Bristol 2006

This weeks sermon comes from the Book of Batch - chapters 1 to the end:

And so it came to pass, on the 7th day of the 19th week that the flock of the Lake of Troy journeyed forth unto the city of the suspended bridge whereupon they would engage in the racing of dragon boats.

Perilous was their journey, through unmanned roadworks, speed cameras in their dozens and curly motorway junctions the like they had never seen before. But still they turned up in their vehicles of mass confusion (or was that just the parking?).

Amazing was this journey for they all arrived in time to 'dress the boat' (well, the one with the long hair was not amongst them this day) - all, of course, except the one called Kin for whom it was just one junction too far and he endeth up straying from the path all too early - and thus spent much time escaping the eternal one way systems of Bath.

Bright(ish) was the day and plentiful was the worshipping of the sun (and then cloud...and then sun.. you geteth the picture?) judging by the pink chests of many of the flock.

Three races would there be for the 200m - three would be the number, not two which is too few nor four as that would mean reps (and one, of course would be way off). And the flock they raced ever harder and harder as each run relied on fastest times in order to maintain hold on the revered lane 2 - the path of the righteous.

Let me hear you say "Dig deep!" - oh yeah

Brother Mickey, being, apparently, no longer of the standard required to qualify for a seat, did leadeth the flock down the course most of the day (led from the back, that is). Some say he may have strayed from the straight and narrow occasionally but we all know the road to enlightenment is rarely a simple one, and Sister Julie was always there for the really important races anyway.

Thus came the final reckoning on wings of fury in much the same form as for the previous umpteen finals with the Brotherhoods of Amathus, Batchworth, Thames and the somewhat more Sisterly (with a few brothers) Kingston.

And Lo - it was a good 'un.

Let me hear you say "I believe I can fly!" - I believe it too, brothers and sisters

The partaking of bread (and energy bars, pasta, crisps, chocolate, you nameth it - and that was just Brother Nick) was accompanied by many deep and soulful searches through the tapestry of vocabulary - also known as Boggle - led by esteemed Brother Rocket and offspring, followed by an even deeper discourse on the venerable Green Wing.

Let me hear you say "Y Y Y Yes, yes, n n no no no, I see, well now Mr Boyce!"

Once again would there be three races for the 500m - likewise to go above this number would mean reps, a path not oft trod by the flock of Troy - who knew what would lurk there. Faithful adherence to tried and tested rituals kept the flock in lane 2 and a similar pattern of events did emerge. Though many more were the helms finding it hard not to stray from their ever increasing (and somewhat twisty) path.

Let me hear you say "I can see my line! (but it's a bit of a dog leg)"

And once again it came to be that the flock of Troy led the way and took home the coveted trophy - though some say they did have to work quite hard and really should learn not to slacken off near the end.

The glorious blue cups of victory were handed over to Brothers Werner and Billy (along with his mum) and the hazardous return was begun.

Let me hear you say "Three cheers for the other crews!" - hip hip hooray my friends and let it be known we don't mind that the organiser plays around with buoys.

But wait dear listeners, what of the Novice Brothers... Aspire did partake of the racing in grand style. Many were their races and knackered were their faces but they paddled hard even if their helm didn't give in his numbers :-)
And they were the best junior crew there!

Here endeth the lesson - not much of a moral to be found but go forth and spread the word of the dragon boat anyhow...