enthusiasm to the team. You'd never know that off the boat she is a
60ish Biology instructor at Columbia College. – photo courtesy Ray Shum
A great way for improvement is watching yourself and your team in photos and video. We were fortunate that Ray Shum took some great pictures of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team on the weekend at the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival
Ray Shum loves dragon boats, and taking pictures of them in action. He used to paddle on VO2 Max, and I can proudly say I taught him to be a paddle slut in 2002, when we hopped in a car and drove down to Kent WA for races. We found two teams needing paddlers, and we both came home with medals and great new friends. I paddled for Gold with Tacoma DBA in the top division, the Ray paddled for Silver with Portland's Multnohmah Canoe Club.
Check out Ray's website Tempest Photo
Check out his other great dragon boat photos from the 2008 Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival at:
Here's a great shot of Gung Haggis team at the start. YOu can see the boat starting to plane, as we move into our faster “up” strokes. Our drummer Keng used to drum for CC Riders, but she has paddling with us since summer '05, now she is back on the drummer seat. Our lead right stroke is Gayle, a dragon boat veteran of 17 years. This is her first year with Gung Haggis. We love her, and have nicknamed her “The Goddess.” Hillary is in 2nd right seat. Last year was her rookie year and she has greatly improved this year – just look at her muscles!
I LOVE this picture of Gung Haggis in the middle of the race. You can see the rotation and the reach… varying heights and athletic
abilities… but everybody moving together and learning slightly
forward to plant the paddle. You can just “feel the power” as they are
about to finish the reach, enter and PULL!
We've worked hard to improve our timing, and merge different paddling styles together. For this Rec C Championship race, only four of our right side paddlers were on the team last year, Hillary (2), Stephen M (4), Jim (5) and Steven (7) and four on the left. Colleen (3) and Marion (10) are rookies, while Gayle (1), Tony (6), Richard (8) and Paulette (9) are veterans who joined us from other teams.
Some of our regular paddlers decided to opt out of Alcan, but we talked them back into it when some other teams needed help. We loaned Jonas to GVRD who raced against us to come 2nd and win a silver medal. Wendy, Ashleigh and Leanne paddled on G.Force Winds in the Women's division, coached and organized by our lead stroke Gayle.
Next up, we will have to get a snazzy stitched logo to sew onto the backs of our Personal Floatation Devices (PFD's), just like the GVRD 44 Cheeks team beside us. Interesting note, I used to coach GVRD in 2003 and 2004. Their drummer/coach is my good friend James who was my steering mentor on my first dragon boat team The Headliners back from 1993-95.