Good practice on Sunday afternoon with the Taiwanese Dragon Boat.
We had special guests Andrew Yan and Linda Chiu, race organizers for the San Francisco Dragon Boat Races, who
were in town for a wedding and were interested in taking a look at
these ornately carved dragon boats – especially built for flag-grabbing
finishes. Andrew and Linda revealed that Taipei is a sister city
for San Francisco, so I encouraged them to approach the Taiwanese
consulate for dragon boat donations, since the Taiwanese govt has so
far donated 6 boats to the City of Vancouver, at a value of $30,000 each.
We started off with a warm up and race piece, with Andrew as a guest
steersperson – giving him a chance to experience the Taiwanese boats
and get a real feel for them. Next we headed up offshore to David
Lam Park and demonstrated our 180 degree barrel racing turns. We
did four turns! Natalie and I were lead strokes, and we put in
Dave Samis as our steers – thankfully relieving Andrew as he did not
know what we were getting him into.
After this, Dave took us into Alder Bay behind Granville Island to the
dock used by False Creek Racing Canoe Club. We saw a number of
outrigger canoes out on the water, both solo and 6 person canoes.
We stretched our legs for a short walkabout, went to the water
fountain, the FCRCC outrigger shed, then checked out a contemporary
totem pole carved by our friend Eric Neighbour who guided our dragon
boat head carving experience.
We did another race piece back to the Cambie St. Bridge before taking
the boat back to the DBA dock. Good debrief, the team is a pretty
happy group and pleased with their performance. Linda
excitedly phoned her SF Dragon Warrior friends about the Taiwanese
dragon boat practice, and I talked with both Jeannie and Leslie who had
both really enjoyed the paddler's party that we hosted after the Alcan
db races. Then I took Andrew and Linda to Mario's Gelato for a
special treat. Peggy, our occaisional lead stroke and Bear Kilts
sponsor rep joined us.