Looking Good! 2013 edition of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team continues a 16 year history that began in 1997 as Celebration Team. This team is a mix of veterans and rookies, as well as returning paddlers and borrowed paddlers. The Dragon Zone Regatta was the first race ever for Sunny and Russ, and was actually Russ’ 3rd time in a dragon boat. Louise first paddled with the team in ’99, before the name changed to Gung Haggis Fat Choy in ’02. Michelle also paddled on a previous team years ago, and has rejoined dragon boating with us. Keng and Gerard joined the team in 2005. Deb Martin joined the team in 2003 and has paddled, drummed – but now steers for the team. Joy is back with us, after dragon boat paddling in Dubai. Jan, Betty, Albert and Katie are with the Go Ju Goh team. Stewart is a paddling friend from O2P and is now on the VO2 Max team (I don’t know why he likes this letter and number teams, honestly!).
Sybil and Karl were lead strokes for our final race of the day. Karl is also team manager this year, Last year he co-managed with Xavier, who is now drummer, and taking this photo.
Our first race of the year saw us boarding the boat, as the previous weather forecast proved wrong, and the sky started spitting rain, which turned into a downpour, once we were out on the race course. Good thing we have trained our team to have a strong mental resolve. We practice in the rain, because it might be raining on race day, and while other teams whine about the rain, we will be ready because we trained in the rain. Anyways, we came 5th in our first race with a time of 2:48. Not bad for a first race. Our team goal is be “first in our lane and never be slower than 3:00” – okay… not really.
Our paddles go deep! Nicely coached… by the third race, as we were warming up for the final race of the day. We want our paddlers to lean up, keep their top arm out, and lead the stroke with their hips!
We had to race past a flock of Canada Geese that were swimming in the middle of the race course! The Dogwood Nothing pulled in front of us in this race – but we will get them back in two weeks… I promise!
Xavier looks comfortable as drummer on the boat, and he really “Rocks the Kilt!” Did you know that he is the only kilt-maker on the team? He also plays guitar and churango in the Black Bear Rebels Celtic Ceilidh group.