As some of you may know, at the weekend some of the SockMonkey team decided to wake up at an ungodly hour on a Saturday, don cheap monkey ears and race boats for charity.
Who are Daisy Chain?
Although I was totally prepared to do my job and write a blog about how much fun this turned out to be, Jon was just so excited to write a blog post on the subject that I couldn’t say no. Instead, I’ll just mention the excellent work that Daisy Chain do to aid children and families who are impacted by autism.
At their 5.5 acre, Norton site they provide a specialist range of services, which includes support and activity groups for the whole family; this includes a sensory play area, a farm and wetlands.
POV: You’re Jon on Race Day
“Back in the mists of time a friend once asked me if I wanted to try dragon boating. As part of their pitch they used these words, “it’s not that hard.” They were absolute liars. I was so bad that the fastest we ever went was in a race where I fell off my seat and wasn’t paddling for at least 20 seconds of it.
So, when I found out that SockMonkey was planning on taking part in a bell boating (they’re like two Canadian canoes strapped together) event for a charity called Daisy Chain I kept my head down and stayed quiet on the subject. Which was very nearly a serious mistake. Luckily, I was caught off guard one morning, euphoric from having finished all the company performance reviews, I was asked directly if I wanted to do it and swept up in my show tune style mania I said yes.
Like I said, this was fortuitous, because Saturday just gone brought end of the summer sunshine and warmth, a perfect day for lounging on a river bank and paddling badly. I will confess I was perturbed at first by the apparent fitness of the other teams. Some of them looked considerably more athletic than myself. So, it was a slight relief that the SockMonkey team was in the first race. Not only were we in the first race, but we actually won it, only just, but we won!
We then went on to absolutely storm our second race, winning by such a large margin that we stopped paddling before the end. And the third race of the qualifiers was also ours, although I’m not at all sure how – it looked like the other boat won from where I was sitting. But that three from three saw us into the semi finals. This was not a level of progress that I had anticipated at the start of the day, we were one race away from the final, and now I was feeling quite nervous. The pressure was too much, the expectation was too high.
After an interminable wait we boarded our mighty bell boat, where the air fizzed with anticipation. I think we could all sense that we were in with a shout. As the race started we set a good pace, but I had no actual idea how we were doing compared to the other boat, because I was not looking at them, I was just looking at the paddle in front to make sure I was paddling in time.
As we crossed the finish line we were told we had lost, but that we’d had it in the bag at the halfway point and just thrown it away. Well, that’s fatigue for you: Paddling is hard, 100 meters might not sound far but try dragging yourself that far with only your arms as fast as you can and tell me it was easy.
We stayed for the final, which was a three-way race, but we all knew who was going to win – one team was way faster than everyone else, and just creamed everyone. So it was no surprise when they ran away with the final and jumped in the water in celebration. The team that beat us in the semi had a truly ignoble end to the day when their helm (each team had someone from the boat club steering them) managed to smash them into a concrete block before the end. He was the same helm we had in the semi and I like to think his poor steering cost us dearly too.”
If you would like to contribute to some losers’ Just Giving page then click the link to donate, and to keep up to date with all things SockMonkey take a look at our other posts or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.