Date: Sunday 5th April 2009
Location: Anchroage Bay. Chaguaramas, Trinidad W.I.
Promotions: High Sierra Sporting Co. Ltd
Click on thumbnails to see the big picture/entire gallery
Wow, wow and ... wow!!! Ray J here, I dont mean to greet yall with such excitement (though I hope its contagious) but my word, hmm, Dragon Boating (to me) is just the kind of sport that gets your adrenaline pumping, and the High Sierra Inter-School Dragon Boat Regatta (phew! thats a mouth full) was no different!
The order of the day was teamwork, friendly competition and oh, did I mention competition??!! With eight (8) schools participating; Bishops and Trinity College East, Holy Name Convent, St. Francois Girls College, Trinity College, Fatima College, St. Marys College, British School of Port-of-Spain and Maple Leaf International School, you could have felt the tension in the air and everyone was anxious to hop into their boats, get in the water and try their chance of being the 1st place winners in each of the given categories Mixed Team, Boys Team and Girls Team.
After a short ceremony, during which all participants were examined and addressed by the Chinese Ambassador, the various teams were prepped and, without wasting a minute, made their way to their individual dragon boats. The mixed category was first on the list of heats, and being a member of the media, I was privileged to ride alongside the dragon boaters in the lifeguards boat, and boy was I hyped ... it was as if I too were competing.
Race after race, the day was filled with hope, heartbreaks and happy faces, and not even injuries kept the faithful from giving their all. As we eased into the afternoon it became clearer and clearer as to whom would be going home with medals and whod go home with hands swinging. Well immediately after the final race of the day, everyone was called to the Tsunami side of the venue for the awards ceremony and boy were the servings sweet with medals, trophies, High Sierra backpacks & water bottles and gallons of Gatorade ... lol.
In the Mixed Team finals, Trinity One Ton Warriors placed first with MLIS Predators coming in second and the Holy Saints bringing up the rear. In the Boys final, St. Marys A-Team took first place leaving the second place spot to Fatima Aftershock, and although they were hoping for a one two finish, St. Marys B-Team had to settle for third. Lastly, but certainly not the least, one of the most competitively heated categories was the Girl Teams. It was overflowing with drama; twists, turns and even a penalty that might have cost one team the first place prize.
In the end, St. Francois A-team emerged victorious. The girls of Holy Name Convent held it together in second place, and unfortunately, as a result of having to reorganise their team which showed so much promise throughout the day, Bishops Anstey High School East could muster up only enough to take the third place spot. Still, after a long day at sea, when it was time to pack up and set off homeward I think everyone, participants and spectators alike (myself included) had more than their fill of the days excitement.
Until next time this is Ray J saying, Keep Safe Stay Strong. Later!