Report from Germany
Some news from Germany about the 19th ECCC in Ravenna, Italy. Two German teams met to compete with teams from all over Europe in the European Club Crew Championships in September. The Küsten Pinkies from Wilhelmshaven chose to charter a bus and drive South for about 20 hours including an unforeseen stopover in Ulm to have their bus fixed. This method of transportation made it possible to not only bring everyones´ paddles, but also the film crew who accompanied the team on its way to Ravenna – so the paddlers will be able to watch their practice and achievements in a movie theatre and have an extra special memory of the event!
The Pink Dragonistas from Hannover split up into various small travelling groups. While some of the paddlers arrived by car and extended their stay in Italy on vacation, others caught a plane and used the days in Ravenna, the city of mosaics, for some short trips to Bologna and San Marino when the time between races allowed it.
A nice hotel on the coast meant early morning walks along the beach and the opportunity to relax in the sand and sea after the practices and races. On our last night in Italy, we even reserved the same restaurant as our Irish paddling pals and enjoyed dinner next to each other. This year´s ECCC was a big get-together of BCS teams from Italy (5 teams in the standard boat from Rome, Venice, San Cristoforo, Torino and the IBCPC as Italian Dragon Sisters) with 5 more teams in the small boat, which made it 12 teams competing altogether as Plurabelle Paddlers from Dublin, Ireland, Marina Valencia from Spain, Beodragons from Belgrade, Serbia, and the teams from Annecy, France, and Malmö, Sweden, competed with both German pink teams.
The first race day started with a great relief for the Küsten Pinkies, as their newly ordered shirts finally arrived just in time – brought from Germany to Italy by a fellow team following an odyssey of trying to receive the order which was stuck in German customs. However, the feeling of relief got lost during the race, as the two German boats almost collided in the final turn of the 2000m pursuit race. Luckily, we could avoid the collision and were happy to win the silver and bronze medals while the Irish team was honored as European champion.
Of course, the Küsten Pinkies and Pink Dragonsitas also wanted to go for Gold, so after a day off to recover from the nerve-wrecking long distance race, both teams qualified for the Grand Final of 8 boats where the Küsten Pinkies celebrated their gold medal for 200m with the Pink Dragonistas finishing second.
The third 500m race day ended with Gold medals for the Pink Dragonistas, Silver for the Irish Plurabelle Paddlers and Bronze for the Küsten Pinkies, so both German teams brought home 3 medals including one Gold as European Champions – a very successful and memorable event for everyone who could take part, especially because so many teams from different countries competed and could party in pink together.
We all hope to return to Ravenna for the World Club Crew Championships in 2024 and have some pictures of beautiful Italy to share.
Photo credits: Christina Bremer.