The ultimate “gold medal” performance

Life is full of ups and downs. What I went through last weekend was exactly what kept me passionate in this sport with the team all these years…

Team Kiyah-Splashh! registered our interest in PA Paddle Championship 2013, and because we have a pool of rowers staying or active in grassroots within Bishan-Toa Payoh cluster, we took part in Community Games as well (which was held in conjunction with PA Paddle) under Bishan East CSC. Both events were held at Bedok Reservoir over 2 days, 27 & 28 Apr.

Our 1st race on 27 Apr (Sat) was the heat for PA Paddle Men Open 20-Crew. I looked at the team line-up, and observed that ½ the boat comprised paddlers rowing with us 1st time in a race, or basically paddlers rowing their 1st time in a race. I was cautiously optimistic, and hoped for the best. When we were at race start line, the boat drifted to the left, and our paddlers were unsure whether to put in maximum power during take-off, for fear of heading out of lane. Hence we ended with a poor take-off, a moderate maintenance, and a last charge that was not in sync.

Happy spirits before going down for PA Paddle Men Open heat. Photo: Fern Lim

As the result board showed, our fate was sealed with a last place in 5th position, and I had to comment to Ivan that ours was the “only team above 1:20”. Even Styvie was cracking that we should not be drinking 100 Plus for replenishment, but Bedok Reservoir water instead.

The “only team above 1:20″. Photo: Ivan Shim

Next was the heat for PA Paddle Mixed Open 20-Crew. We had a few of our women paddlers joining us for this race, who were also rowing their 1st time in a race. This time round, any remaining optimism in me, had already dissolved into thin air. I was only hoping we would not get last. The take-off was better, but apparently our strokes for maintenance were short, for last charge even shorter. Alas, we did not get last, but 2nd last, which was another 5th position (out of 6 teams in this heat).

So at the end of the 1st day, Maurice told me that this is the 1st time he encountered Team Kiyah-Splashh! not progressing to semis, being kicked out totally in the heats. Everybody went back promptly by lunch-time. There was no mention of any team lunch. I headed home and was still in time to catch a quick shower, then went downstairs (alone) for a hearty plate of wanton mee (to neutralise my heartache).

On the 2nd day – 28 Apr (Sun), we were requested by Jonnie Baby to report early (8.15am) at race site. Then came dark stormy clouds that rained non-stop (heavy, light, then heavy again) until just before lunch-time. When it was still drizzling by late morning, the race organiser assembled all team managers at the reporting tent. They confirmed that due to time constraint (as a result of the wet weather), there will be no semi or final race – upon completion of the respective heats, boat timings will be compiled and medals will be awarded to the best 3 timings (for gold, silver and bronze). This is actually an IDBF rule that stipulates that winners will be decided based on previous race timings, in the event that semis or finals can’t be carried out for reasons such as this. So we are going to have time trials for all our Community Games events…

The downpour on 2nd day (28 Apr) that held up everything. I was thinking of just going home for a nice hot cup of kopi-o, because it was getting boring waiting… Photo: Richard Tay

The 1st event was the heat for Community Games Premier Men 12-Crew. Most of us were already getting bored and hungry by then, and for the guys who went down, it was a very close fight towards the finish line. They ended up 2nd in the heat, behind Team BB East (not sure if BB stands for Bukit Batok). I was hoping that the timing for this 2nd place can qualify us for a medal, but we had to settle for 6th overall when all heats for this race category concluded. Still, after the setbacks from yesterday, this was so much better and more encouraging (no more last or 2nd last place anymore)!

The 2nd event was the heat for Community Games Premier Mixed 12-Crew. We were leading throughout the race (due to a strong take-off), although several people on the shore (e.g. Jay) saw that the boat in lane 1 (CCK CSC Team A) overtook us at last charge just before the finish line. This was a big disappointment for me when I heard it. It’s like going downstairs for my wanton mee, and the chef telling me that the guy right in front of me had just taken the last plate. I had to camp myself at the results board to believe my eyes. When the placing and timings were finally written on the score board, I wanted to cry immediately. It felt really good. I was the guy who ordered that last plate of wanton mee, and the chef gave me extra wantons because he is wrapping up for the day. It was that good. After all heats for this race category were concluded, we were 2nd overall – a Silver medal, whoopee!

