IMBA Dragon Boat Team Races in the 2017 Competition
After two full months of practice (weekdays and weekends), the 2017 NCCU IMBA Dragon Boat Team, known as the “IMBAders” [ImVaDers], got their opportunity to compete with other teams during the New Taipei City Dragon Boat Cup (新北龍舟賽) in Luzhou Breeze Park (蘆洲微風運河), starting on May 29.
It was a scorching hot day with a nice breeze. There were scores of teams sitting in their tents waiting for their turn to start competing. IMBAders were up early in the lineup, set off on their first race of the day right at 1pm. They pushed their paddles to the sound of the drum and the loud cheers of fellow classmates and other supporters shouting “Go IMBAders” and crying out 加油! The first race didn’t go as well as they wanted it, however! It was time for them to rest, regroup and refocus for the second race of the day, if they ever wanted to make it to the semi-finals race for the next day.
It was about 2 hours later when IMBAders were up again for their second race. Everyone started warming up and giving each other words of encouragement. Right before setting off on the second race, Meisy Koo Chong, team captain, was interviewed by a local TV station, while surrounded by cheerful team members. Meisy mentioned her team’s dedication in preparing for this competition and how pleasant it was for the whole team to finally compete on that competition day.
The second race was especially exciting where IMBAders pushed ahead with full force to supporters’ chants despite being behind in early moments of the race. Every last second of that race saw the team’s boat catching up ever closer to the competing team. It was a very close race at the end, with IMBAders taking the second place of their heat, short just by a fraction of a second to finish first. The mood, however, was phenomenal after the race. At the same time, everyone was awaiting in anticipation to see the final rankings.
Moments later, it was to their delight that the IMBAders were told they had made it to the next days’ semi-finals on May 30th! Everyone was ecstatic! This was really due to everyone’s full-hearted effort: Meisy, Gaby, Andy Wu, Alex, Andrea, Ayesha, Ben, Carlos, Cindy, Chanki, Daniela, Eric, Francis, Hurshell, Jairo, June, Luisa, Melissa, Noel, Pathorn, Polina, Vic, Wudy and Yuji! This was a truly international team consisting of NCCU IMBA students from 12 different countries: Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mexico, South Korea, Guatemala, Thailand, Colombia, El Salvador, Japan and Taiwan.
Even though IMBAders didn’t make it past half semi-finals round, everyone felt satisfied they came so far and accomplished something big. The team made it into the top 32 out of 60 mixed teams. Congratulations!