‘Calm deliberation unravels every knot.’
What a way to end the Relay. I have never known a relay as close as this one. It was neck and neck for most of the race, at least until the water. Both teams had trouble with the rowing boats, so we switched to kayaks for that part. That proved very tricky for the Greens as they tipped more than once. Now the Whites had a commanding lead. However, on the next leg (from the bridge back to camp) the White canoe tipped and the Greens were now in the ascendancy. They got to their fire well ahead of their rivals and set about boiling the water. But the water did not want to boil as a fierce breeze blew in off the lake. As they struggled with this, the White canoe was walked into shore (a one minute penalty) and now it was their turn to try and get their tin of water to ‘cook’. Quite incredibly they managed to achieve this in record time with a fire so hot I had to drape myself in a wet towel to observe the boiling. It was all over in 10 mins, and still the Green fire was stubbornly refusing to boil their water.
After swimming to the raft to get the ball in the cup it was now time to complete the race by throwing a balloon full of water up the hill. Easy, eh. Not really as it turned out. The Whites were far enough ahead by now that they could afford to drop it a few times (which they duly did). But the tide was turning once again as the Green water boiled and they, too, began their water-balloon trek up the hill. But like the Whites before them, they dropped it more than once before figuring out that throwing it to one another actually works. And now they started to fly up the hill. They were closing the gap as the White balloon neared its eventual target (the flagpole). As the final White captain received his balloon, so did his counterpart on the Greens, and they met at exactly the same time at the flagpole. To the naked eye it looked like a dead-heat as both balloons exploded, seemingly simultaneously. But the video evidence was to prove crucial. As the Greens celebrated and ran into the lake, the White captains looked on, horrified at what had just happened. Never before had the race gone so close. Technology was about to play a pivotal role in the result. Much like the new goal-line cameras in soccer, what was caught on film proved that the White balloon did, indeed, puncture first, albeit seconds before the Green balloon.
The two teams were brought together on the near court to have the result explained to them – after sharing the video evidence with the respective captains – and this time it was the Whites who took off for the lake. I’ve never seen anything like it. Both teams had done so much to make the Relay so memorable, that it was a shame that one of them had to lose. But the camera could not lie, and we believe the spoils went to the right team in this instance.
So it was the Whites who won overall; an unlikely victory given their slow start to the competition. It just goes to show that if you dig in and don’t give up then you might be amazed at what you can achieve. Many lessons have been learned by the boys today. I believe you can learn all sorts of things from all sorts of positions in life; how to win and how not to win; why it is foolish to touch a hot-plate; why wearing sun-screen is a good idea, and why not stopping until you reach the finishing line might just win you the race. Living, loving, learning as we go.
The Greens and Whites have done us proud today. They are living proof that all is well, so safely rest.