Day 1: Hong Kong

  • Arrive at midnight and head straight across the road for dumplings, check
  • Yum Cha lunch complete with 6 types of dessert (hosted by our local experts Christophe, Suzy, Mich & Eugene), check
  • Navigate the world’s longest escalator, check
  • Gaze over the city skyscrapers from the Peak, check
  • Watch Lisa’s terrible negotiation skills at the Jade markets, check
  • Light show by the harbour, check
  • Decadent hour long foot massage, check
  • Ride on the Star ferry, check
  • Bags and bags of shopping, check
  • Cocktails by the pool, check (well, not really, but we all imagined them)

With our Hong Kong shopping list complete it’s time to head to the bright lights of Macau.

Day 2: Macau

Our first paddle of the trip! After hauling our over-inflated, post shopping Hong Kong baggage on and off the Macau ferry and following Kerry’s expert guidance to the bus, we arrived safely at the Rio. With superman-like efficiency we changed into our alter egos and expectantly set off to the race site for training.

What a site! Far from the isolation of Penrith, the Macau venue is right in the thick of the action. Bronze and silver casinos tower over the lake and add a bit of extra glitz to the reflection off the water. Steel stadiums have been erected along the lake’s foreshores and we can just imagine the crowd cheering us down to the finish line. With the adrenaline buzz of a poker shark holding pocket aces before the flop, we set each of our crews – men’s and women’s, 200m mixed relay crews, 500m mixed A crew and spent some valuable time fine tuning and working off our indulgences from the last few days.

Out on the water it was like being in the middle of one of D’s Bikram sessions – the sweat sticks to your skin and warm air fills your lungs and warms you up from the inside. We narrowly missed the Chinese Men’s team with some precision steering from Anne and took a bit of a sideways glance at the Philippine’s crew charging down the start. We’ve even started to think about which crews would look best without their shirts (and in a PD’s one of course!). In true PD’s efficiency, Nicola and Lisa have already arranged a shirt swap for later in the week (thanks Carmel!)

The final verdict? All boats are running well, the competition will be tough, but we are ready. The next 4 days are going to have some spectacular racing! 200m relay’s are tomorrow – keep watching for more updates!


Note: Portuguese tarts have managed to evade Mich and Shell thus far, but there’s always tomorrow!