Salem Dragon Boat Festival
Salem… what an interesting race. It was the Anniemaniacs’ first time at the Salem World Beat Dragon Boat Festival, so we weren’t sure what to expect. The World Beat area was huge, biggest we’ve ever seen, with plenty of food vendors from all over the world. In terms of racing, we were surprised that the races were all two boat races. It resulted in little competition until the final, so it was hard to gauge how all the teams were doing. Spectator viewing was very limited due to the water bank being over grown. You could watch the middle of the race, almost the finish, or just the finish. From a tiller’s point of view, the water behaved very strangely. Around the beginning of the race course, after going under a bridge and right by a pylon, the water swirls, changing the force of water on the boat, and causing near collisions for many races. This was more of an issue for boats in lane 2 (and the occasional lane 3).
In our final against Paddles of Fury (lane 1) and Bridge City (lane 3), the Anniemaniacs came up in a close behind Paddles of Fury. It was a close race, very intense, and just a 0.02 second difference! Bridge City didn’t come in as close, but the previously mentioned pylon caused them to move into our lane, and the changing water currents caused them to briefly over correct and head off course.
Sidenote: we attempted to drive from Portland to Salem in the Nissan Leaf. The car made it there, but without enough battery to make it back or charge at a 110 volt outlet. So, we had to drop it off at the Nissan dealership to fully recharge the battery.