Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team had a very exciting day today.
We started our day with team chieftain and organizer Todd Wong being
interviewed on CBC Newsworld at 8:45 am. The team stood behind Todd,
and cheered when he prompted them, raised their paddles when he asked
them, and every body flashed great smiles and radiated fun.
Todd was also able to show off the fine kilts that he, and paddler
Peggy Watkins were wearing. Peggy's husband Terry “Bear” Varga, is the
owner and kiltmaker of Bear Kilts – the team supplier and sponsor.
Peggy wore the Fraser Hunting Tartan (or “sport” tartan as Todd is wont
to call it) and Toddish McWong was sporting the Maple Leaf Tartan.
As well, Todd introduce Tanya Romanuk, the team's sponsor
representative for The Roxy Nightclub in Vancouver. Tanya has arrange
fundraiser dances for the team, and brought down “The Roxy” baseball
caps for the team to wear, sometimes in the rain that fell on Saturday.
Our morning was exciting… Coach Bob (or War Chief, as Todd was
calling him) initially called in sick, as he was feeling under the
weather. But he did appear before we headed off to the martialling
area. In the last two weeks we had added 4 paddlers from the Fraser
Valley Dragon Boat Club. This gave us 3 spare paddlers for the weekend.
The team easily had enough depth to deal with the situation with Coach
Bob Brinson unable to steer. Todd stepped into the steers position, and
the spare paddlers stepped in to take their place on the boat.
The first race was at 10:12am, and although Gung Haggis was seeded 4th,
we ended up in 7th place in a very exciting finish as the 8th place
team crept up on them at the very end. Or as Bob would, say… the
other team was steady, and we fell back…
Our second race was at 2:39pm, and we were much more relaxed an
comfortable in the 6-16 boat, and it felt like it. The boat surged
better in time. But it was not enough to place higher than 8th. So the
team ended up going to Rec D.
Our first race on Sunday is:
8:44am – the first Rec D/E heat.
We are seeded in lane 4 – so we are the second seed, after lane 5.
Team – please meet at the tent by 7:30am. We will need to be in the
martialing area by 8am.
Drink lots of water, and get lots of rest.
To make the Rec D medal final – we need to finish 1st or 2nd…
otherwise it is consolation round.
I am exceptionally pleased with the team bonding that has developed on
the team. People are light hearted, yet good hearted. New paddler
Marlene feels welcome, as do the 4 paddlers from Chilliwack. Manfred,
Ian and Karmen each coach teams in their own right, and Todd has
integrated them into being contributing members of the team, as Karmen
has also led a warm-up and Manfred steered the 2nd race. They all give
good constructive feedback and it is encouraged. It really sounds like
the start of a beautiful friendship…. one that goes back to 2002,
when Todd first asked members of the Chilliwack based Trojan Warriors
to join a men's and women's team that he organized for the ADBF
specialty races. Manfred, Ian and Karmen were each on that men's team,
and they have always rememberd the enthusiasm and friendliness that
Todd extended to them.
Looking forward to the races tomorrow… and a good dragon boat
after-paddling party at The Roxy in the evening. We will run a raffle
draw as a fundraiser for the team… Oh yeah – it's country music night
at The Roxy on Sundays… Yee-Haw!