When folks in North Coast communities hear the name Becky Adams, they may relate to her reputation as one of the most successful Real Estate brokers on the Central Coast who consistently racks up $20 million in sales each year.
But Adams is climbing to the top in another field, as well; she is a deft paddler in the world of Dragon Boats in Small Boat competitions — under the umbrella of the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF).
In July, Adams’ team — 12 women between 60 and 72 years old — celebrated gold medals in the 200-meter and 500-meter Small Boat races at the Club Crew Championships in Szeged, Hungary. Adams’ team competed against six other boats in both races.
The gold medals were the “first ever for any Senior C Team from the United States,” Adams wrote in an email interview.
In past years, it’s been Canadian teams on top, but the Americans broke through this year.
The Small Boat is actually a 30-foot-long canoe with five benches. It weighs around 600 pounds. Adams, 64, with five years’ experience in the Dragon Boat milieu, began racing Small Boats with her team in San Diego last year.
The women who paddle with Adams in the Small Boat event are “extremely fit, focused, committed, team-oriented paddlers… they stay in time with each other,” she said, thanks to a “caller” sitting in the front facing backwards.
That caller has a “large drum between her legs, and must bang it in rhythm to the paddlers’ strokes,” she said.
It takes extraordinary effort to be fit enough to compete at the elite international level, according to Adams. She trains with free weights, doing “core work and squats,” three days a week. She works out on a rowing machine several days a week. She does yoga, walks daily, and she attends “paddle camps where paddlers from all over the world come together.”
In addition, she has a “little outrigger canoe” for one person, which she uses to keep fit.
Adams was also coming off the Senior C tryouts for the USA National Team competition in Thailand in 2019; which took place last month in Morro Bay.
The tryouts drew 64 competitors over the age of 60 from 11 states, Adams reported, and consisted of time trials in the Bay at Coleman Park, as well as fitness tests and “sessions on the Dragon boats for three days.”
“I think I may have one or two world championships left in me,” she said.
She compared the challenge of a Dragon boat championship to “passing by the golden ring on a Merry-Go-Round. I see it, and I just want to do the best I can to grab it.”