Gung Haggis dragon boat team…. 200m sprints with a German TV cameraman in seat 1
Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team in action, being filmed by ZDF
television crew from Germany, Stephen Mirowski is steering, Deb Martin
is drummer. – photo Ray Shum
Today… we had a GREAT 200m. regatta race. And we were filmed
for a European travel show for ZDF, a German public television station
– sort of their equivalent of the CBC. The show will be aired
later this year, and focussed on multicultural Vancouver, and how
dragon boats represent the cultural and ethnic fusion in Vancouver.
We supplemented the team with:
Craig Brown – my 10 year paddling buddy who is now doing outrigger
Stuart Higginson and his wife Sarah from Scaly Justice (Rec E) who are doing outrigger
Linda Pleece from Scaly Justice,
Kristine Shum from Scaly Justice, and ex-Gung Haggis, she was on the Civil Serpents comp team from 2001.
Ian Paul and Cory from the Chilliwack Pirates (Rec E)
All friends…. and some of the best paddlers from their own teams.
We had 3 rookies on our boat + our 4, 3, and 2 year veterans.
Dan Seto, Stephen Mirowski, Ernest Wu, Steven Wong, Joe Easton, Tzhe
Lam, Wendy Lee, Georgia Thornton, Keng Graal, Gerarad Graal and their
daughter Melissa + rookies Stuart Mackinnon, Cindy and Alex…. and
myself + drummer Deb Martin. Steering was rotated between Steven
W. and Stephen M.
We improved performance with each race. It is challenging with a group
that hasn't paddled together before together… but Stuart and Sarah
did voyageur canoe with us last year. Ian and Cory have done some
practices with us over the years… Craig and Kristine have raced with
us in the past.
We almost matched Rec A and B teams… out
of 15 mixed teams including lots of high end teams such as False Creek
Mixed and DWW (Dangerous When Wet), Scotiabank, Swordfish, Synergy…
there were 3 finals, and we made the B final.
a good pictures series with the cameraman in seat 1. They wanted
to get shots of our drummer calling the start, then pictures of our
paddlers in action during an actual race. We did a demo-race in
the Division C final. With only 18 paddlers saving themselves for
the next B Final race, and a camera man with his camera man weighing
down seat 1. We did pretty good in the C Final – still coming in
3rd, a second just about 3 seconds behind the almost even 1st and 2nd
place teams. photo – Ray Shum.
We also paddled in
the C final as a demonstration with 18 paddlers and a tv camera in seat
1, filming the drummer, then the lead strokes, then the team…. At
one point, the cameraman stood up and drummer Deb, was leaning across
the drum, grabbing him to help steady him as the boat surged forward.
Deb holds on to help steady Tal the cameraman as he stands to get an
overhead view of the team paddling. – photo Ray Shum
I also coached a corporate team UA Power Dragons… They came 2nd in
the Rec C final for 4 teams. They beat a more experienced team with
only 19 paddlers!
I am proud of them. They were skittish and
nervous in the first race… but we told them to focus on the
process… focus on what they have control of… heads up… reach
out…. lean out… rotate…. good exit…
And they improved every race!
After the race we went to the house of a rookie paddler, who had just
bought a kilt which arrived in the mail from Scotland…. two days
ago!!!! We had a Scotch tasting… we made deep fried haggis
won-ton… we ordered in pizza. The German film crew joined us and
filmed us… making the won ton, and I made a toast. “May our hearts
be strong, and our paddles deep!” Everybody liked it… then we all
started adding things… “May the wind always be at our back…. and
not in our face…. or from somebody's bum…” May the men on our
team always be strong, and the women pretty”… “and the men be
pretty… and the women strong….”
We have a team where
everybody likes each other, does their best, enjoys the process, wants
to improve…. and loves to eat. What more can you ask for?