The Dragon Boat Race – Silver Medal for CMM
One of the European Maritime Day events was, like in the previous years, the dragon boat race on the river Motława, organised by the CMM for crews from museums and other cultural institutions of Gdańsk. The race was held on 19 May, between the so-called Green Bridge and the Crane, and there were six crews this time – last year’s competitors from the Gdańsk History Museum, National Museum in Gdańsk and the Gdańsk City Hall, and two new entrants, from the European Solidarity Center (ECS) and the Regional and Municipal Public Library.
Each crew had to take part in a qualifier race and then a race deciding the place on the box. The equipment and professional coaching were provided by the dragon boat section of the MRKS Gdańsk sports club, headed by club president Włodzimierz Schmidt. The commentator was Dorota Orzeł. The respective institutions had prepared a 21-strong team each (20 oars and 1 kettle drummer) and the MRKS provided the coxswains.
The first two crews to race, just a few minutes past 5 pm., were the Gdańsk City Hall and the ECS. Municipal officials soon went well ahead of their museum contenders and won the race in a stunning 1minute 24 seconds. The second race was between the National Museum and the Regional Public Library, the latter coming first. In the third race, it was the CMM and the Gdańsk History Museum crews that competed. The CMM crew were much faster and reached the second time of the day, thus qualifying for the grand final. This was tough racing between the CMM team showing great zeal and commitment and the male-dominated crew under the red banner of the City Hall. Despite their efforts, the museum team came second, winning but the silver medal. The CMM staff lacked neither stamina nor fortitude, and the gender parity looked much better than in the winning team, where the only woman was the kettle drummer. The force of the male oars accounts for the success of the “municipal dragons”, while the unchallenged second place leaves us proud, yet somewhat victory hungry.
Cups were handed in to all the crew captains, while the medal-winning crews of the City Hall, the CMM and the Library were honoured with commemorative medals. Then the crews and the guests participated in shaty picnic.
The event was organized by Polish Maritime Museum within project EU Seaside (Developing Excellent Cultural destinations in the South Baltic area).