The 6th annual “Rajd Kajakowy Zlota Rybka Swarzędz” or Goldfish kayak rally took place in Swarzedz (a suburb of Poznan) today. My friend Elzbieta reserved a water bike, as they call paddle boats in Poland, for us. The other contestants were paired up in kayaks. We were not the sleekest or most graceful boat on the water today, but we had a very good time and finished “not last.” It was perfect for a couple of bicycle enthusiasts.
Elzbieta has participated in Zlota Rybka Swarzedz before, but it was my first time. Let me explain how it works. We checked at the boat dock at Szarzedz lake this morning at 10:00. At 10:30 we started, they kindly let the paddle boat go first, but it wasn’t enough of a head start. We were 5 or 6th by the first check-in point. Here each boat was quizzed (in Polish, of course) about the size of the lake we were on, where a famous person was buried, the first name of the Swardedz bookkeeper, etc. There were 5 questions, and the teams earned one point for each correct answer. Elzbieta earned us 3 points.
At the second check point, we were the last to arrive. Here, each participant tossed 4 horseshoes into a bucket. So we were competing against each other not as a team at this station. Time was up before we got to station 3, so I can’t tell you what happened there.
When we got back to the dock, there was one last feat to perform. A long rope was attached to our boat at the end of the pier and we had to race up the beach and steps until we pulled our boat ashore. It took us 6 seconds, one of the slower times. Now the scores could be tabulated.
The people who came in dead last had already left at this point. We, the next to last team, were the first to receive our consolation prize. Elzbieta’s daughter and her friend came in third, a very good showing. We wrapped up the day with lunch for the 4 of us at Swarzdez’s authentic Italian restaurant. What a fun day! Dzieki, Ela! 🙂