It’s Greek Day on Broadway St. in Vancouver… on the same weekend as Chinese Duanwu Festival, also known as Dragon Boat Festival and the Double Fifth, is a traditional and statutory holiday originating in China… hmmm…. time for a Chinese-Greek-fusion festival… Greek Haggis Fat Choy? Gung Greek Fat Choy? waitminit… don’t the Greeks wrap up rice in grape leaves and call them dolmades? Gung Haggis Fat Dolmades???
Check out this picture from China below – they are dressed up as rice dumplings, wrapped in green tea leaves… with strings attached. It is traditional to throw rice dumplings into the water at a dragon boat festival…. I should bring some to practice today.
Check out Greek Day in Vancouver. www.greekday.com
June 21st, it’s National Aboriginal Day, so I wore my Robert Davidson t-shirt, with my Yellow Macleod kilt for Kilts Night @ Doolin’s Irish Pub. And I met Jaime Sanchez, who introduced himself to me, identifying our mutual friend David Wong. I think Jaime looked at me, and said “You must know David Wong… who else would know a Chinese guy wearing a Aboriginal design t-shirt with a Scottish kilt.”
June 21st was National Aboriginal Day… Kilts Night… my nephew’s 9th birthday… and also the 23rd anniversary of my near-fatal cancer diagnosis in 1989. Here’s a blog story I wrote 5 years ago, how they year’s longest day, on Solstice, became my longest night. Sure glad I’m alive now – otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to go to Kilts Night last night… 😉
Here is a blog story I wrote 5 years ago on the 17th anniversary anniversary of my cancer diagnosis:
GREAT day of Dragon boat racing with the Gung HAGGIS dragon boat team – so proud of our team leaders and new rookie paddlers… They worked hard… corrected mistakes… met challenges… tested my patience… made new friends… and won their final race… and are really bonding and supporting each other as human beings – It makes it all worthwhile 🙂
Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival HEAT 83 RESULTS
1st – L1/2:23.840/ GUNG HAGGIS FAT CHOY
2nd – L /2:27.030/O2P
3rd – L8/2:27.240/Dragon with Hatch Tattoo
4th – L5/2:28.240/Dragon Hearts Go-ju Go
5th – L2/2:28.800/Team Coke
6th – L3/2:29.030/False Creek Grandragons Too
7th – L6/2:31.190/Vintage SAKE
8th – L7/2:32.470/Dragon Zone Strokes of LuckWe came first by 4 seconds! in our final race!
Team morale is good
We had fun
other paddlers want to join our team
Our paddlers are looking forward to Wednesday practice
More stories and links to pictures later today…..
Gung Haggis dragon boat team Sunday morning Race 63 @10:12am. Paddlers please arrive by 8:45am.
A 1st place finish will go to Rec D Final… 2:03pm Three Fastest 2nd from Race 59,61,63,65,67 to Race 84 – any thing slower and we go into the consolation races prior.
Today was a great day for dragon boat racing at the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival – if you were a duck!
The heavey rain that got everything wet sucked – but team attitudes were great!!!
1st race – new seating orders, brand new drummer Deborah, 1st race anxiety jitters… and a time of 2:43-something…
– good race – but we still had gas in the tank.
2nd race – more seating changes, another brand new drummer Diana, rate was a bit high, timing went in and out by the 1st half – and we started to burn ourselves out… but by the 1/2 mark, the rate came down, and the timing came together – and we had a strong finish… with a time of 2:42.470.
So despite spinning our wheels and going out of time, we still improved!
Each race is a learning experience for our rookie paddlers – and our veteran paddlers are providing good leadership and knowledge.
Tomorrow we will bring down the rate for the start… and have a good steady, strong race.
KEEP… IT… STEADY!
Click on Dragon Boat BC Facebook Group – for race results, and the race grid for Sunday
Or check here:
The race grid for festival weekend is here: 2012 Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival Race Grid
Saturday results: 2012 RTADBF Saturday Results
Sunday advancements: 2012 RTADBF Sunday Race Grid
Our core paddlers have been paddling since March… and we are ready….
Our new paddlers are enthusiastic, and learning more every time they step in the boat…
And we arrive on site 90 minutes prior to the race start.
We are ready!
Our first race is 9:50 Race #11
We are in race 11, lane 7
We are seeded 6th – and will most likely come 6th or 5th, but not 7th
If we finish
5th we go to Race 31 – 1:30
6th to Race 33 – 1:52
7th to Race 35 – 2:14pm
Sunday 1st race will depend on how we finish in our Saturday afternoon race.
We are a fun recreation team – so we could end up:
Rec E consolation 1:30
Rec E Final 1:41
Rec D consolation 1:52
Rec D Final 2:03
Rec C consolation 2:14
Rec C final 2:25
Good practice today! We focused on race tactics as well as race day procedures. Some of our paddlers only practice on Sundays or Wednesdays, so we will do the same thing on Wednesday.
