New Team in Germany
Dueren? Where is Dueren? We are based in the Western part of Germany, roughly in the area of Cologne and Aix-la-Chapelle.
And we had an amazing introduction to the pink dragonboat world on Saturday, August 26, 2023 at the races in Datteln which was also the Pink Germany Cup of DKV (German Canoe Association)!
But let’s start from the beginning:
In the weeks of May to June, most of us joined a training session for the very first time, some of us being faced with a fairly recent breast cancer diagnosis. In mid-July, we decided that we would have our very first race end of August in Datteln! So we increased the training frequency from once a week to three times a week.
The first big event was the capsizing exercise we did the week before Datteln, together with the team of Paddel Chaos Dueren and DLRG (German lifeguard association). This was not only a safety exercise but also a team-building activity and a warm welcome by the yellow team (Paddel Chaos Dueren has yellow team shirts).
And then it was time for our first raceday!
And yes, we were excited, nervous, fully motivated and couldn’t wait to get started.
There were nine ladies on our team plus our captain so we got support from other teams: one lady paddled with us thanks to the Pink Ruhrpottboot, and Bettina from Rebell Dragons on the drum. During the day, we learned and experienced that there is great support and team spirit across teams. Thanks for that!
First race to start at 11:00am…
Going to the starting line…
Taking a deep breath…
And off we went...
We were pushed to our best, and in an incredible final spurt we gained another three meters on the other team, only the distance of a dragon head put us in second place – in our very first race! We still have goosebumps when thinking about it.
In the second race we made it real and crossed the finish line first! Unbelievable!
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a good start in the third race and crossed the finish line third. Same in the B final where in the end we lacked a bit of power and fitness.
We did not expect to win anything but we did indeed win so much: not the ranking itself but a full range of emotions, goosebumps and tears.
As a team we have grown together. We are strong together. We are one team!
We have extraordinary support from our beloved captain, strong support from the Paddel Chaos Dueren and in fact the whole pink community!
We are still lacking words to express all of our emotions and we are really looking forward to continuing that journey!