23 October 2018
Traitors in Our Midst
Deep in the heart of Pearce on a lonely Tuesday night, the TriHards held their first ever Tribunal to discuss the shameful events of Friday, 19 November on Lake Burley Griffin.
Chair: Attention! Attention! We have a quorum, it’s time to call this first meeting of the TriHards Tribunal to order. We have a most distressing matter before us – for we have been betrayed. One of our members has broken away from the TriHards tradition of leading the bottom third of the pack in an event.
Tribunal: Boo! Shame!
Chair: So, my friends, we are here today to determine the facts of the case, and whether any action should be taken against the offending member. A founding member no less, the Cyborg! Bring him in!
Cyborg: G’day everyone. Are just getting the banquet?
Chair: Yes, I think we’re all agreed on the Ramas Delight.
Tribunal: Hear, hear!
Cyborg: Excellent. (Clink).
Chair: Now, Cyborg, you’re here facing a very serious matter. (Clink).
Cyborg: Really? I thought we were just having a reunion dinner? (Clink)
Tribunal Secretary: What is that clinking noise? It’s going to be a bugger to transcribe these proceedings if it continues.
Cyborg: Oh, sorry, that’s me. I picked up this medal last weekend, and it does clink around a bit.
Tribunal Member: What, another bloody participation medal?
Cyborg: No, no, this one is a first!
Tribunal Member: The first participation medal for that event?
Cyborg: No, it’s a first place medal. Like a gold medal, but cheaper!
Chair: Indeed! This is why we’ve convened this meeting; the TriHards recently podiumed in an event.
Chair: Oh, it gets worse. It was an event associated with AROC!
Tribunal Member: No! How? Him?
Chair: And CDO and Tinker. But, it’s even worse than you think!
A Different Tribunal Member: What, there were only three teams?
Chair: Let me finish! No, there were more than three teams. Several in fact. And they came first!
McFly: I call bullshit.
Cyborg: Don’t they say sheep shit where you come from?
Chair: Hmm, Waitress, can we please change the beef saag to lamb saag? Anyway, this is a very serious matter. You’ve set a terrible precedent here Cyborg. First! How could you?
Cyborg: Well, it was a kayaking event. And, you know, CDO and I are quite good paddlers. Those things really only have one speed. And it was much easier once we pushed those children off their kayaks into the water to distract the rest of the field.
Chair: Well, go on then, you might as well tell us the whole story, Cyborg.
Cyborg: Don’t mind if I do. Would you please pass one of those samosas? I’m desperately famished after that hard slog on the water.
Tribunal Member: Are you talking about that half an hour paddle you did on a fine Friday afternoon?
Cyborg: I did set out to have fun, you know. I was trying for a team to have a novelty race. You know, maybe dress like pirates, and throw water bombs at the other kayaks as we passed.
Chair: A-ha, so you were always looking to overtake other competitors and come first?
Cyborg: Well, only in the name of fun. But, then I had no takers. Only CDO, and he roped in Tinker. And you know CDO.
Chair: The guy at the end ordering his own food?
CDO: Come on! How many chances does a guy get to have a goat curry? It’s not on the banquet, and it’s what I like.
Cyborg: Anyway, it was pretty short notice, so we didn’t have a chance to come up with costumes and the like. And, come the day, we saw quite a small field and thought, what the hell, let’s go for it!
Chair: So you set out to win?
Cyborg: *cough* *cough*
Chair: Are you okay?
Cyborg: Oh, I just need a drink (fills cup with champagne).
Chair: What’s that you’re drinking out of? A trophy?
Cyborg: Well, my shoes are filthy! Actually, you know, Tinker called it first. The trophy was sitting at the registration tent at the start, and she offered to take it ahead of the race to avoid all the hassle.
We had a bit of a pre-race paddle with everyone else, and actually managed to keep paddling in a straight line, which was pretty nice, and better than a lot of the other paddlers, which gave us some confidence and laid the seeds for the idea of actually being competitive for a change.
Then the race started, and we cleared the blocks with a little bit of difficulty, but soon found ourselves ahead of all the kayaks bar one. And, you know CDO, he does like his speed, so really, I was just working to make him more comfortable.
The course ran from Commonwealth Place, to the north side of the fountain (which was fortunately turned off for the day). As we neared the fountain there as but one team ahead of us. Though, they had already reached top speed, as had we, so it was hard to try to close the gap.
Chair: What do you mean top speed?
Cyborg: Well, I suspect those bathtubs have a top speed, once you get there, you can’t really go past it. You can paddle harder, but you just won’t go any faster.
So, as we turned parallel to the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, we still hadn’t closed the distance. We started to as we turned once more and headed back to the start line, but I steered us too close to shore, and we had to turn back into the lake to round the buoy and stay on course.
As we approached the jetty once more the team ahead had to pull in! And relay teams had to swap bibs as well as changing in paddlers! So, we took this opportunity to pass them, and push hard towards the Carillion. With flagging arms, but high spirits, we paddled and paddled, around the buoy, past Aspen Island, and then under the bridge.
Anonymous Tribunal Member: Oh, that one we went under in that first corporate race?
Cyborg: Yes, that’s the one! Oooh, I remember that race – the one where your chain broke... And the go-carts.
Anonymous Tribunal Member: Yes, that was great fun! Is there any vindaloo left?
Cyborg: We shot under the bridge – CDO and Tinker ducked; fortunately I have no hair, so didn’t have that problem. (Takes another sip of champagne from the trophy). Then it was around the island and a straight shot back to the jetty!
CDO: With a small detour.
Cyborg: Yes, yes, okay. I may have made a navigation mistake and increased our course; but by this time we had quite a lead, and it didn’t make any difference. We came in first!
Chair: What will people think? No longer will they see the rusty nail and think “Oh, I’ll join them in the punter’s pack!” No, they’ll think, “There go those serious racers! Hmm, they’re pretty slow for podium winners.”
Cyborg: Perhaps. Perhaps. Look, does it really matter that we came first? I mean, we did meet Junior’s criteria.
Junior: Hey, keep me out of this! And pass the pappadums.
Cyborg: All three goals, though, I have to say, getting to the start with a team was quite hard. But, more importantly, it was a lot of fun!
Chair: Fun? You busted your guts to win!
Cyborg: No, not really. It wasn’t easy. But it was only half an hour. And we’ve done longer paddles in other races. Let’s be frank – and not to take anything away from the competition – we won because everyone else was there for fun. And it was a lot of fun. I think everyone had fun.
CDO: But we won.
Tinker: And we’ll be back next year.
Cyborg: As pirates.
Chair: Very well. The Tribunal will deliberate over some nice mango ice-cream. But not for you three. No dessert for you!