A Barbados quartet of paddle boarders captured the silver medal at the Dragon World Championships in Austria late last month. Defending the title they won on home soil last year, the Bajan team of Adrian Howard, Jason Cole, Tremayne Walcott and Ramone Walcott were forced to settle for second place behind champions Hungary.
Lost one heat
Competing in the cold and rainy glacial Lake Fuschl nestles high in the mountains of Austria, the Barbados team won all but one heat in the first round of competition and went on to the top of the leaderboard.
Winning convincingly in the lead up to the final, Barbados grew confident despite the deteriorating weather conditions.
Of the six teams remaining in the final round there were two Hungarian teams comprising former and present Olympian paddlers. These strongmen posed the biggest threat to the title.
A clean beach start saw Barbados take the initial lead and surge ahead of the charging field but as the race lengthened the Hungarian showed their class.
The Olympians took the lead at the first turn and kept it. Pushing their bodies to the limit the Barbadians worked hard to close the gap and were always within striking distance.
The final saw the Hungarian team first across the line followed by the Bajans for the silver medal. Despite the loss, the Barbadians celebrated the event with flag flying, calypso music and dancing on a cold, wet shore surrounded by a crowd of adoring fans.
The three-day event pitted 34 teams consisting of four paddle boarders from 17 countries around the globe against each other and the clock. Teams raced purpose-built four-man inflatable race boards around a technical half-mile watercourse. (PR/HG)