Tag Archives: winning

Harrison Dragon Boat Race Festival July 25, 2015

29 Jul

This past Saturday was the Harrison Dragon Boat Festival, held at (in case you didn’t guess) Harrison Hot Springs. The race is held on a beautiful lake. This means clean, heavy, choppy, water – it’s pretty much awesome. πŸ™‚

2015-07-26 12.00.59There are four races in a day, which is average for festivals. The day and most of the night prior it was raining and not cold exactly but not warm, ya know, cause of getting drenched every time you went outside on account of the rain so we all prepared for a rainy race day but lucky for us when we woke up it was overcast and windy but not raining, yay! πŸ™‚

The paddler’s village is on the beach so we all lugged the stuff we would need for the day the whole 5 minute walk from the motel to our team’s tent and settled in for a day of awesome.

Our first race started fairly normal, the teams lined up, madam caller gave us the mark to go and boom! We are off! Then all of a sudden we weren’t because another team rammed their boat in to ours! Fyi, this is not normally a contact sport so yeah, not cool.

Since the team that hit us never came over to apologize we don’t know for sure why it happened, I am going on the assumption it was an accident since there was no reason for them to do it on purpose.

Let me set the scene for what happens when dragon boats collide…the boat with the most momentum tends to go over / into the second boat so the dragon head and part of the boat actually ends up inside the other boat. Since there are people in the way this generally means the dragon head hits or goes over top of a paddler, or two, or three…and sometimes hands and paddles get squished between the boats. Sometimes boats tip, sometimes they don’t, there are a lot of factors that decide that.

Here is a video of multiple dragon boat crashes, you can see how there are a lot of different reasons for boats to flip. Just ignore the propaganda type text that is talking about dragon boating lol oh, and no, none of the crashes shown are our crash, I don’t think it got caught on video which is too bad really, it’d be fun to see!

So yeah, we got hit, at first we kept paddling but we got the call from the water marshal to stop so we did, then once the boats were no longer connected we were told to keep going so we are hmm, maybe halfway through the race and have to start from a dead stop while the other teams had kept going (well, except for the boat that hit us). Basically we just dug in and gave it everything we had and then some to stay in the game. It is amazing how motivation and adrenaline can help boost you lol For that race we ended up coming in second place, I know right?! You’d of thought we’d be last but nope, second. πŸ™‚

The water referee saw the collision and recommended we file a complaint with the officials so we did and they took 6 seconds off our finish time. That kept us in second place finish for the race but that’s ok, it’s still a good finish, especially considering the collision!

The remaining three races seem a bit anti-climatic compared to the first, no more collisions, no more drama, just normal racing. We placed first in races two and three which put us in to the medal round for Division A Rec which is awesome and terrifying all at once.

Part of me was all “how’d we get in to A Division? We’ll never medal in A Division, dammit, why aren’t we in B Division?” but I think that was just my nerves talking. I know how we got in to A Division, we earned it, and we were going to show everyone there we earned a spot in that medal race by kicking ass! πŸ˜‰

There was a bit of nerves, a lot of encouragement being shared amongst the team, reminders that we know what we are doing and we’ve been doing great all day so just keep it up then before you know it we are lining up for the race and there is no more time for nerves, no more time for doubt, no more time for anything but focus, determination and control. Relying on training and technique and muscle memory, relying on our steersperson to keep us safe, relying on our caller to keep us motivated and in the game, relying on ourselves and our teammates to get us to victory!

So how did that race go you ask? Oh you know, fairly well, we only came away with the GOLD MEDAL!!!

The Twisted Hips Won Gold!

The Twisted Hips Won Gold!

You can see me over to the right wearing the black baseball cap. πŸ™‚

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After the festival was over we all went back to the motel, we were in a bunch of suites but congregated in one as it was the biggest. All the normal things happened after that, people showered and changed, we all kept our medals on, went for dinner at a local pub, got congratulated by random strangers (fellow dragon boaters and non-dragon boaters) as we walked through the town, then we ended up back at the motel to celebrate (aka drink and revel in our victory lol) πŸ™‚

The next day those of us that stayed overnight (which was most of us) went for brunch where I had the most amazing omelette ever, Mmm! and we slowly started to drift back to our vehicles. We all car pooled to some degree so don’t go thinking 22 people all drove up there individually! πŸ˜› You could tell that nobody wanted to leave even as we were all saying how we should leave because the goodbyes kept being drawn out, excuses were found to take pictures, people lingered for ages until finally we all went our own way. You’d think we were never seeing each other again or something when in reality it was Sunday and we were going to see each other at practice on Tuesday lol

Our last race weekend group selfie…

Some of my awesome team!

