|sat race results | sun race results|
|LARD Women||London Drugs Recreational B Championship||4th||2:30.420|
|LARD Men||Open Consolation||6th||2:11.200|
|LARD Mixed||NABOB Recreational B Championship||8th||2:20.840|
1. Traveling as part of the team, like a big family; it was great to mingle with everyone, including the “kids”; It was great to see them goofing around and just having fun; no other sport that I know of, allows you to hang out with teammates of all ages, from 21 to 55 years old (that’s me).
2. The camaraderie between your teammates and other teams; one minute you are racing with them on the same boat, another you are racing against them; friendly rivalry at its best.
3. The bike ride IN the rain; it poured on us but I heard no complaints from anyone riding; you are in Vancouver!!!!! it added to the adventure and made it even more memorable.
4. The walk from the hotel to Racers Village; the excitement didn’t kick in until I got to the security area and proudly showed my wristband; being in the middle of the whole event, not as a spectator, but a racer and a paddler of LARD; it was awsome and very, very cool.
5. Lastly, when all the festivities were over and having some time to “reply” the whole event in my mind during my flight back home, it made me realize that I do love the sport more than I thought and glad to admit that “I AM HOOKED!!!!”
Hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing 4th! It was great seeing many of you at practice last Sunday, and meeting some new faces. The trial schedule for Saturday will be posted shortly, with additional details on the new location, but as we prepare for the LB races these next few weeks, I just wanted to take a step back and share a few of the Alcan crews' race experiences with the rest of the team.
For those that were able to make the trek up to Vancouver and experience this breadth of competition for the first time, either as a new paddler or honorary LARD team member (Sally, Dolores, Mary!), I hope you came away appreciating that that there's much more to a race than its result summary. As much as we strive to perform and execute our race program consistently, each race is unique in many ways: wind and current conditions, how we stage, how the starter commands the race, lane assignment, how boat wake from a subsequent heat affects our race... you get the point. Speaking just to our mixed crews' performances, I feel we met our own expectations, and in a couple of instances, exceeded them.
To provide a bit more background info, I steered for all of our Mixed/Open races and Connie Flesuras, a retired coach of 22yrs with Portland's Wasabi team, graciously made herself available to call for us, thanks to an initial inquiry by our Team Mom. Having known Connie for as long as some of us began paddling in '96, she's undoubtedly had a positive impact on how some of our very own callers have adopted her commanding presence at the front of the boat. without screaming.
Flash back to Saturday first race, where we started off with a solid 2nd place performance in the seeding round, getting out with a clean start and transition to settle, but needing to temper our finish rate. In the second seeding heat, the starter's command to back down a seat (and late communication on my behalf) hindered us from getting out as strongly as we were capable of. We finished a very close 4th, putting us in the RecB/C semifinals on Sunday. (Finishing 3rd would have advanced us into the the Comp/RecA semis.) With 8, sometimes 9-boat heats, however, we expected even tighter heats on Sunday.
In our Sunday semifinal, we pulled off a very close first place finish in Lane 4, advancing us to the Rec B championships. It earned us a spot in the favored lane (4). Referencing our competitors' times for the final heat, I noted that we also had the fastest time. But again, every race is unique. After staging cleanly for the start and hitting our first stroke at the first meep of the airhorn, I know we had a solid launch. Quickly thereafter, we transitioned into an aggressive settle, but found ourselves gradually losing ground halfway into the set, finishing 8th, with a time that was inexplicably 8sec slower than our semifinal performance. The result was certainly unexpected, given that there really wasn't anything particularly bad that stood out about that piece from those in the boat. Chalk it up to a heated finals race: sometimes you win, other times your competition outperforms its expectations.
What matters most is how we respond and deal with inherent adversity in competition. Ask yourselves: what could you have done to run a stronger race? How a result affects you, me, our team to respond by pushing our limits to improve ourselves and one another--or not-- that is what should define our expectations when we compete.
Let's outperform our expectations.