We kicked off the 2019 season with a social night at Mazu on February 2, hanging out with old and new friends. Our captain James said a few words, introducing team Loreley, and Cathy had organized pizza. It was Brendan’s birthday, so there was cake, too. On February 3, we had our first water training—open trainings for the entire month of February! It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, and around 30 paddlers made it to Stanley. We had two boats and a fun training session, finishing with a race. Most of us stayed for a beer and a chat at Smugglers, meeting our sponsor Tom Schmoll (thank you, Mona, for the delicious curry!). The following week, we started fitness training with Ian from Strength Culture: one hour at Hong Kong Park to get us in shape for the season. The soreness is worth it! Neither the Lunar New Year nor Valentine’s Day can keep us from coming to fitness training on Thursdays.
After our first open training was such a splendid day, the second one. on February 10, was more challenging: it was windy and chilly, and the water quite choppy. With two full boats, we were able to move nicely, though, keeping us warm by paddling on and on. After some technique training, instructions from Edwin and James, and swapping sides, we raced ourselves again—team Loreley won! Our third open training, with 38 paddlers and our steersman Alex, was similar to the second, with rough seas and lots of wind. Our starts are getting better, and the new members are getting the hang of it, so when we concluded the training with two races (again!), we were (almost) flying.
Looking forward to a fantastic 2019 season, and to sharing our passion for paddling with many new team members!