Some of my awesome team!

Rio Tinto Alcan 2015

23 Jun

June 20th & 21st were the days of the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat festival. Technically the festival started June 19th with the dotting of the dragon eyes ceremony but I never go to that so for me the festival started June 20th…that is this past Saturday for those of you not near a calendar lol This festival is the largest Dragon Boat Festival in North America, it is actually the largest outside of China, it is massive. This year there were over 100,000 people there and the competition was fierce!

Let me just say this weekend was beyond awesome! πŸ˜€

Both days were sunny and gorgeous and busy and I loved ohhhh I’d say every minute of it!…well, maybe not the early rising part cause I hate mornings but once I was up definitely every minute.

I was racing with two teams this year. My team, The Twisted Hips which is a mixed team…that means we have both men and women on the boat. The second team was Concord Flying Dragons, they are a ladies team that a friend of mine is close with, they needed a couple extra ladies so I got asked and of course said yes, who wouldn’t want more chances to race?

Both teams won medals, wOOt! wOOt! which means I came away with a Gold and a Bronze! Oh yeeeah! πŸ˜€

My bronze and my gold medals.

My bronze and my gold medals.

Aren’t they such a pretty addition to my collection? Love em! πŸ˜€

The Twisted Hips

The Twisted Hips – we won bronze.

The Flying Dragons

The Flying Dragons – we won gold.

My team!

My team!

This is my team, I’m so proud of each and every one of them! We’ve been training since February, in the cold, the rain, the dark. We come to practice when sick, when we don’t feel like it, when we’re exhausted. We race with injuries, when our lives have a million other demands, in any weather. We fight for our division within the festivals, we earn our medals, we race with determination and heart. πŸ™‚

And I’ll stop with the preachy aren’t-we-awesome stuff now lol πŸ˜›

I don’t have a team picture of Concord…yet! I like keeping team pics from each festival so I’ll be making sure to get one eventually.

I took some random pictures during the weekend which I will now bombard you with! teehee

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2015-06-20 15.54.08

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Okay so there weren’t as many pictures to bombard you with as I thought, I took a lot but I highly doubt you want to watch a series of pictures showing the end of a race or multiples of shots that are near identical lol I don’t have any video footage of our races, if I did rest assured I’d be providing you a link so you could watch lol

For me the festival is all about the races, obviously, but there are a lot of other things happening to keep those in the crowd entertained. There are a large variety of food trucks, with pretty much nothing healthy lol Some of us from The Twisted Hips shared some Beaver Tails which sounds barbaric until you learn they are pastry, deep fried, with toppings put on top. They are oh so yummy! We went with the classic toppings of cinnamon and sugar but you can get a whole bunch of stuff on them. There are also vendor tents for shopping, yay shopping! You can find all kinds of things, dragon boat gear, clothes, jewellery, food and drink samples (I got a delish blueberry yogurt from one tent and a yucky tofu mango drink at another *shudder*) and random other things. There are also tents set up from companies giving away stuff, or with contests you can enter, you know all they really want is your business or to recruit you to their cause or to teach you something but hey, free stuff is enticing so I’ll listen to someone talk about why I should drink tap water over bottled (which I already do lol) if it’ll get me a free item that I will, oddly enough, never ever use, and end up having to throw out at some point when I am decluttering. It’s weird lol but it’s a festival! πŸ˜›

Oh! I forgot! We sponsored a team from Portland, which really means we bought them some food and were friendly with them lol They also won a medal so we took a team pic with them. πŸ™‚

Rio Tinto June 20-21 2015 J

I don’t know who took this, a camera ninja obviously! But there I am in marshalling (the waiting area where teams get lined up before going to the boats) in all my dragon boat finery lol

Who took this? lol

Who took this? lol

And lastly, this is me with my dinner which came loooong after we won and celebrated, it was the best burger ever! I’ve probably had better but I was so hungry it sure seemed like the best ever lol πŸ˜›

I'm such a lady lol

I’m such a lady lol

So there we have it, it was an awesome weekend I wish didn’t have to end but of course it did, sigh. Filled with friends, and fun, and food and medals! πŸ˜€

My Rio Tinto Alcan Weekend

23 Jun

This past weekend was the biiiiiig dragon boat festival! We spend all season gearing up for this festival, training! training! training! Rio Tinto is the largest dragon boat festival in North America, teams comes from all over the world to compete, it is a big thing in the dragon boat world.

I absolutely love this festival! Not only are there 160 dragon boat teams competing against each other for coveted medals there are food vendors, booths set up with free samples, coupons, random information about all sorts of topics, live performances, this festival has it all! It is one of things I look forward to all year.

