Our Kiwi Crew is READY!
The countdown is on, just 2 more sleeps before Haliburton Highlands Paddlers’ Kiwi Crew takes off on Tuesday April 18th on a 3 hour flight to Houston followed by a 14.5 hour flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Chris’ partner Leonora, Linda’s husband Joe, Pamela’s husband Ted and Lillian’s husband Larry are going as supporters. Mac Ellis isn’t in the original picture but he is paddling with the ‘mixed’ crew. In New Zealand, our Crew will compete – as part of the IB Dragonboating Club team out of Lindsay made up of male and female athletes from Kawartha Lakes, Durham and Haliburton – in the World Masters Games, the largest multi-sport event in the world with 25,000 athletes competing in 28 sports across 48 venues.
The Kiwi Crew is competing in the women’s 50+ age category (we can report only that the IB group age ranges from 52 – 76 yrs, … and Mac is competing in a separate event with IB’s ‘mixed’ crew!). Make no mistake, these are very competitive and motivated athletes, as a review of their training program illustrates:
In addition to HHP practices twice per. week last summer in Head, Grass and Kashagawigamog lakes in Haliburton under the guidance of our own coaches, Scotty, Janine, Lois and Marg, most of our Kiwi group also made the trip to Lindsay twice weekly. There they practiced on the Lindsay river with IB Dragonboating, under Games coach Carol Gonder (herself a competitive swimmer and former competitor in the first World Masters Games of 1986)….. and they continued doing so up until October 15th, a few weeks after the end of the normal Dragon Boating season. The cooler weather couldn’t curb their enthusiasm however, and off they went to “THE TANK”.
The TANK, for simulated dragon boat dryland (oh yeah?) training indoors at Trent University in Peterborough. Two Tanks side-by-side, one for right handed (Chris, Carolyn, Pamela and Mac) and one for left handed paddlers (Lillian, Lois and Linda).
They continued with hour-long training sessions in the Tank each Wednesday & Saturday throughout the Fall and Winter focusing on both fitness and technique in addition to a program of differing home exercises. Their LAST practice was Saturday April 15th! One paddler reckons she has spent 44 hrs in the Tank and 60 hrs exercising at home! Not surprisingly, the Crew declare that they have better technique and a higher level of fitness than before, with stronger cores and well developed muscles.
Special narrow paddles with slits cut into them are used when training in the tank, in order to reduce resistance of the water. However, each paddler will be taking his or her own carbon fibre favourite paddle to NZ for the races.
And of course, some striking new gear
Upon arrival in Auckland and after settling in, the Canadians will have two practices in Auckland Harbour prior to their races on April 29th (500 metres) and 30th (200 metres), in Lake Pupuke near Auckland. We wish them the best in their endeavours and hope they have a fantastic trip. In this electronic age, we hope to hear from them occasionally on their progress through New Zealand, via blog or FB.
We will, of course, be expecting them to do all the ‘hard paddling’ in the Suzanna Foo when they return! Right coaches?
BTW. When and where is the next World Masters Opportunity? Get ready, Haliburton Highlands Paddlers!!