Winning a dragon boat race

Not quite sure where this would fit in, just feel free to move it around (of course after I got all the congratulations and that stuff… :smiley: )

Ok, will try to write the whole stuff, for the guys not interested just the short summary: our team won the 2006 dragon boat race in Hsinchu (not sure about the category, something like longnose or so…). Find a pic of me with the trophy at the end.

Now the longer story:

I got know to this from a friend with who I play football in Hsinchu (and the Tavern Premier League). They were searching for Expats (or any kind of foreigners…) for the dragon boat race in Hsinchu, which was held in Nanliao Old Harbour.
A lot of people wanted to join this so they decided to make it bigger and make one additional race day for the qualifications.
Last saturday we started with the training. At 9:30 in the morning the place was crowded with foreigners. They stuck us in this life safing wests and gave as a very rought explanation of what to do. Actually the details came while already sitting in the boats. :smiley:
The boats were the traditional Taiwan style dragon boats with 18 people paddling, 1 drummer, 1 person on the head of the dragon for catching the flag on the end of the race and one guy for steering (which was the only “taiwanese pro”, the rest were foreigners).
The whole thing sounded simple as they explained it but it figured out that 18 people doing exactly the same at exactly the same time especially when they should do it faster and faster contains at least 18 preoblems.
Step by step we managed to get in rythem with the drum and the whole team was running rounder together. Some people were replaced as it was quite tiresome and stongers came in.
We made 4 sessions with several times going up and down the lenght. At the end our crew was already able to run with a good pace. Our technics improved a lot and we learned a lot about the basics and the important things. We spend a really nice day there and we were also just tired enought to stop at 2 pm to leave some power for sundays qulification heats.

To get not too long, our team qulified for the final race in our category on Wednesday.

This was the big day, I skiped the opening ceremony and some parts of the races of the highschools and went there at noon time. We got food and drinks (as one of the top teams :wink: ) and our own little tent booth with the team name on. There were about 2 to 3 thousand people in the habour, music and show programm going on and street vendors with food and stuff all around the place. Even some camera teams were running around and filming us. :laughing:

So our race was pretty much one of the last and we had to wait till about 4 pm. First we had to take our places on chairs in order like on the boats. They counted us and checked everything, we got the life safing vests and then we marched on the starting platform. Our oppent was a japanese team from the sience park. The looked pretty tought.
Than the final moment, everybody prepaired for the start and than there was the bang. We had the worser start but not much behind we took up speed and after very short distance we catched up. We stayed head to head almost the whole way down but as our team syncronized more and more and we also raised the pace to the end we slightly moved in front. Our flag catcher streached out and we won by some meters (offical timing by one second :wink: )

They pulled us back to the start and than after some time we joined the victory ceremony. Our team got the “pot” and we win also 50000 NT (which went to charity, the whole pricemoney for our category was around 95000 NT for the first 3 boats).

I don’t know how many of you guys already joined one of this things but I just can recomand it. We had a lot of fun and I will definatly try to join next year again (besides we make our own “Forumosa Boat” somewhere… :smiley: )

Here is a pic from the trophy with me holding it, so be aware of the shock. :astonished:

A Forumosa Dragonboat team? Now there’s an idea… :ponder:

Congratulations Mingshah! :bravo:

[quote=“Maoman”]A Forumosa Dragonboat team? Now there’s an idea… :ponder:

Congratulations Mingshah! :bravo:[/quote]

Thanks. The idea coould be interesting and the pricemoney of 50000 NT would be nice for doing a bit for financing the webpage. And if you make it to get 3 boats running and getting the first 3 places you get almost 100k. :wink:

Lucky you!!
We faced a team of American dragon boat rowers (can that actually exist?) from Washington DC, they had come specially for the race, and had gone to London last year to row for 22miles…
Still i pocketed 500 nts today (though now that you point it, it would have been nice to send the prize to a charity…).

I participated and won the foreigner’s category in 1999 in Kaohsiung. I have very fond memories of the whole experience. Would recommend it to anyone. I’d love to do it again but just never seemed to find the time.