Tuesday, November 21, 2006

You paddled right round, baby, right round

Start of the Loro Piana Around the Island Race 2006

Lamma on the move

On Sunday, November 21, the Lamma Outrigger Canoe Club participated in the Second Annual Round Hong Kong Island Race.

It was a helluva day: with a 4:30am start for the poor souls on Lamma who had to catch sampans (wee little stinky boats run on the foulest diesel on the planet - cough, cough), to the starter's gun/horn that blew at 8:16am on the water of Causeway Bay.

And hurrah for all! Lamma made it through the astoundingly smooth waters of South Hong Kong, and the foul, brackish, stinking waters of Victoria Harbour with nary a huli (thank the gods - and I mean ALL of the gods), and only a few ripped up hands and bums to show for it. Well, some people had chaffing in awkward places, and armpit rashes, but that's really just a badge of honour. Right Adie?).

All the Lamma paddlers (many of whom had never set foot inside an outrigger canoe 5 months ago) worked like dogs, steaming across the water and leaping in and out of boats like demented seals.

A crew couldn't ask for better spirits or attitudes: 46 kilometers of hell generally takes the shine off cheery behaviour, yet nobody thumped anyone with their paddle (on purpose) and everyone hung together; cheering each other on and doing their best to give the group as much as they possibly could.

A very special thanks on the day goes to Oliver and Claudia for captaining the escort boat with our surprise guest driver - none other than a Lamma Ferryman! (Lady luck was smiling that day!). Also thanks to Claire - for her massage genius, kind words and encouragement, First Mate Greg - the master of the GPS and communications director (Greg discovered none of the "gates" had been set by the yacht club, as the outriggers apparently were shockingly fast! Roughly translated, I think this means, they forgot about us.). Thanks to Mabel for her supergirl translation powers, and thanks to Jessica, Laura and Christina P for their care, massages, tea-making and boat arranging on the day.

As for the paddlers, we had:
  • Iron-woman Katie
  • CK - the mighty
  • Dolphin David
  • "Ouch!" Adie (great reach!)
  • Jumpin' Jasper, bail captain
  • Simon the powerful
  • Mel the magnificent (did her own 'bailing' in the last few sets!)
  • Mysterious Michelle (we have no idea where she gets her strength)
  • Screamin' Gina (always working on reach exceeding grasp)
  • Super-Hugh the patch master (fantastic effort all around)

All in all, it was a brilliant day of paddling, though the Hong Kong Air was absolutely disgusting! The sailing vessels had a distinctly less pleasant time of it (no wind - ouch). Two of our international guest teams: Hawaii and Poksai from Guam, did marvellously. It took team Hawaii just over 3 hours to complete the race (and they likely lapped us for giggles). Also, the IPC women made a spectacularly strong showing.

But Lamma enjoyed a fantastic first. Our first international race. Our first international marathon race, and our first international sea-change race... and what else? Ah: our first mixed team!

Looking forward to much more to come. Congratulations Lamma OCC!

Everybody paddles! Some paddlers' reach is longer than others.... not to name names!

Finished! Alive! Not eaten by sharks or ferries!
Front, keft to right: Jasper, Hugh, CK, David, Michelle, Gina, Mel, Adie and Katie. Back, Left to right: Mabel, Laura, Oliver, Simon, Jessica, Christina P, Greg, Claudia. Missing: Claire, who was off becoming even more terrifyingly glamorous.

The end! Praise the little baby jesus and his mates

Did we mention the air pollution? That ain't mist

Captain Claudia and Laura

Escort-Boat Angels, Claire and Christina P

Greg - Mr. GPS-Master

The competition stalks the LOCC. But they don't catch us!

Lamma Lemmings hit the ocean

Lamma Lemmings Leaping

Katie assumes control of the good ship Ta Nui after the change

Lamma Lemmings Lined up for the Sea Change


Mel said...

You'll be pleased to know I'm investing in better shorts!

And what an honour it was to be in the boat with such well known paddlers as Dolphin Dave, Jumpin Jasper and of course Mel the Magnificent!


CruiseHeaven said...
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