with a very respectable silver medal finish!
* A shout out to coach Rob for helping to arrange the NAVY Yahoo mix-up and a big thanks to all the NAVY men for joining our ranks (no pun intended). It was some great racing!!
Bridge Races (aka Guts and Glory or 2000m)
I’m not sure if everyone felt the same way but I really wondered where on earth I was going to find the energy to paddle 2000m with the other ladies at the end of the first day! I needn’t have worried! Angels were the 7th boat out of 8 to pass the start line and then we were off! We had to take a pretty wide turn at the first marker thanks to another boat and we passed a crew that lost their drummer on the course but roughly 25 powers later, it was all over…We finished the race 2nd overall with a time of 10:30.0.
The racing did not end with a medal for Yahoo on Sunday - we still had the bridge race to contend with. This race was the highlight of my weekend and probably one of the most memorable I’ve ever been in! The boat felt strong right off the start line – the boat was surging, adrenaline was pumping, boats on either side of us created a ‘Yahoo sandwich’, paddles were clanging, water was coming in from all directions…it was crazy fun! We finished in 2nd place with a time of 8:44.96.
A solid end to a really great weekend of racing!!
*A big THANK-YOU to Team Fusion for hosting us and providing us with such a great seating area and amazing food!
*A big thanks also to the other crew members who helped contribute to this festival:
Jake, Laura, Kevin, Rachel, Yun, Evan and Tara for making sure all our paddles/gear got to and from the festival in one piece.
Karen for making arrangements at the Rose as well as assisting with gear.
Shannon for planning the team dinner at PokPok.
I hope I didn’t miss anyone…forgive me if I did. It felt like there was lots to keep track of!!
Whew. I think that’s a wrap!
Congrats to all of our paddlers. I hope you enjoyed Portland and all it had to offer.