Great Practice on Sunday May 16 – review

Hi everybody,

We had a great practice on Sunday. We had a good group arriving by 12 noon + some stragglers. We met with Odette Brassard, the researcher for France Trois – the Knowledge Network type station in Paris who will be shooting the a segment on dragon boats at the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival in June.

Our team will be featured because of the multicultural emphasis we have both on training and our team make up. Communications Coordinator for ADBF, Anita Webster, recommended me as a film subject because of my many multicultural activities and especially because Gung Haggis Fat Choy is becoming very well known for its emphasis on Chinese and Scottish cultures. Odette give us some background on the filming needs and will provide more as the weeks progress. Sunday was the first face to face meeting with myself and the team for her.

We also got to try out one of the brand new “Gemini” Boats, made in Poland. These are vying to be the new standard for International Dragon Boat Federation Races. Up to now, IDBF has been using BUK boats made in Germany. Both boats are more tippy or responsive to weight changes – very much like a teak boat. They are shorter and have have less leg room than 6-16 or Millenium boats. And they are very light compared to 6-16's.

The PRACTICE:

Every Sunday we will treat as if it is race day. We will meet early, do a cardio warm-up, do a race visualization. Then paddle out for our warm-up, then do a 500 metre race piece. This Sunday, we explained what we will be doing over the next few practices, as we get ready for our June 6th regatta, and our June 19/20 festival races.

Our race pieces started with 100% starts, dropped down to 60%, then alternated with 3 100% series pieces, before a 100% finish piece. We did some endurance and technique work, then finished with another race piece on the course. People found that the last race piece was much better than the first one, even though they were more tired at the end of the practice. The challenge is we don't get an hour on the water before each race – often it is get to the starting line and go!

The reasons we did better on the second piece were:

  • We were better warmed up
  • We knew what to expect
  • Our technique was better
  • We were better prepared

The challenge is to take all the above and to put it into your first race piece, often 5 to 10 minutes after you leave the dock. Each practice from now on, we will start with a race piece to build our preparation -then work on how to improve it for our next race piece of the practice.

Wednesday Practice:

Expect to use the boat with all the seaweed and barnacles – unless we are ready to go ASAP! If everybody is there at 6pm, then we can be on the water by 6:05 and beat the other teams to the boats.

If you cannot be there by 6:00 – let met know!!!

We will either wait for you and let the other teams take the good boats, or we will get on the boat and come back for you.

Cheers, Todd

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