Angela Cain’s first OC race
Hi! My name’s Angela Cain and last Sunday’s race at La Perouse was my first official race with the Pacific Dragons. When the club asked me to write about my experience, I (nervously) accepted and decided to break it down into what I believed were the three essential ingredients of the day – Mind, Body and Spirit.
Mind – Although physically demanding, the race cemented for me the importance of your mental game. During the training sessions leading up to the race and the race day itself, I learnt you have to get your mindset right. It is important to stay focused on the person in front of you and remain positive.
My first lesson of the day was learning how to put the boats together. Getting up at the crack of dawn and setting up the boats in the pouring rain was the first mental challenge but it gave me a better understanding of how the boats function. It also gave more meaning as to how critical every part of the boat is – no matter how big or small.
Once we hit the water and warmed up, I gained a greater understanding of the importance of the ama. As we paddled toward the start line the ama disconnected from the boat. This could have been a mental block however I think it made our crew even more determined. We were thankful this happened before the race!
Body – The race demanded 110% effort the whole way. It wasn’t until I got home that I really felt physically exhausted yet on a high from our crew’s achievement. Our team paddled together incredibly well. There was a seamless feeling as we transitioned to a faster rate or gave it more power.
Spirit – Despite the importance of mind and body, I believe our team’s spirit and cohesiveness made the race day extra special. There was a feeling that we just had a connection and the combination of team players just worked. Sunday made it very clear to me how important the steerer is in a race – they can really set the tone or the vibe of the team. Kelly set up our team extremely well – mentally, physically and spiritually.
I want to finish by saying that there is a feeling I can’t really describe when being out in the middle of the ocean –It’s nerve racking, exhilarating yet incredibly calming. Even just writing this all down is making me so excited for my next race. I’ll see you out on the water!