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Big Waves on the Rideau River:

Thunder and Torpedoes paddle hard to a strong finish at the 2017 Dragon Boat Festival

The rainy weather took a break on June 24th for the Telfer Thunder and Telfer Torpedoes to race for the fourth consecutive year in the Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival at Mooney’s Bay.

The day began early with the alumni team, Telfer Thunder, racing at 9:10 and candidates’ team, Telfer Torpedoes, in the head directly after them.

The Competition Begins

The traditional friendly competition between the boats felt like it had gone to the wind this year as the candidates felt slightly unsatisfactory after their race, coming in last in their heat, thinking that the Thunder had a much better time than they had in their heat. This feeling was short-lived however when the race results were announced:

Telfer Thunder:          02:46:00
Telfer Torpedoes:       02:46:63

The candidates were only behind by 0.63 of a second. It was a momentum boost as teams ate lunch, conversed and awaited the final races for the education heat which were scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

Education Cup Finals

The two teams filed into their respective boats around 2:20. They paddled down the side line the 800 meters to the finish line, practicing their pace and synchronization.

The seven teams lined up at the starting line. Telfer Thunder and Telfer Torpedoes in lanes four and five respectively.

They were off and the paddles put everything they could into pushing their paddles into the water, overcoming physical and mental roadblocks as they pushed through the final 100m and across the finish line.

Melissa Olegario, eMBA 2014, was paddling at the front of the Telfer Thunder boat and was overwhelmingly surprised when the boat crossed the finish line:

When the coach said, “You did it!!!” I was confused why had Tina stopped paddling?  “We done?!!!”

“Where was everybody [other boats]?!  Were we that far behind?!!!”

The coach responded, “No, they are still finishing the race.  We came in First!!!! Congratulations!”

Dumbfounded.  We ended up lifting paddles and cheering, and looking backwards in disbelief to see the other seven boats come in, the closest being three or more Dragon Boat lengths behind.  We had crushed the competition!

The Telfer Torpedoes were next to cross the finish line with a 2 second gap between them and the third place boat.  Telfer teams had taken first and second!

Telfer Thunder:      02:42:80
Telfer Torpedoes:  02:55:06

The teams celebrated together following the race as they partook in the other events of the festival including musical concerts, food and beverages or just enjoying the sun.

The news was even better that night when the team captain of the Telfer Thunder received an email around midnight that they had ranked 101 overall in the festival and were invited back to race in the overall finals on Sunday. The team kindly declined due to the unavailability of their paddlers but they had set a precedent in the fourth year of Telfer Executive MBA’s participation in the races – they made it to the Sunday finals.

Telfer Executive MBA began sponsoring teams to create additional opportunities for alumni and candidates to actively collaborate and network with one another, in addition to generating donations for five charitable organizations in the community. The aspect of ‘giving back’ to the community is an important component of the Program and alumni association.

Read about the 2016 experience, results and attendees at the Dragon Boat Festival

Photo Gallery 

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