The canoeing section of the Club de Mar Mallorca wins the first competition with these traditional Asian boats in the Balearic Islands.
We are the first champions of the Balearic Dragon Boat Cup. The canoeing section of the Club de Mar Mallorca participated along with other teams in the first competition of these traditional Asian boats organised by the Balearic Canoeing Federation and held at Lago Esperanza in Alcúdia.
The competition consisted of several heats. After a fierce competition, the Club de Mar team qualified for the final in which they faced the crew of the CN Portitxol. The two teams had a very close race that finally went to Club de Mar by just a few centimetres.
This spectacular new type of competition allows entire teams to participate in the races in a single boat, as each Dragon Boat carries a crew of 20 paddlers, a helmsman and a drummer, who sets the paddling rhythm.
The technician Gisele Corte of the canoeing section of CdM explains that this modality is very different from the usual practice: “It is tremendously complex to coordinate twenty people to paddle at the same time. Just sitting in the boat requires a tactic, as it is very important how to distribute the athletes in the boat according to their weight. The helmsman also plays a decisive role, as does the drummer, who sets the rhythm for the first two paddlers, who in turn set the rhythm for the rest of the team”.
“The Dragon Boat,” continues Gisele, “is more similar to the canoe than the kayak we normally practice. You have to work a lot with the body in a different position. We noticed the difference when we worked well with the whole body; the boat slid better through the water compared to when we didn’t”.
The Balearic Canoeing Federation acquired three of these boats together with the Consell de Mallorca with the aim of promoting this sport both among the athletes who already practice regularly and also among newcomers interested in learning about the world of canoeing.
Four teams took part in the first official Dragon Boat competition in the Balearic Islands. Some of the clubs did not have enough paddlers to cover the twenty places needed to complete a team and were combining crews between different groups. This was not the case for Club de Mar, whose athletes were able to fill the necessary places to take charge of one of these aquatic dragons. They only had the help of a helmswoman from another club, specifically trained by the federation for this purpose. Our brand new Sea Kayak world runner-up, Elena García Horrach, was in charge of the drum that set the paddling rhythm.