Cookham Regatta - September 3rd, 2022

Immersed in the beautiful scenery of the Thames River, the Bourne Water dragons' all cancer dragon boating team attend the Cookham Regatta on September 3rd 2022.

Immersed in the beautiful scenery of the Thames River, the Bourne Water dragons' all cancer dragon boating team attend the Cookham Regatta on September 3rd 2022.

Bourne Water Dragons had the most amazing day at Cookham. Immersed in the beautiful scenery of the Thames River and quintessential English houses, the weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold and with little wind. Many of our valued supporters set up camp along the bank and enjoyed the day taking in the atmosphere and picnicking by the river. We knew we had two races to promote ourselves, but could a team of 4 women and 7 men with a combined age of at least double the other crews make an impression? Yes, we could! We won the first race against Wave Walkers (also a Cancer Survivors team) by several lengths. Now people were noticing us! With adrenalin buzzing, we realised that, as winners, we would be racing again. Some of us quickly set about observing and sussing out the opposition. The course was about 270 meters, and as we had only been practising for 200 meters… 

It was a challenge for all of us, but how lucky we were to have had practice with our trainee helms. The heavy wooden paddles provided were also testing! 

Feeling a renewed confidence, after lunch, we performed our 'Haka chant' along the river bank in front of our very young opponents, 'The Last Minuters'. 

'Cookham, roast em, we're gonna toast em'

We didn't so much intimidate them as much as make them laugh. It was hysterical! The 'Last Minuters' were a very fit young crew, made up of some good rowers. They beat us by a boat length and went on to win the final. However, we gave them a run for their money and were neck and neck and very close to each other, paddles almost touching, as the deepest water was in the middle! They had enough energy to speed up at the end and just pulled ahead towards a win.

The third race was for the 'Plate'. The semi-final was for the people who lost in the first round; i.e. All the teams who lost competed against each other. We were very close again with VideoCentric, and sometimes we were in the lead, and sometimes they were, but as we passed the finish line, no one knew who had won. Our helm Chris, who was superb, didn't even know. Finally, we found out we were the winners by a dragon's breath. Hooray!

The final 'Plate Race' was against 'Henley Dragons', who were good - very good. We still challenged them, much to their surprise. Nonetheless, they won by approximately a meter. 

Back on dry land, 'Henley Dragons' lined up facing each other, and we had to go through them 'high-fiving' everyone while they cheered us. It was very touching. The other teams were certainly amazed at our stamina and technique. We were very proud of each other and what we had achieved. Bourne Water Dragons; what a team!

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