False Creek is still stinky. Paddlers were not showing up for practices last week or the weekend, as several teams didn't have enough paddlers to go out.
Lots of dragon boats have been sitting idle since the second huge outpour of raw sewage through the Terminal St. outflow pipes located underneath the Science World pier. So far there have been water warnings issued by Coastal Health for recreational boaters on Canada Day and BC Day long weekends. Would a Labour Day sewage problem force a shut-down of the 6th annual Vancouver Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race? – photo Leanne Riding
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team still had a great 10am Sunday morning practice – but because of the confusion about 10am or 1:30pm practice on Sundays…. or because of the water warning still in effect for East Basin – we only had 10 people show up.
Luckily/unluckily, paddlers from the Riptide team didn't have enough people for a practice (you need 10 paddlers + steers), so we invited them to come join us.
So… 12 paddlers + steers went out. We exchanged some stories about dragon boats. Riptide finished in Rec A at Rio Tinto Alcan, while we made it to Rec C. They brought some good intensity and enthusiasm to the practice, especially on power pieces.
“Freight Train!” they would yell, whenever I called a power series. We had the Riptide paddlers leading in seats 1 & 2. They set a good pace, and displayed good technique. “Rotate Now!” and you could feel the boat surge forward.
Our paddlers took up the challenge, as I steered and called “Power Now!”
Our paddlers would call out “Hah!” and count out “2, 4, 6, 8, 10” during the power stroke.
We paddled easily past Cambie Street Bridge for a brief rest, then onto David Lam Park, as we did some pyramid pieces, starting at 60% effort, then going 80% and 100% – always focussing on technique.
On the way back we did some 4 person seat pulls, and some race pieces. It was a good work out, and the Riptide paddlers thanked us for inviting them to join us, especially since they are training for the Taiwanese Races.
It's always nice to make new dragon boat friends. This will be the 2nd time Riptide has entered the Vancouver Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race, which I helped to found in 2003. I gave them some advice about paddling techniques to help make the boats go faster, and they were grateful.
The Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team needs to firm up our roster for the Taiwanese dragon Boat Race on August 30/31 – Labour Day weekend.
If you want to race Taiwanese – please email me and Ernest Wu