19th VRC DWB Dragon Boat Regatta

Deep Water Bay, Sunday April 22, 2018

The Victoria Recreation Club (VRC) played host to the 19th Dragon Boat Regatta at Deep Water Bay, Sunday April 22. This was the first dragon boat race event of the season for LBC with a mixed team and an open team entered for a 500m course. A surprisingly low turnout at the event this year, which traditionally was one of the more popular events on the Hong Kong Dragon Boat calendar.

LBC open team were up first. This crew was largely made up of the same paddlers that would be in the mixed crew – including the ladies – mainly to give the paddlers a ‘warm-up’ before the mixed race. Open crews faced two heats, the results of which would determine which final they would be competing in – the main Cup final or the Plate final. The first race of the day surprised all of us. LBC open team paddled a great race and ended up finishing an impressive 3rd place, behind Stormies who were 1st and Liechtenstein Princely Navy in 2nd.

The second heat was also eventful. A place in the top three would almost guarantee a spot in Cup final. LBC started strongly, but it was clear the team from VRC were strong, and were being hunted down by Stormies. Half way down the course, it was looking as though LBC would finish in 3rd place, but a big mistake by the helmsman on the Stormies boat caused their boat to veer into the side the VRC boat. VRC looked untroubled and continued on in the lead, while the Stormies boat took on water and ended up flipping over. This opened the way for LBC to go on and take 2nd place behind winners VRC. That meant a place in main Cup final for LBC Open. A huge achievement against teams with full crews of male paddlers.

LBC mixed faced much stiffer completion, with many more teams and potentially an extra race. A lucky draw in the first heat put LBC mixed up against several corporate teams and a couple of second teams from other clubs. Second place was all that was needed to advance straight to the semi-final and avoiding the extra repecharge race. It proved straight forward with Buzz ‘B’ team and LBC taking charge and both crews actually eased off towards the end with second place secured for LBC.

The semi-final was different with much more difficult competition in the form of Seagods, VRC and the Yacht club. First or second place would secure a place in the Cup final, third or fourth a place in the Plate final. The VRC crew powered ahead closely followed by the Seagods ‘A’ team. LBC could only manage third and a place in the second tier final.

The Plate final was the first of two finals LBC were competing in. LBC were favourites for this race having posted faster times earlier in the day – including beating Tai Tam Tigers in the first heat. A great start and a strong middle section set up LBC for a strong finish. But the crew from Tai Tam matched LBC with each stroke and finished the stronger of the two crews, just snatching first place, with LBC second. A disappointing finish to a good race, 8th place overall in the Mixed category.

The Open Cup final followed shortly after which contained some strong men’s crews, including VRC, the Yacht Club, Buzz and Stormies. LBC were allocated lane 5 – a slight advantage handed to us by the events in the second heat – alongside the Yacht club and Liechtenstein Princely Navy. LBC started strongly, but as the teams settled into their stride, the superiority of the opposition showed as the other five boats pulled away. Last place in this race, 6th overall, was confirmed in a time of 2 minutes 19 seconds.

LBC paddlers can hold their heads up especially the open team for making the cup final – with eight of our ladies on the crew! The Lamma 500 event is next up on May 13th, followed by the Mui Wo races on June 10th. The season ends on June 17th with the home event at Tai Pak Beach, Discovery Bay.

                                                                                                     – Leam Murphy

Results of the Finals:

Mixed Plate Final: 1st Tai Tam Tigers (2:20.207); 2nd LBC (2:21.012); 3rd Sea Cucumbers (2:23.498); 4th VPower Dragon Boat Team (2:23994); 5th Morgan Stanley (2:25.698); 6th VRC Red (2:26.274)

Open Cup Final: 1st RHKYC (2:08.285); 2nd VRC (2:09.121); 3rd Buzz Dragon (2:10.266); 4th Stormy Dragons (2:10.867); 5th Liechtenstein Princely Navy (2:14.721); 6th LBC (2:19.139)