By Jeffrey Chan.
BDA Runnymede, a new venue for the BDA and after the large turnout for Typhoon at Nottingham, they repeated the feat with another two team contingent for Runnymede.
The venue was not the only thing new, Runnymede was also to be the debut of the new yet to be named Typhoon Champion boat, which underwent a hasty eye dotting ceremony the day before to awaken the dragon and prepare it for racing.
The race format for the day consisted of 200m and 5km events, however with only two lanes to race in it meant every team was to race five 200m races.
The first races of the day were time trials to seed the teams and decide the lineups for the rest of the day.
Typhoon Tigers 200m
After a joint warm up session with Typhoon Tigers and Typhoon Too, the Tigers loaded on to the new boat with Tim stepping in to replace a late running tiger, Kong at the helm and the drummer provided by Windy Pandas. As the official called the start, Typhoon got off the line well but shortly into the race the boat started rocking and leaning to the left. Despite the leaning boat, Typhoon managed to cross the line and post a time of 47.87s, which was to remain the fastest time of the day.
In the second race, Typhoon were pitted against Windy Pandas 2, Typhoon held them off past the line with a time of 49.87s.
Next up Typhoon were racing against another LRC local team, Thames Dragons. Again Typhoon managed to cross the line ahead of the competition. However they were given a one second penalty for veering out of lane, luckily with a bit of persuasion from helm Kong the penalty was removed.
Then came the semi finals, now only the two fastest times would get through to the major final, with that in mind JC suggested we try a technique that had proved itself in the past. Before the start of the race,the whole boat closed their eyes and went into a state of relaxation lead by the soothing tones of JC. The technique seemed to work as Typhoon achieved the second fastest time of the semis and putting them through to the major final with Kingston Royals.
The Major final, Typhoon on the start line against Kingston Royals. Typhoon achieved another good start but Kingston stayed close and as both teams passed the line, no one was sure who won including the officials; it was to be a photo finish.
Typhoon Tigers paddled back to shore uncertain of their fate, as soon as the officials came on over the speakers the boat fell silent, "Kingston, 50.05 seconds; Typhoon, 49..." with that Typhoon erupted as they won their first BDA event in six years!
Typhoon Too 200m
Typhoon Too, captained by Elna with help from co-captain Kevin, set themselves the target getting a faster time trial than Windy Pandas 2 and Amathus Bees. They achieved this with a time of 55.93s. Although they noted that there was timing issues on both sides of the boat.
In the second race the they were up against Henley, this time the boat felt smoother and the team felt more locked in. Typhoon Too:56.88s, Henley:53.00s.
As the weather worsened,Typhoon Too had their third race, lined up against Pershore Phoenix. They finished with a time of 57.66s just a fraction behind their competition. The fourth race paired them against St Neots, Typhoon Too crossed the line with a time of 1:00.44s.
In the fifth and final race they were again paired against Pershore Phoenix. Unfortunately Typhoon Too did not make the plate final however team morale was good and important race experience was gained by all including a number of paddlers paddling in their first BDA event.
After the 200m races the guys of Typhoon were able to rest, as it was time for the Ladies race. The Typhoon ladies joined forces with fellow London Regatta Centre teams; Thames, Raging Dragons and Windy Pandas. With the large number of paddlers, the LRC were able to muster two teams. The first team were lined up against Kingston, and the second team were lined up against Amathus.
Amathus got the better of LRC ladies 2, however the LRC ladies 1 were victorious against Kingston with Ladies Captain Hoi collecting another trophy to add to the growing LRC Ladies collection.
In the 5km event all the teams were set off at intervals with Typhoon Tigers to set off last, however as they approached the start line Typhoon Too were seen waiting, boat balancing had delayed them and they missed their starting slot and were sent to the back of the pack.
Typhoon Tigers started, shortly followed by Typhoon Too, both having to paddle up stream. Tigers kept Wraysbury in sight but as the turn approached could not quite catch them. The Tigers reached the turn and were ordered to slow the boat and give way to Windy Pandas. As Typhoon made the turn,the Pandas got caught in the trees,Tigers were left with no option but to overtake. Now paddling with the current Typhoon crossed the line with a time of 23m09s, placing them fifth overall.
Typhoon Too paddled hard and reached the turn, but as with a lot of the teams had difficulties, requiring them to come to a standstill before setting off for the last leg. As they neared the last bend, the boat was tired but kept up the pace and were cheered to the line by all the other teams and finished with a time off 28m27s. Overcome with emotion Typhoon Too Captain Elna shed a few tears.
Thanks go to Paul Coster for towing the LRC boats, Kong and Laura for helming and Windy Pandas for providing drummers for both Typhoon teams. Also congratulations to first time BDA paddlers Adam, Lili, Elisa and Ganeth.