With the water levels low due to the drought, the Annual CDBA Sprint Race was held at the Seaplane Lagoon, Alameda on July 13th, 2014. Unfortunately, most of our teammates suffered a bit in the cold in the morning thinking that Alameda would be warm, but boy were they… and I wrong about that. To stay warm some of us put on more layers, and some of us participated in the “No Hands Pants On” challenge.
As we started to set up our area it was great to see everyone help out setting up tents, unfolding chairs, mixing Gatorade, and prepare the breakfast for the team.
We had three mixed boats: Fast, Furious, and Fearless along with the Open Boat Spam Musubi and the Women’s Boat Kahlua Cake giving everything we had out on the water. While it did get frustrating for us because of the conditions with the start and finish line moving and boats in lane 5 and 6 not being able to hear the start line callers, we all did our best to focus inside our boats and listen to our drummer and steersman.
On the water our adrenaline pumped through our veins as we flew across the water knowing that we just had 250 meters to dump it all. All our boats performed incredibly and Fearless made it into the competitive division for the first time at Sprints in Ripple Effect history. With our eyes on the prize we paddled our hearts out and achieved:
Fast – 1st in the Mixed Competitive A Finals
Furious – 2nd in the Mixed Recreational A Finals
Fearless – 4th in the Mixed Competitive C Finals
Kahlua Cake – 4th in the Women’s Finals
Spam Musubi – 1st in the Open Finals
Off the water we mingled with each other and were blessed with our genius Michael Hong who provided the team with a solar/car battery powered TV to watch the World Cup finals. Although Argentina didn’t win the game, we all got along well and our tents were the center of the attention of the race site with everyone crowding around and staring at our set up in awe.
It’s getting a bit long so let me wrap this up with a quick story.
The long day of racing was all over and most of the team headed out to Sushi House for the team dinner, but some of us stayed behind to hangout and take pictures with the plaques. One of the guys that stayed behind was Chris Yee. Being this was my first Sprint Race and Fearless losing 3rd by .17 seconds, I was pretty bummed out… actually I was SUPER bummed out. So Chris suggested that we go take pictures with the plaques too, but since I wasn’t on the boats that won the plaques I declined. Now his response reminded me why I look forward to every weekend to paddle and why I can’t get enough of this team and everyone on it. He looked at me like I said something offensive and said, “DUDE! We are a team and you are part of this team. So YOU won those plaques too.”
It’s been a rough year for me, but I am reminded again and again that when I joined Ripple, I didn’t just join a Dragon Boat team, but I joined a family.
Thank you coaches, captains, and the cabinet for an amazing race!
Treasure Island, here we come!