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Friday, 13 April 2012

KL-BARbarians Kick Start the Year at the 2012 Pesta Air Putrajaya

Having commenced training just shortly after the Chinese New Year break, the KL-BARbarians immediately went into competition mode to prepare for the 2012 Pesta Air Putrajaya which was held on 24 March 2012.

Only eligible to compete in the Open category, the KL-BARbarians were drawn to race in a tough Heat 2 against the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM (A)), Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL (B)), the University Kuala Lumpur Dolphins, the Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM (A)) and our friendly training neighbours, the Skrine Dragons. Things got even stickier as the team was missing their Captain for the weekend and sporting a new steerer and drummer.

Despite that, the team was excited to take on the first competition of the season. Our race was scheduled to be at 8.30am and everyone arrived bright and early at the grandstands of Putrajaya Watersports Complex at 7.30am to begin the pre-race preparations. Upon completion of the same, we found out that the organisers had altered the schedule of the day and postponed our race to 10.00am instead.

Thus, the team loitered around the grandstands munching on a healthy snack of brinjal, egg and cheese sandwich kindly prepared by one of paddlers, while we waited for our race to be called.

It was surprisingly windy out on the water as the boat made its way to the starting docks. Confusing race commands by the organisers caused us to take off on a shaky start. We recovered fairly quickly from that but unfortunately, barely 150 metres out, the right side of the boat had to contend with the strong wake coming from the PDRM boat which surged forward and went on to place first in our heat.

The KL-BARbarians set a time of 2:46 in the 500m race and came in 5th out of the 6 teams in our heat, defeating only the UniKL Dolphins by a few boat lengths. We failed to place top 3 in our heat to move on the next round but the team gained invaluable race experience.

The KL-BARbarians is now gearing up for 33rd Penang International Dragon Boat Festival 2012 which will take place at the end of June. The team is also recruiting and we invite members of the Kuala Lumpur Bar, your family and friends to join our dragon boat training sessions held every Saturday, 9.00am to 1.00pm at the Putrajaya Maritime Centre. If interested, kindly email Janet Chai at janetchai@chooi.com.my for further details. We guarantee that you will be able to paddle a dragon boat after a half-day session with the KL-BARbarians which will be conducted in a safe and fun environment.

A detailed coverage of the event can be found at http://storify.com/lesleylimaili/pesta-air-putrajaya-2012.

Report and Photos contributed by Lesley Lim. Edited by the KLYLC

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