Photo of the Month - September 2000
So how do you get that close up photo of Scouts & Guides on a water activity without getting your feet wet? On 2nd September this year Mrs Cindy Skinner, the ASL at 14th Salisbury, Salisbury & South Wiltshire, found the answer with this photo taken at the Scout National Dragon Boat races at Marlow. Roger Demain-Griffiths from the 14th Salisbury VSU sent the photo in and tells us the terrific story of the photo showing a mixture of 14th Salisbury VSU, 6th Salisbury VSU, Winterslow Rangers and Salisbury Rangers.
Dragon Boat racing originated in China over 2,000 years, nowadays there are championships all over the World. The UK Scouts and Guides held their 9th Championships at Marlow on 2nd September. The boats have 20 paddlers, one drummer and one steerer. For the last 5 years the 14th Salisbury Scout Group has taken part, and this year was no exception, but in addition their Venture Group put forward a Venture/Rangers team from the Salisbury District.
All went well prior to the race, except that the Venture/Ranger team, which was to be an Adult team (all 16 and over), had to end up as a Mixed team (half under 16, half 16 and over), which meant they would be competing against the Scout's Mixed team. The concern was that one would knock out the other in the first heat. On the day all was well; it was sunny, there were 26 teams with 11 of the teams in the Mixed class, and both teams were in separate races in the first heat.
The practice race for both teams was at 11.00 and then their first heat races were 13.20 and 13.40. Neither team won but still went through to the Repecharges, where they had finally to compete against each other. Again neither team won but again went through to the semi-finals as the fastest losers. At the semi-finals they were in different races and waiting to go, when all of a sudden the race judges decided that due to a team dropping out, and another being disqualified due to the wrong mix of ages, they were rearranging the races from three to two, and that the two fastest losers from the previous race were out of the race.
Disheartened, but pleased of some races, the teams started packing up to go. Minutes before the semi-final races were to take place the judges decided they had made a mistake and reinstated the two teams again, unfortunately some of the teams had already left. The options, with minutes to go, were either two teams with the correct mix of ages, or one team were the mix did not need to be exact. With minutes ticking away people were dragged out of the showers, wet clothes were put on again, and a team slowly appeared. The new team, combined between 14th Salisbury Scouts and Salisbury District Ventures/Rangers, went into the semi-finals and won its race.
So finally the impossible had happened, worry was originally over one knocking the other out, and it ended up as a joint team going into the finals. So a team only put together an hour before was racing for the cup. The final race was not the best race as it was a new team and the competition was a very efficient team from Dartford. Anyway the team came second beating, the third team by 1 second. Both team managers went up at the prize presentation and received the plaque.
A totally satisfying day, and of all these races, what were the times? The average time for the course was 2 minutes, but to the paddlers those 2 minutes were an eternity while they were putting all their efforts into the paddle to drive the boat forward.
Despite aching backs and arms, everyone wants to come back so everyone note the date 1st September 2001 at Marlow.