After a warm-up, we explained where the team tents will be set up, and where the marshalling area will be. At last weekend’s regatta, races were 15 minutes apart. We then went through loading the boat, and how busy it will be on the dock, and leaving the docks to the race staging area on the water.
We did some paddling warm-ups for rotation, hips, reach and rate, then practiced some starts, then paddled to the race staging area in East Bay. We quickly found the Hydro Dragons coached by Dan Hebert, whom I have known for about 10 years. Dan called a race start between our two boats. The start was close – both teams pulling hard with each stroke. As I drummed for Gung Haggis, I stole glances at the Hydro team, watching the boat beside us. I called a Power Series, and the team responded, digging deep for 20 strokes.
At the half way mark, the Hydro team pulled forward, and had to move to the left, as there was a boat anchored in the East Bay, in the middle of what will be the race course next weekend. Our boat took in some water as Dan’s coach boat cast a wake in our path. Some of our paddlers were distracted by the unexpected surprises of course change and boat wake. This is a good exercise in dealing with unexpected surprises. The Hydro Dragons proved to have a strong finish, and crossed the finish line before us. We congratulated them, then did our own race debrief.
We then headed for the Center Bay of False Creek and did some exercises to help improve our race starts: front half and back half race starts. This served to show the newer paddlers how well the veteran paddlers perform, and to inspire them. The back half proved to be powerful, but with some timing issues and room for improvement. We do believe in our new padders, and want to encourage them – there is great potential here that will be realized not in the next weekend, but later this summer.
We had our paddlers switch sides to work out on both sides of the body. This is something we regularly do to encourage body symmetry and help develop paddling technique for both sides of the body. We next worked on power series drills for front, middle and back thirds, while the rest of the team paddled 60% effort. Next we turned the team over to veteran paddler Keng Graal who is also one of the team’s drummers. Keng explained how she calls for the team, and what she expects. She called a short race piece, to allow the paddlers to get used to her voice.
As we approached the startline in the East Bay, beside the island, we gave the paddlers a rest, and practiced some commands for positioning the boat. We asked the paddlers to back paddle, and left front draw, right side draw – all to get the paddlers used to what may happen on Race Day.
We did one final race piece of 500m, with Keng as drummer. This was good. Keng is a demanding drummer that commands attention. She first came to the team about 7 years ago in 2007. She had been a drummer for the CC Riders dragon boat team for Columbia College. We trained her to be a paddler. The first race she did with us was 1000m. She survived… She stayed with the team… and has paddled with us in many races and has really grown into a team leader. She is small, but really pulls a lot of water for her size.
We look forward to a great weekend for June 16/17. We have great leaders on this team with Keng, Steven and Debbie as assistant coaches, Deb as steersperson, Karl and Gio as lead strokes, Xavier as “master of the kilt!”
Everybody on this team brings something. It might be strength, experience, or a great sense of humour. We encourage and acknowledge every person’s personality, and especially the cultural diversity that each paddler brings. We have fun and we both encourage and tease each other, as well as respect each other, and what each person brings to the team. This is good team building. This is a good team. I am having fun, and especially getting to know our new paddlers.
We only had 16 paddlers out on the water this Sunday – but we had fun…. and that is what is important.
Paddlers out on Sunday were:
Karl & Gio
Keng & Amelia
Caroline & Xavier
Steven & Walter
Florian & Gerard
Pedro & Todd
Justin & John
Pierce & Sabina
+ Deb Martin as steersperson.
In my heart I am Italian… Italian was my 3rd language (musically speaking), I play Italian-made Titano accordion, especially Funiculi Funicula and O Solo Mio, I grew up in Italian neighborhood of Grandview, I love cooking pasta… I dated Italian-Canadian girls… I loved Marco Polo Restaurant (wait – that was in Chinatown!) http://italianday.ca/
Okay… I think that more than qualifies me for being Italian. Much more than last week when Christie Clark states “In my heart I am Filipina” at an event for Phillipine Independence Day- http://www.theprovince.com/entertainment/heart+Filipina+says+Christy+Clark+Vancouver+Philippine+Independence/6723725/story.html
UBC Remembers the Japanese Canadian Students of 1942
30 May 2012 – UBC is bestowing degrees on 76 Japanese Canadian students who were forced off the campus after the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbour.
30 May 2012 – Today, 76 Japanese–Canadian students whose education at UBC was halted when they were exiled are being granted honorary degrees from …
Japanese–Canadians kicked out of UBC receive degrees – 70 years laterVancouver Sun – 6 days agoIn 1942, Roy Oshiro had just written his first exam at the University of British Columbia when he was told he wouldn’t be coming back.