CYSM Sea Dragons


A TON of fun!

Published Tue 15 Mar 2022

As we enter the final stretch of the Dragon Boat Victoria racing season, culminating in VicChamps and then onto AusChamps for 2022, a past story from Anthony (aka Ton) Alvior comes to mind. At the time, he spoke of his first regatta and what it has meant to him. I think we all feel the sentiment, newbie or veteran alike.

Let's hear from Ton.

Someone asked me why I chose CYSM as my dragon boat paddling club. My quick response was - it is the first club I trained with? I immediately fell in love with the sport? So… I signed up?

Never did I imagine that my first training on one hot Saturday morning would be the first of the many good memories I spent on the water.

Dragon boat paddling for newbies like me requires a lot of work, focus and dedication. “Keep it long, reach, drive, up, make every paddle count” were the common language I heard during water trainings.

I could vividly remember paddling on one Tuesday night (my second training) - it was cold, windy and raining. After paddling 1km straight, I start to question if I made the right decision to train that day.

“One down! Nine to go!” I hear a loud voice from behind. Believe me, every succeeding stroke that night was painful and a battle between mind and body.

“Do not stop! You need to keep up with the team! Never give up! Keep going! Up until the last paddle!”

Ton Alvior

Fast forward after 6 weeks of training, I had my first race (Horsham regatta 2018).

Time to put all the learnings to the test.

Am I ready? I hope so! My biggest fear during that time was to screw up and let the team down after putting so much effort in training.

Focus, be attentive, be alert, follow Kai as he paddles, listen to your sweep, empty the tank - these were some of the words lingering in my head as I buried my paddle into the water, waiting for the four big words!

“Are you ready? GO!”

I had so much fun. You never know indeed what to expect on your first race. You’ll just have to DO IT! Will I do it again? Without a doubt I WILL!

If I’d been asked 'what’s the best part of my first race?'

It is the privilege of paddling with an amazing and inspiring team! I can really see the sense of community, commitment and drive to achieve success! Cheers to more regattas!

Thank you team for inspiring me to give my very best!



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