Our season started off badly in 2011. Having assigned Wai-Kuen and Simon Chan as Vice and Vice Vice Captain for the upcoming season, our first task was to find someone to train us. Fortunately, this materialised in the form of Thames Dragons and our eventual Coach, Paul Coster. The plan was for Thames to train us up to helm and have access to their facilities and we will be self-sufficient. As time went on, I realised how good a Coach Paul was, and I asked him if he would be interested in doing it on a regular basis. Luckily for us, he agreed and so the Windy Panda’s fourth season began..
We kicked off the season by gathering the Pandas together and initiating the G4’s. I don’t want to say too much, in case I scare off the new and innocent G5’s! Here’s a picture of them, face painting was just the introduction….let’s move on…
Our first event was in May at the London Rotary and going into the race, I was confident we would do well. We had a strong team and on the day, we pulled together and not without competition. We had two teams all within a second of our fastest time. In the final, I must admit, I was nervous. We had a real chance of winning something and I hoped we would do our best and show the others we can do. One minute, the race had finshed and we did it. Our first gold. A feeling of jubilation and relief. Amazing achievement. Well done all!
Stanley International DB Event, Hong Kong
Our second event was Windy’s first International in Hong Kong. The conditions were humid and sweltering heat which I can only describe as unbearable. However, we wasn’t going to let that stop us from making an impact overseas. We raced 3 heats to qualify and finished 57th out of 250 teams, which is simply incredible. The standards were so so high, I have not witnessed so many very good teams racing all in one shoreline. Epic racing against mountain backdrop, racing with a hole in the boat, a very last minute drummer coming on board, being on tv, newspapers and interviewed on stage, the list goes on. Truly an experience not to be missed.