Almost thought we got 2nd in the CG Premier Mixed – man, that was a close shave… Photo: Jonnie Baby

An overall 2nd (in terms of timing) for CG Premier Mixed! On far left of photo (in red shirt) is Mr Ang Hak Seng, Chief Executive Director of PA. Photo: Fern Lim

The 3rd and last event for the day, was the final for Community Games Premier Women 12-Crew. There were only 4 teams taking part, and as long we don’t come in last, the ladies would be going home with something tonight. The rowers felt a little edgy initially, because we had 2 rowers taking part in a race just before (Institute of Higher Learning category), and we had to wait for them at the boarding pontoon (while the other 3 competitor boats had already rowed over to start line). When the 2 rowers arrived back at pontoon and boarded our boat, there was no more holding back. The race strategy was to go long, go hard, and if you check out the video recording, you would have to admit that was executed perfectly. Considering that ½ the boat was made up of new rowers (even the drummer and steerswoman were doing their jobs the 1st time), this is indeed without doubt, the ultimate “gold medal” performance. Not only were the ladies rewarded with a gold medal each (I think this is the very 1st time for the ladies, if you scroll down the rest of articles in this website), they brought home a champion’s trophy as well.

Ending the CG Premier Women race with a commanding lead and timing. Photo: Jonnie Baby

Our well-deserved winner, the champion of CG Premier Women, taking a photo with Mr Ang. Photo: Raymond Ho

On behalf of all you happy winners out there, I would like to express my appreciation to our organisers behind the scene, i.e. Jonnie Baby, Hao Yuan, Mabello, Ting, Richard. Many, many people told me it has been a long, long time, and I see a lot of faith coming back into Team Kiyah-Splashh! thanks to your good planning and hard work!

And the celebrations began thereafter. Check out Haoyuan – the way he lifted the trophy was as though we won the Champions League! Photo: Fern Lim

Singapore River Regatta 2012

After a long hard months of training, the day finally came ! Singapore River Regatte
3 – 4 Nov @ Singapore River :)
I will be rowing in three category :
Ladies Team , 22 Mixed Crew and 12 PA Gro Mix
Totally excited for the race till I am way too lazy to take photos , all these photo below
is taken from Jonathan Heng DSLR ! He have a travel blog website, you can actually
check out this website at
http://blog.travelpod.com/members/jonheng87
This is actually our 2nd day of race and ladies will be rowing first , so here
we are gathering and thanks to Mabel for preparing egg mayo for everyone :)
The eye mayo is really super nice till I ate today and yesterday too !
Posing to the camera :)
Everyone of us is super excited for the race itself and also at the same time
we are actually enjoying eating the bread + egg mayo !
This is Kiyah-Splash Ladies team !
One ladies team photo before we head down to water and row :)
See our happy face ! On the shore I can actually laugh but then when I am inside
the boat , i start to trick my mind to the race mood , by telling myself that
I can do it and I began to enter into flow theory !


Photo of us Ladies Team rowing to the starting point !
Can you spot me where I am seating inside the boat ?
One of the photo taken during the process of the Ladies Team Rowing !
Overall , Ladies Team done a good job in the way we manage to pull through till
the end and at the same time , we got the feedback from the drummer and people
in the shore that everyone in the boat is row together :)
Good Team work ! Good JOB girls !
22 Mixed Did a great job too ! Our timing is really awesome and we managed to beat
the timing of a school team and our timing is top 5 at the mixed
category ! :) Good Job People !

After rowing our 22 MIXED , when we come up the shore , sudden heavy pour !

