Quebec Cup Recap PART 2: Grit, Guts, and Glory! : Verdun Women make Dragon Boat History

(Click here for PART 1 of the Recap of the Quebec Cup)

But it was the exciting Women’s 2k in the Sports division that really stopped everyone in their tracks at the Quebec Cup!

Described by some as “roller derby on water,” “bumper cars,” “a multi boat tangle,” and “that Pacman race,” Verdun Women’s newly named Spice Force fiercely held their own as they were crunched, tossed, smashed, and crashed into from both sides, sandwiched between women’s teams determined to pass them, and jostled by the waves of ominously close boats. Spice Force took no prisoners!

21765705_365308007222880_3211515951541445456_o(Photo Credit: HM Photography)

This is how it’s done, superwoman style!

Verdun Women (Alex) - 1(Photo Credit: Alex Boros)

Neck to neck, we will never forget the sounds of paddles clashing, the yelling, the strain to keep going, the suction of water drawing us alarmingly close to the neighboring boats…

Verdun Women - Alex - 2(Photo Credit: Alex Boros)

Dragon Boat History was Made!

It was Full Body Contact in the Women’s 2k! In the endeavor to pass each other and ride the waves, boats were overtaking one another right, left, and center, in a level of competitive and determined aggressiveness you have never seen! The sounds of paddles smashing, boats crunching together, paddlers yelling obscenities, as well as some intimidating curses and gestures.

21950133_365297030557311_6646925290071489431_o(Photo Credit: HM Photography)

Verdun Women refused to yield, even to the stronger teams. We may not have been first, but we were sure as heck not going to be passed if we could help it, and subsequently gained notoriety for successfully scaring half the teams on the water with our ferocity!

Pic to add (women's)3(Photo Credit: Donna Pinsky)

Holding our own against some incredibly strong women’s sports teams in what Captain Mélanie Desjardins called “that rocky road race that felt more like a fencing competition at times,” clarifying that it was not profanity and intimidating proximity that was being thrown at us from angry boats and angrier coaches frustrated at Verdun refusing to yield, but “boat hugs”. Sure, Melanie, sure 😉

Pic to add 2 (women's)(Photo Credit: Donna Pinsky)

There’s a race the judges won’t forget for a while, and will most certainly go down in dragon boat history. Check out the video!


21762297_365296193890728_6492971868624389742_o(Photo Credit: HM Photography)

And to make a perfectly dramatic exit, we were still so pumped on such adrenaline and pride for Coach Sheri Cameron masterfully navigating us through that traffic jam, that our cheers overshadowed her bellowed directions, meaning we plowed right Into and ONTO the dock, effectively hooking the boat on at such an awkward angle, that human chains were required to help each paddler disembark!

Us Verdun Women believe in leaving an impact, making a perfect ending to an already hair-raising day 😉   

Verdun Women - Alex - 3(Photo Credit: Alex Boros)

Back on shore (and twenty seconds of penalties for our lawlessness later- but what a race! The excitement and statement we left more than made up for that), Coach Sheri debriefed the women with “That was truly a GUTSY race! A race which showed sheer Guts, Grit – and determination,” and acknowledged that it was one of the craziest 2Ks she’s ever been in (and Sheri has competing in Nationals!).

She commended Verdun’s female warriors for having the courage to compete and hold our own against very high performing teams.

And indeed, the announcers and race marshals agreed it was quite possibly THE most exciting race in the history of the competition!

Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Quebec Cup Recap to read more about team trust and how our Blind and Partially Sighted (BPS) team Caravela experienced being on the water!

3 thoughts on “Quebec Cup Recap PART 2: Grit, Guts, and Glory! : Verdun Women make Dragon Boat History

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