Notts Anaconda has secured a clean sweep of three first place positions in the sport’s second national league event of the year – the first time in the club’s 25-year history that it has taken first place in all the categories in a national league event.
The racing took place in Stockton on Sunday 5 May and Notts Anaconda competed as an ‘open’ crew – which allows any combination of men and women with a maximum of 20 paddlers in the boat – and also in the ‘ladies’ category, which requires all the paddlers plus the drummer and the helm (who steers the boat) to be female and allows a maximum of 14 paddlers in the boat.
Ali Marsland has raced with Notts Anaconda for 17 years and says yesterday was the best result she’s seen: “A clean sweep of three first place positions is just amazing – the best result it is possible to get. In dragon boat racing there are so many things that can affect a result – fitness and technique are important of course, but external factors such as the wind can have an impact, and when the racing is tight, we are often reminded that the most important muscle is the one between our ears!
“We’ve all worked really hard in training and yesterday it all came together. We stayed focused, supported each other and really worked together ‘as one’ both in the boat and on land. This is an absolutely fantastic result for us, and it was a day we’ll all remember for a long time to come.”
Crews travelled from all over the country to take part in the British Dragon Boat Association’s race event, all looking for points that would go towards their final placing in the league.
In the 200m Open, Notts Anaconda raced a heat, semi-final and final – and saw off strong competition from 16 other crews to take first place in every race and the fastest time of the day.
The ladies competition was raced over 200m and consisted of a heat and a final – with Notts Anaconda again taking first place in both races.
And in the 500m Open competition, the club again raced a heat, semi-final and final and won each of their races. The club set the fastest time of the day in the heat – and then smashed their own record to set a new fastest time in the major final.
Notts Anaconda are based at Trent Bridge and usually train twice a week. At the moment the crew is also running extra training sessions as they gear up to compete in the European Club Crew Championships in Seville, Spain, at the end of July. They will also be competing over the next few months in national league events in Milton Keynes, London, Liverpool and Nottingham.
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