Final race, Sunday, July 8th

The time had come for the final race of the 2018 IBCPC Dragon Boat Festival. As we proceed to the marshalling area, one could not help but notice the vast sea of pink t-shirts lining the banks along one side of the Arno River while friends, family and supporters were lining the opposite side. What an incredible sight! Need to stay focused.

Eyes in the boat. Deep breaths in and out.

Over the loud speaker we heard, “LANE 3…C A N A D A  Knot A Breast-A!”, with Italian enthusiasm! We were competing with USA’s Survivors in Sync in Lane 1; New Zealand’s Cansurvive in Lane 2; USA’s Dragon Dream Team in Lane 4 and Italy’s Florence Dragon Ladies in Lane 5.

This race felt different than the others; it felt good…like a machine moving through the water. Our blades knifed and ripped through the water in complete and powerful synchronization. There was a dull roar in our ears as we paddled up the Arno, but we did not know what it was.  Up. Up. Up. Up. Up. And more Up’s (increasing the power and rate of our paddle blades)!!!!

We crossed the finish line not quite sure of the end result, but we all knew it felt strong. And then we get the sign…WE DID IT!! Time 2:20.330. Knot A Breast crossed the finish line ahead of all the other boats.

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