Good practice on Sunday afternoon. We had 17 people on the boat – our most yet! Several people were away on committments, and we are still waiting for several others to make their committments. But the roster is shaping up with 12 returning paddlers + 5 new experienced paddlers + 7 rookies, Two Coaches + Assistant Coach/Manager!!!
New manager/assistant coach Dave Montrose commented that this year's team has a great “TEAM attitude” – he said that this team spontaneously helps each other on and off the boat and that it is a rare thing to see… People also really paid attention to commands on the boat and were focussed. This is usually something we see on teams just getting ready for racing – But with 6 first time paddlers in the boat – it was very good.
We are still in our technique training phase – especially with many neophyte paddlers just being introduced to the sport. Emphasis on timing and body position. This is ideal for experienced paddlers to improve on their technique. Remember lean outside the boat, keep a straight arm, and rotate on your butt cheek – instead of pulling with your biceps. Next week we will introduce some exercises for advanced paddlers.
Big emphasis on Water Safety. Dave Montrose came straight from the ADBF technical steering clinic. It is very important that everybody knows the on -water commands, and responds to whatever command is asked of them. We had left fronts and right backs draw while right fronts and left backs paddled forward – Great stuff!
We went through some drills to ensure what to do in case of a boating accident – even though we personally have never had one on False Creek. But we did have a collision in Portland last year when a boat with an inexperienced steersperson cut across our bow and stopped right in front of us! We hit it midships, after doing our best to stop our boat – while the other boat sat in stunned silence watching us coming toward them.
We will begin Wednesday practices starting May 5th, 6pm – 6:30 on the water. There will be 6 Wednesday evenings prior to Alcan Dragon Boat Festival June 19/20. And we will continue Wednesdays throughout the summer.
Sundays – We will now start training sessions at 1pm. Please be on time – arrive 15 to 10 minutes earlier. The 1 to 1:30pm time is for race strategies and coaching + stretching and warm-up – This becomes crucial as we progress. We want to be on the boat at 1:30 with life jackets on and paddles in hand.
I will arrive early at 12:30 for anybody wanting extra coaching and handing in their cheques etc. New paddlers should start arriving at 12:30, so we can do some extra one-on-one coaching and some dryland exercises to help offset your learning curve. By Race Prep time – we will be meeting 1 hour prior to getting on the boat – this is for race strategies and warm ups.
Please bring in your cheques… This is needed to order team t-shirts (synthetic quick-dry) and to register for future races. We were able to register the $1950 for the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival early registration due to monies raised for the fundraiser dinner in January. It is time to put that money back in the bank so we have a reserve to pre-pay registrations for more races.