Green Dragons Hong Kong September 2019 - Start of the 'Off Season'
Sunday September 15th saw the continuation of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat race season. Today’s destination was Cheung Chau & in my opinion, the highlight of race season so far. The weather was spot on - a cooler start to the day followed by a rare but beautiful- Hong Kong blue sky day! Hot, but not so blazingly hot that you could fry an egg on your paddle with the added bonus of avoiding the predicted thunderstorms - which seem to have plagued so much of this years racing. The race course was in the picturesque Typhoon shelter of Cheung Chau Island - a super smooth course running parallel to the team tents - lending all teams a great view of the finish line throughout the day.
I love a good local race! There’s a different atmosphere, where pretty much anything can happen. Take starts for example. There is no warning - in Cantonese or otherwise. Start line jostling is guaranteed, moving boats forward or back, then without warning ... a horn. There’s definitely more focus in your boat! Then the general mystique that comes with not speaking Cantonese - end result - the one Cantonese speaker on our team was worked off her feet translating for us all day. This leads to interesting scenarios, like our team dutifully showing up for a scheduled race having no idea we were paddling in a final until we were presented with a trophy later on. A nice surprise!
From a Green Dragons perspective there was both good & room for improvement. The improvement first - we were offered the obligatory box of bottled water and dutifully declined, however a bit of ‘lost in translation’ saw the bottles being delivered to our tent anyway. At the end of the day we returned the un-opened cases of water!
Come lunchtime, however, we were pleasantly surprised to see teams around us cooking up team meals on portable stoves rather than having food delivered in polystyrene boxes - a very pleasing sight!
The sponsors also took it upon themselves to offer up free, icy cold beer refreshments at the end of the day and also collected the cans afterwards. All in all it was a great day out - this time of year lends itself to much more settled weather patterns and the atmosphere on & off the water was nothing but respect & genuine love for the sport. Get your team to the startling next year - you won't regret it!
To read the complete September 2019 Newsletter, CLICK HERE