All us dragon boaters will be the first to admit that unless you know someone in a race watching dragon boat racing can be a bit, um, boring…I know! It sounds horrible to say but it’s true. Each race heat can take what seems like forever to get set up because you can’t tell from the shore how much the tide has moved the boats as they try to line up or any of the other random things that can happen that make the start of the race be delayed. That’s why having all the on shore entertainment helps, it keeps people entertained when they stop being quite so entertained by the races lol

The weather on Saturday was perfect! Sunny, warm but not boiling hot, abso beautiful! πŸ™‚ I’ve competed at this festival when the weather is cold and pouring rain so the warmth and sun was much appreciated lol. I of course was coating my exposed skin in 110spf sunscreen and wearing long sleeves and pants, oh and a hat! lol I look like I hate the sun, and I kinda do because of how easily I burn, but I also don’t, I just hate the UV rays that try to not-so-slowly turn me in to a lobster, shrug.

Our race times on Saturday were strong, 2:06 then 2:05. They put us in a nice solid position for day two of racing which (obviously) is important.

Sadly I can’t tell you much about Sunday, sigh. By the time I went to bed Saturday I had a fever, no voice and an upset stomach. I kept telling myself “you are not sick, you’re just tired” but no matter how many times I said that to myself I really was sick, not just tired, sigh. I woke up in the morning after a night of crappy sleep to the realization I was too sick to paddle, heck, I was too sick to get out of bed. 😦 I debated still going, pushing myself, I was hoping maybe I would feel better once I was up and moving and there but I know better than that, if I can’t manage to get to the sink to get a glass of water no way I can keep up in a race piece and no way in hell am I going to risk my team winning a race because I insist on being on the boat. Damn self-sacrificing instincts, sigh.

I got text updates from teammates during the day and I was glad to hear how much fun they were having even though I was curled up miserable on my living room chair. Then the best news of all came, they won Silver in B Division! I’m so proud of them! I don’t know what the actual finish time was but I know it had to have been awesome lol πŸ™‚

One of my teammates posted this to our facebook wall:

Of the SIXTEEN teams that raced above us in both A Rec Consolation, and A Rec Championship, there were only THREE times faster than ours β€” 1 in Consolation, and 2 in Championship. Our time bested 13 of the 16 teams in A Division”

How amazing is it that our time was only beat by three other teams! *shock face*

I didn’t take any pictures of the festival on the Saturday because I was planning on taking them all on the Sunday, a decision I now greatly regret, sigh. So here are some pictures I stole from facebook and the media images that were used in papers and websites…that’s right! We made it in to media footage!

one of my teammates medals resting on his jersey

one of my teammates medal resting on his jersey

that's our caller and the first two rows of the boat (left side) in the final race

that’s our caller and the first two rows of the boat (left side) in the final race

Normally I sit second bench left side but since I wasn’t there on the Sunday I am not in this picture, my good friend KR is though and she looks awesome! πŸ™‚

we are the team with the white sleeves

we are the team with the white sleeves

So there we have it, it was an awesome weekend, the parts of it I got to experience and the parts of it I missed. I’m really bummed I wasn’t there with my team to win the medal but I’m so so so happy for them and proud of how great they did! πŸ™‚

Only 362 days until the start of next years Rio Tinto dragon boat festival…not that I’m counting or anything… πŸ˜‰

A Gold Surprise!

12 Jun

Last weekend my team and I competed in a dragon boat race festival, to read about it clickΒ here. It is a smaller festival so even though we won gold in our division we didn’t get anything for it, well, except bragging rights lol

Our coach this evening after practice had us all gather around and surprised us with…

Front Side

Front

Back

Back

Gold Medals!

Turns out this year the festival organizers decided to award medals to the winners but medals were awarded Sunday and my team competed Saturday so none of us were there for the medal ceremony. Lucky for us coach was there so she collected the medals on our behalf. None of us had any idea we were getting them so we were all super surprised and of course delighted when we got them tonight. It was like winning twice lol πŸ™‚

I have a video of the final race that one of my teammates uploaded to facebook and am trying to get to embed on here but not sure if it will work…

…aaaaand nope, it didn’t work. sigh. I’ll try again another night.

It was an odd practice tonight, we were all tired for some reason and paddling just seemed harder, ugh, I hate nights like that. πŸ˜› We have a makeup practice this coming Sunday because this past Tuesdays practice was cancelled. I won’t be able to make it to the Sunday practice because I will be at work, boo! There is only one more week until the biggest festival of our season, I can’t believe how fast this season has gone!

 

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