Australian Masters Games 2015

NESKIMOCOS GO, GO, GO!

North Esk Dragon Boat Club and Montrose Community Club – what a combination, known as the NESKIMOCOS, competing over two days of the Australian Masters Games in both tens and twenties in age groups from the ‘40’s to the over 60’s, with our drummer Kelly not only getting a paddle with the Young Guns, but coming home with two medals. Way to go, Kelly!

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Ali Le Bis and Jean Van Nynanten did a mammoth job in the face of so many changes to program, cancelled races, and we all thank them both (and Lisa and Paul who did the sweeping, but also handled much of the organisation with Ali and Jean).

Everybody in the team, no matter what races they were in, did their utmost to improve each time they raced, and the times certainly did pick up over the two days. Kudos must go to those paddlers who had to do several back to back races, especially when we had to re-run one of our best races because the timing device had failed.

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Kudos to our sweeps who had to cope with not only having to catch a buoy that was dangling under the bridge where the starting line was, but had to cope every half hour with the wake of Popeye, the tourist boat. The wind under the bridge gave them a double challenge – hold onto the buoy, hold the boat in position as it is being pushed by the wind. At one point on the training run on Thursday I thought Lisa was holding on with her toes, as her arm stretched further and further out the back of the boat.

Kudos to Trudy and Brian for hauling our paddles and PFDs across the Strait for us. Especially when we saw the mad rush to get the borrowed jackets and paddles which often didn’t get returned in time for another team to use.

Kudos to Merran who managed to get in and out of boats that were difficult enough even for the sighted, off uneven banks, on ledges and sometimes with a gap as wide as that on the tram – she managed the trams too. What a trooper.

Kudos to Energiser Bunny Beth who did 14 races over the two days, including the re-run, and who came home with a bronze medal for the Survivor twenties race where she joined the Derwent Dragons. (We now find out they actually won silver, but hi ho that’s life)

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We found when we compared ourselves to many of the competing teams that we were doing okay in our paddling technique and racing starts etc, and we couldn’t believe it when we watched so many of them standing on the seats to get in and out (although it WAS difficult). I saw one boat veer off course and hit another boat, and apparently one boat hit the bank during the race, but for all the hazards on the course (wind, Popeye, rowing sculls, concrete blocks, tricky loading) there appeared to be no major catastrophes – the river isn’t much wider than the Tamar at Home Point. Not tidal though. Lots of ducks and wildlife on it so it looked a bit like the Tamar in colour. It was great to have all the supporters in the tent with us as well.

The setting at Pinky Flat (I especially love this name) was magnificent amongst the gum trees, looking across to the Convention Centre, the Theatre, and the Casino. Adelaide is such a beautiful city lined with trees, free travel in the CBD, and great pubs with verandahs. The finale for most of us was the Neskimoco and friends posh dinner at Strathmore, a gorgeous old restaurant overlooking North Terrace. Beautifully presented meals and the buzz of friendship was good. With the Derwent Dragons at the next two tables, there were “Dragons Galore” at Strathmore.

Story: BETH SOWTER

team
Kathy, Craig, Merran, Mary, Keeva, Trudy, Shelley, Beth, Paul, Jean, Glenda and Kelly.

Pictures: KEEVA LEIGHTON & PAUL VAN NYNANTEN

Dragon Boat Results

Click here for Dragon Boat Results on Friday, 9 October 2015
Click here for Dragon Boat Results (2-100) on Saturday, 10 October 2015
Click here for Dragon Boat Results (101-108) on Saturday, 10 October 2015

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