So we just gather at our area , and I do not know why suddenly we got the feel

to take photo ! Everyone suddenly super high  ! Check out our facial expression : )

Here come our GUYS!

Ladies Team :)
check out our happy face : )
Laughing so happily because jeremy trying to hard to get himself
inside the picture . He try about 2 times fail but at the third time
he managed to get himself inside the photo !
Check out the photo below !
Nice photo!
Because everyone in the photo is smiling happily , even though
we didnt win anything , but then we know we row our best and the main
thing is about team work and it not always about winning ! :)

But if win , that will be the bonus !
Wondering why is this guy posing TWIST? Because
previously my blog banner picture , i post it with a twist :) I guess the picture
look “nice” till my team-mates keep disturbing me with the twist photo !
This two guy is my BEST supporter of my blog , they are CK and Jon
when i have a new post or video up,
they will never fail to read it and laugh at i -__- ! If anyone need someone to do an video
for your company , you can actually find them , because they can be really good in
talking !

* Can feel that after they read this post , they going to kill me !


Photo with my team guys !
Only a few of them proud to do the pose , and the rest just want to cover
the face , because a lot of people is looking at us ! We have gone crazy taking photo
and playing around like children .
Mr Yam and I !
I think my team-mates more excited than I do ! They say me till
my face super red ;x A lot of people looking that why shy la !


Before I end this post , Here is our group photo : )
We will be back in 3 month time to row once again , if you are interested to join
Kiyah-Splash , you can actually comment below and I will give you the email to
contact us !
credit post to www.missytiffany.com

NDP 2012 – Combined Rehearsal 3 (7 July)

Given that the nation is celebrating its birthday very soon (9 August), a few of us volunteered to row for one of the performance segments (Scene 2, Act 2) at the upcoming National Day Parade 2012, representing the team from Bishan – Toa Payoh GRC.

The display this year will see 15 dragon boats (from 15 GRC teams) rowing past the Float @ Marina Bay, when the actors / actresses start beating the drums on stage (I haven’t watched it yet, but this is according to what the NDP coordinator told us). 15 brand new boats have apparently been ordered for this purpose, and fireworks will be released from a small pontoon attached to the back of every boat. The audience will be able to see us emerge from underneath the Esplanade Bridge, paddling in unison past them once the fireworks are triggered at 7.36pm sharp.

Taken at PA Water Venture Kallang

All of us posing and looking good for our sponsor, Synergy WorldWide

On 7 July (Saturday), we were informed it is the 3rd Combined Rehearsal and the Chief of Defense Force will be down to vet the entire parade and show. Instructions were given to gather at the jetty below Singapore Flyer at 3.30pm, have dinner around 5pm, then proceed to board the boats for the display. And because the wait between meeting time and dinner time is a good 1 – 2 hours, Maurice and I walked towards the other side of Singapore Flyer (where the F1 Pit Building is) to explore the refreshments that were distributed to the other NDP performers at this resting point. I observed that for beverages, there were drinks vans from 1. Mr Bean Soya Milk, 2. Nestle Ice Milo, 3. Orange Juice, while for food, there was only 1 van from Old Chang Kee (OCK). Maurice told me that based on past experience, he will go to the van with the largest disposable cup, then go to the van he wants to top up his drink. So we went to Mr Bean van, then drink to heart’s content at Ice Milo. After which, we queued up at OCK, but lo and behold, the van is extremely popular with our young and growing generation from SCGS (Secondary 1 & 2s). We were right smack in the middle of a continuous line from SCGS, I figured OCK will do very, very well if they open up in SCGS canteen.

Long line of SCGS girls in front

An even longer line of SCGS girls behind

For dinner as usual, we were served KFC packs comprising 1 Zinger Burger, 1 piece crispy chicken, 1 small mash potato, 2 breaded fish rings. Actually this is the 3rd time I having the same menu, and I am now suffering immensely the law of diminishing return. Btw, the kind organizer catered night snacks as well (because they expected the rehearsal to stretch till late), and our worst fears came true (KFC snackers each – 1 hash brown, 1 bun, 3 breaded fish rings). At this point in time, I will kill anyone who suggests having a meal at KFC.

