Easter 2016 saw Pool of Life members heading off to the sunshine in San Pedro del Pinatar in South-east Spain to take part in the town’s 4th international dragonboat festival. This year was particularly special for BCS racing in Spain as it coincided with the establishment of Spain’s first BCS team, Flamenco Rosa, based in Pinatar.
The festival made the BCS teams feel very welcome and organised a special BCS forum to enable the teams to meet each other and a member from each team was invited to deliver a short presentation on various aspects of their BCS journey and activities. Linda Smith delivered a presentation on behalf of Pool of Life, celebrating 12 years as a BCS dragon boat team and the wonderful experiences and opportunities that the sport has given us.
However, it was the racing that was the highlight of the event. The BCS element of the competition was the biggest to date, with 7 BCS teams taking part (from the UK, Italy, France, Canada and Spain) in full BCS and part-BCS races in small 10-man boats. The competition also had a stunning setting on the Mar Menor (“Little Sea”), a coastal saltwater lagoon which is the largest in Europe – although increasingly rough water conditions throughout the day added to the challenge and tested the nerves of the crews! Qualifying heats were held and then minor and major finals to determine the finishing places of the teams. Pool of Life were very proud and excited to win the overall BCS competition and 2nd in the part-BCS racing against some tough opposition and were awarded a beautiful trophy and medals.
As is the tradition at all BCS race events, the festival concluded with a moving flower ceremony.
Pool of Life would like say a big “hello” to all the lovely BCS ladies they met at the festival and look forward to seeing them all again in Florence in 2018!