Racing at Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race 2004

Lots of fun today… lots of smiles and compliments on the races.  Where else can you go for a 2 day dragon boat race, and race in 5 races for both days, with the same team?

Personally I raced 7 races today.  1 race each in a Taiwanese and a Hong Kong boat in seeding races for Gung Haggis Fat Choy / Centre for Spiritual Living, as a steers.  Then drumming for Spirit of Vancouver, in a Taiwanese and a Hong Kong boat. Steering for the Naluwan II team.  Then steering for GHFC / CSL in the barrel race and the blindfold race.

The races were:

1) seeding races to determine placement of 28 boats in 4 divisions.  Each team got to race in both a Taiwanese flag grabbing boat, and a Hong Kong teak boat.

2) fun races – including a “barrel race” that consisted of making 3 turns around floats in a cloverleaf pattern – just like a chuck wagon “barrel race” at a rodeo.

3) the fun NOGARD race, in a Taiwanese boat.  The teams must paddle past the flag, stop, paddle backwards, then grab the flag.  There was one team that missed the flag paddling backwards, and by the time, the had paddled forwards, they lost 1st place, to come in 3rd.

4) Mens and Womens races.  The Mens race featured the most testosterone laden competition and it went neck and neck from start to finish.  The two teams were SUCCESS and Scotiabank, with their respective buddy teams.

5) The Blindfold Race.  Yes the teams paddled blindfolded from start to finish.  The timing goes in and out.  My amalgamated team of Gung Haggis Fat Choy and Centre for Spiritual Living did well for a boat almost entirely composed of rookies, with only 4 to 6 practices under their belt.  They found this race relaxing once they settled into doing the Luke Skywalker “Use the Force” visualization.

Racing continues from 10am to 4pm, Sunday.  Followed by paddling for the public after the races on Sunday, at from 12 to 4pm on Monday.


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