The canoe race was an excellent addition. Congrats to Allie for organizing it. Our team, Chateau Giselle seagulls (seagals) with our paddlers Wendy (mom), Zoe (age 9), Hannah (age 5) and Bianca (age 7) won first place in the "Family" category. (I have to say that it helped that Allie created this division especially for us so that the kids could win medals as we were the only team with extremely young kids):-)
We were given a headstart of a few minutes, and actually the first half of the trip, we were kicking some butt. The first canoe that caught up to us did not reach us until we were close to Eden Isles. Congrats to the kids for their great paddling.
We would have thought it would have been easier to paddle once we got around to the back of the island, but not so. The wind kept blowing us out to sea and for a while we wondered if we would end up in Bomba. Nine year old Zoe was a great inspiration, and she kept giving us (including me, mom) courage to keep on going. Three quarters into the race, I was ready to call on the rescue boat to tow us ashore but she insisted that we at least try to finish the race, no matter how long it took. By this time, both her and my fingers were raw with blisters.
We were the last canoe to cross the finish line, but we were happy nontheless to have finished the race. Not all canoes that entered the race paddled across the finish line. It helped that we were only seconds behind the second to last boat which was made up of sprighty, energetic teenagers so we don't feel too bad. It was exciting to watch us two boats (all of the paddlers from the two canoes tired to the bone) shoot it out at the finish line.
The race was well organized. There were several rescue boats checking up on us. Joe Grind was on his pontoon boat which was perfect for the job. Israel from Big Fish was also out checking on the canoes.
At Eden Isles, our canoe had occassion to tip over emptying all of us (mom, Zoe, Hannah and Bianca) into the sea. Quicker than you could blink your eye, Israel and his crew had our boat right side up, the kids out the water and back in the boat, and us paddling again.
Yesterday after the race, I was bone tired. Today, I am also bone tired, probably from lack of training (and maybe too much eating and not enough exercise :-)? But next year, Zoe and I have vowed to get wider paddles, train some, and compete again.
Thanks Allie for a great bonding adventure with my kids. And thanks for making all these great kids winners! (:-)