Due to the wet and stormy weather, we were delayed from boarding our boat. When we were finally given clearance to board the boats, we rowed like we never rowed before to Esplanade Bridge, before we took a breather in anticipation of 7.36pm. While waiting, I took a few shots of the skyline, and it was awesome.

Excited and all smiles, although a little anxious before our performance row

A majestic silhouette of lights in the evening dusk

After the fireworks were ignited from the back of our boat, we paddled past the Float @ Marina Bay, and then stopped below Helix Bridge to admire the sky fireworks the NDP organizer had in store for us during the national anthem. I didn’t expect any firework during the rehearsals (except the Preview and Actual Day), but this time round, the organizer spared no expense in giving the audience a good time. It was a close-up good enough, but I was hoping to be right below the fireworks (so that I can lie down and view the fireworks while gazing the stars, hehehe… ).

Although the rowing was very little and the (same) food was a lot, all of us had a fantabulous time participating in this year’s NDP. So look out for us – you may just see us on TV come 9 August!!!

Cpox

Hi Team!

I’m currently down with Chicken Pox. And while y’all are enjoying the sun and having great food out there, I’m “cooped” up at home with the itch that won’t go away. Hence, I am unable to attend this Sunday’s training till the doctor gives me the thumbs-up sign. It’s torture just not allowing me to do what I love to do. *sighs*

So I’d hope you guys put in more grit behind each stroke, and train hard. Think of your sick Team Manager, and imagine how much she’d wanna be there with y’all.

As we are all waiting for news of our first race in April, there’s another event that I’d be participating in, as part of a corporate family day event. It’s happening in March, and I betcha it’s going to be fun. This is my second time helping my brother-in-law out, and I can only say that I’m honoured to be invited to take part in this exciting occasion.

I’d very much want to register the team for this, but due to the nature of the event; it’s highly unlikely that they would want a professional team in to sweep in on the medals. :P

The only thing I can do is encourage y’all to go down and experience the atmosphere. For our newer paddlers, do experience what it feels like to be watching from the shore. And you’d think that people are not watching ya; They actually ARE. If you watch any of those dragon boat Youtube videos, the boat with the best coordination and drive will usually result being the fastest.

So let’s remind ourselves that our “TOGETHERNESS” in the boat is very important. All you need is one person to screw it up and we’d be behind. Let’s continue to work on that, and motivate the team to work harder than before. I’d share more details on the coporate family race when I’m back.

So I’d like to end this note with the same drill we’d end our trainings,

“Kiyah-Splashh! WHOOooooooOOOOSH!”

Take care and pox out :)

Pei a visit to London

London is not my one of my usual work destinations but going to the London office for meetings sounded much palatable than getting stranded in Riyadh over the weekend.

On the 9th April, drove down to Borough Market in my rental car, a very nice Opel Insignia and left it at Park Street. I walked a few steps towards the London Bridge Tube Station and met Wei Hann. Richard Thiang arrived not too long after and the 3 of us were then waiting for Jen and Sean Chua. Jen and Sean were apparently having a wild shopping frenzy during their London-Paris pleasure trip. Soon all 5 of us were tucking into a hearty lunch and heartier conversation.

It was a beautiful and sunny Saturday morning; Borough Market was abuzz with activity. As we navigated around the displays of fresh produce, food, and flowers, we reveled in all the sights, sounds and tastes on offer. Acting like real tourists, obligatory souvenir photos in front of the London Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast were taken. However to me, the best part of this is just about meeting up outside of Singapore, reminiscing the good old times and discussing about the sport that bonded us together…”

- Mr Gwee Pei Chuan, President of Kiyah-Splashh! Dragon boat team, 2008 – 2010

Photos courtesy of Jen


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