You couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season than the November 8 Five Islands Regatta in Wollongong!

You couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season than the November 8 Five Islands Regatta in Wollongong!

The 3 x 4km race format is the perfect recipe for building and sharpening race skills and mindset. For experienced punters it gets them well and truly back into the groove of what OC6 racing is all better. For those new to it you’ve come away having doubled or tripled your race experience!

And then there were the results… Race091108-FiveIs.xls

One of the highlights was how both our guys and girls second crews either pulled in or closed the gaps to other crews throughout the day. A big factor in this is the great paddling mileage many have been doing over the off-season. Whether for the Hawkesbury, Cook Is, Prague or simply enjoying getting on the water, it’s allowed the club as a whole to build some great paddling base to take into the 2009/10 season.

The other is the fantastic result by our first crews to take out the overall open mens and womens categories. Ballistic starts, great surfing duels and nail biting finishes made coming out on top all the more satisfying.

The question now is where do we go from here?

The vibe from the PD second crews is that they want to build on their Five Islands performance and knock off even more crews. The PD first crews know we will have to build on our Five Islands form in a big way to be State Title contenders.

During December we will be setting our goals and the training commitment required to achieve them. Your input will be key to this process so start thinking now about the kind of paddler you want to create this season.

Mens Wrap-up

The aim for the day was to work on two things…
– focussing on yourself; and
– catching every run we could.

The first was about delivering the best stroke you could at any point in time without being distracted by what was happening around you.

The second was about looking for and working each run as a crew no matter how small or large.

Some of the things the mens crews felt they did well…
– good control/focus through the mayhem of race starts
– great surfing ‘sweet spots’, at times using them to pull in crews in front
– good demonstration of endurance to get relatively faster against other crews throughout the day

Areas the guys wanted to improve on…
– joining up the sweet spots
– looking for heavier catches through messier water
– looking for the change in feel of the catch when working runs ie. deep heavy stokes building up to faster more powerful ones

Womens Wrap-up

Some things that the girls’ crew came up with for improvement were:

1. Keeping the focus in the boat regardless of where the other crews may be.

If our crew is in front, maintaining focus will help us keep the lead and hopefully pull away from other crews. If there are crews close to us, focus is key to keeping on track and retaining 100% effort in our canoe.

2. Working on the timing of huts to help keep boat run as well as for pushing off on the runs.

3. Learning to push off the back of the waves, particularly on the second leg after the first turn.

Some things that worked well were as follows.

1. Great starts which meant the crews were able to stay with the pack from the start and also use it to pull away from surrounding crews.

2. The crews’ ability to improve on points that were identified from previous races in the following race. Having the opportunity to de-brief after each race and being able to take useful feedback with us to focus on in the next race was invaluable.

3. Teamwork improved with each race, notwithstanding changes in crew combinations. This is great for this kind of race format as well as changes races where crews need to lock in together with each crew changes.

4. Changing people into different seats for experience and learning from others in the canoe. Being adaptable is a great attribute to have and this race format was an excellent way to practice this.