Last weekend saw Brave Hearts compete in our very own regatta on home waters at Gateway Lakes. Our crews managed to dominate placings throughout the day, securing First, Second and Third in eight of the nine categories Brave Hearts entered.
Seven Dragon Boat Victoria clubs, and two Dragon Boat NSW clubs traveled to Gateway Lakes to take place in our 24-race program. Brave Hearts represented in strong numbers both on and off the water.
The weather for the day remained perfect for dragon boating throughout the morning, with a slight rainshower cooling things of for the 500m racing in the afternoon.
Brave Hearts committed to a full day of racing, with many paddlers feeling the burn jumping from boat to boat, race after race.
Training paid off for us, with our teams keeping a competitive edge throughout the day. Our crews succeeded in keeping as much lead as they could, whilst also chasing down and closing the gap for some very close “photo finishes”.
Our Masters Mixed crew took to the starting blocks in race 1 of the day for a 200m dash for the line in just 55.8 seconds. With new sweep Julie on the back of the boat for her second regatta event, the mixed crew kept their cool into the finals where they completed in the same time for an almost three second lead over the finish line in first place.
For a first time in a long time, Brave Hearts had also entered two teams into the Masters Womens 10s category. The “Black” crew was able to secure a first place in their heat, taking them straight to the finals to take home second place for the category.
Brave Hearts also raced well in the premiers categories, with our juniors accompanied by some of the experienced masters managing to take collect two seconds and a third in the 10s 200m categories.
In true Brave Hearts fashion our paddlers continued to paddle their best into the afternoon, even though the weather got worse and the course got longer.
Swept by experienced sweep Angelika and new sweep Gavin, also in his second regatta, Brave Hearts shined as they focused and prepared to race from the 500m mark.
Brave Hearts placed third in both the Premier Mixed and Masters Mixed categories, racing close to the 2:20 mark in both events.
Paul Shannon, from the Dragon Masters club honoured his personal heroes who assisted in saving his life at the 2016 Albury Wodonga Regatta.
We all love the idea of having heroes; Spider-Man, Frodo Baggins, Indiana Jones; the list goes on and on.
But my heroes are very real, and yesterday, they were honoured in Wodonga as a way of saying thanks for saving my life when I went into Sudden Cardiac Arrest in a dragon boat race on 27 February, 2016.
My heroes are:
Brigid Roberts – the first responder who administered CPR in the boat.
Vicki Shannon – Master of the boat – She kept her cool and ensured that the correct side of the boat was up, despite my efforts otherwise.
Mira Kapur, Narelle Steinke and Linda Plas who ably administered CPR on the shore.
Brigid Roberts (second mention) who got my heart beating by applying AED pads and delivering life-saving shocks.
Cathy Urie – who assisted after I started breathing by intubation.
David Abel – who administered oxygen after I started breathing.
My sincere thanks go to these seven heroes for their actions on the day and for their continued care and support.
Each hero was presented with a certificate of heroism and a hero’s pin from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association.