Monthly Archives: June 2004

Gung Haggis dragon boat practice cancelled for Wed June 30

The Gung Haggis dragon boat practice is cancelled for tonight.  It was scheduled for Wednesday 7pm. Next practice will be the following Wednesday July 7th.  No practice on Sunday.
Reasons for cancellation are numerous:  Bob has to coach Women on Water as they are going to race in Penticton this weekend, a number of people are unavailable, and I am under the weather.
Plans for Kent WA, July 17, Saturday are continuing.  I am coordinating with another team to ensure that we have a full boat. 
Last night at the Dragon Boat Association board meeting, we passed that a DBA sponsored team that will help promote our Sep 4/5 races can have free boat practices as needed (worth $150 each or $700 for once a week practices per spring or summer season).  Bob and I are both on the DBA board. 
For the Gung Haggis summer practice schedule – some team members are no longer able to continue paddling as both other activities beckon and weekend vacations take precedence.  This is often the case following the Alcan Dragon Boat festival, as many teams stop paddling altogether or get going again until just prior to races in August or September.
Wednesday evenings at 7pm seemed to be the best group concensus at the last practice.  Please RSVP whether you want to attend specific events or not.  I will send out a more detailed list and description in the next day.
The Kent and Richmond races will be organized as a DBA combined team.  Gung Haggis Fat Choy will be entered in the Vancouver Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race for September.
Cheers, Todd
July 17th – Saturday – Kent WA, (just south of Seattle on Lake Meridien).  A one day race that is ideal for an early morning drive from Vancouver or overnight stays in Seattle.  Special accomodation rates available.  About $30 Cdn each to split the race registration.
July 24th – Richmond BC, another one day race.  Racing in Fresh water next to the Airport.  About $30 Cdn each to split the race registration.
September 4 & 5, Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race.  Lots of fun – but real busy for Bob and myself as we are on the DBA Board organizing the races.  Cheap!  About $40 for entry and practices.

Next dragon boat races… Kent WA, Portland OR, Vancouver Taiwanese

The Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team is planning on attending the following races for our season.

Kent Cornucopia Days Dragon Boat Races, Lake Meridien, WA.

July 15 & 16 – Racing on Saturday July 16th only.

This is a fun race – now grown to about 30 teams.  I have attended every year since it started in 2001.  In 2001, they raced BUK boats and I went down to support the False Creek Women's Team just before they headed to Philadelphia to compete in the IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships.  In 2002, I went down with 3 friends as mercenary paddlers.  2 of us hooked up with Tacoma Dragon Boat Association, and they invited me to join them for the Seattle Breast Cancer Awareness and Dragon Boat Festival.  In 2003, they raced 6-16 boats, and I brought down Gung Haggis Fat Choy and also helped steer for Wasabi Women Team Huge.

Check out

Portland Dragon Boat Race, August 7th & 8th, 2004 – at Sellwood Park, Portland Oregon. 

It is presented by Dragon Sports USA.  contact: Joel Schilling at  and check out their website at:

Again, this is a nice small race.  2003 was its inaugural year, and there were 18 teams I think.  Every team went home with a medal except 2.  Divisions were Comp A & B, Rec A & B.  I also steered some races for Wasabi, and loaned them paddlers, as we borrowed paddlers from Wasabi and Zamboanga.  A highlight for the team was Saturday, when we had paddlers from the US National team heading to Poland paddling with us.  We received silver medals in Rec A, and Wasabi got bronze in Comp A.

Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race

Sept 4 & 5, Plaza of Nations, Vancouver BC

This was the first ever Taiwanese Dragon Boat race in Canada.  This race is lots of fun.  It features Taiwanese “Flag catching” boats that were donated to the City of Vancouver last year.  The races are held in conjunction with the Taiwanese Cultural Festival so it is like a mini-Alcan Dragon Boat Festival – utilizing the same Plaza of Nations site used for so many years.

30 teams entered last year.  The Flag must be “grabbed” or “caught” prior to crossing the finish line.  In olden days of yore, prior to photo finishes and stopwatches, this was the way dragon boat finishes were determined in ancient China – whoever raised their flag first won!  Last year, one team grabbed the wrong flag and another missed the flag.  If you miss your flag, you must go back and grab your flag in order to finish the race.

Last year, in addition to medals, there were lots of nifty prizes for the winning team in each of 4 divisions.  The 2nd Division was sponsored by Telus and every person on this gold medal team recieved webcams from Telus who was also the Festival and Race sponsor.





Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat weekend

Congratulations to everybody

We had a successful weekend
Nobody got injured
Everybody had fun
We learned lots about dragonboating
We will be on world wide TV, in french
We got to know people better
We watched lots of good races and entertainment
We are still talking to each other
People bought drinks for each other in the Beer garden

Yes – the last race was disappointing, but then, so
was the first and third of yesterday too.  It's good
that we can be disappointed and want to improve.

I am very happy happy with our overall performance.
Bob, Dave, Kristine and myself can see the wonderful
potential in this group of people that paddled
together as Gung Haggis Fat Choy for the ADBF.  Of the
144 teams in Mixed adult Division – the Rec D Finals
put us with the 81st to 88th ranked teams with 80 above us, and 54 teams below us.

Of the teams in Pool B.  There were only 16 teams that
raced for medals.  48 teams did not race for medals
including HEX (Karen's Brother's team) which ended up
in Rec D consolation – one division below us – because they finished 4th in their semi-final race.  So Karen gets bragging rights over her brother.

We were clearly in the top half of Pool B.  And this
is the equivalent of being a Rec C team in last year's divisions. This marks a big improvement from Gung Haggis's
performance of making it to the Rec D consolation last

I take full responsibility in making the coaching
decisions that contributed to the timing breakdowns in
our race for medals.  Issues involved are timing vs
power + upsetting team chemistry by changing seats.  These are the chances I take when I want to push the team and help
it achieve its potential. 

Sometimes it works (people are happy) sometimes it
doesn't (people are unhappy).  Looking at the overall
results of other teams in the Rec D final – two teams
had dropped down from Pool A – and many had overall
better times than us.  Some teams we had beat before,
or they bettered our times in similar heats.

I made a bid for more power in our boat – instead of
emphasizing timing.  We know very much how important
timing is – it really is everything.  But I had felt
that our timing had been pretty good in each of our
previous races and that we could handle the

I have made similar coaching decisions for the Rec B and Comp B teams I have coached previously in ADBF.  On both those teams we medalled.  In fact in 2001, I placed 9 women and 11 men on the Comp Boat instead of 8 women and 12 men – in order to emphasize timing over power (we had one male paddler who would usually go out of time during each race).

More analysis later…

See most of you next Sunday – June 27th 1pm.
We will take this Wednesday off from paddling to let
people recover – meanwhile we will look at which
evenings work best for people.  Obviously the 6pm
Wednesday was too early.  I will check out 7:30 to 9pm
slot times on the water.  This means we all meet by
7pm.  Or we might be able to meet at 6:30pm and go out
in a teak boat from 7 to 8:30pm.

Paddles Up, Todd