Dave Samis – Gung Haggis dragon boat paddler going to Australian Nationals: The last Canadian practice

Dave Samis – Gung Haggis dragon boat paddler
going to Australian Nationals:

The last Canadian practice


The Clearly Canadian dragon boat team
on their last BC dragon boat practice on the Fraser River at Ft.
Langley, before heading to Hawaii enroute to race in the Australian
National dragon boat Races in Sydney Australia – photo Dave Samis.

Dave Samis is a Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dragon Boat team alumni summer paddler.  He also races with GVRD 44 Cheeks for the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival.  Dave first paddled with the team 2003 post ADBF at Kent Washington for the Cornucopia Dragon Boat Races and winning a medal in Victoria when Gung Haggis paddlers joined up with San Francisco's Dieselfish team at the 2003 Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, and then paddling/steering at the first Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race.

   image  image
Samis helps Todd Wong carve a wooden dragon boat head at Sea Vancouver
Festival with Eric Neighbor's dragon head in foreground – photo Dave

In 2005 Dave Samis started early by helping to carve the Gung Haggis
Fat Choy dragon boat head in a pilot wood carving project, organized by
the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival. 

image    image
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team at Lotus Sports Club Bill Alley
Memorial Dragonboat regatta 2006.  Dave Samis is front – 3rd from
left – photo Deb Martin

He later helped the team make it to the medal round at the inaugural
Fraser Valley Dragon Boat Races at Harrison Lake, win medals at the
Vancouver Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race.

Dave Samis has even steered the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat in the Vancouver St. Patrick's Day Parade for Celtic Fest

Dave has now joined a dragon boat team organized by Fraser Valley
dragon boat paddlers that is heading to the Australian National dragon
boat races.  The team was the idea of Paul Boileau of Langley to
create a “once-in-a-lifetime” trip to paddle in Sydney, Australia.

Here is the first of his travelogue reports.

Canadians in Australian

First News

In the driving rain last Saturday, the
Canadian contingent in the Australian Nationals, went for our last Practice in

On the way to the dock in Ft Langley I drove
past fields that were flooded with only the top 2 or 3 inches of fence post
sticking out of the water.

Fraser River
channel we practice on was swollen from all the extra water and you could see
the swirling currents caused by it.

When we went to open the gate to the dock,
we found that the gate had been ripped off it’s hinges.  A quick look at
the dock and we could see that our boat, a BuK dragon boat was missing.  It
appeared that someone had broken the gate and stolen the dragon boat.  We
checked to make sure that no one had moved it.  Nope. 

We all piled into the other dragon boat,
a larger 6-16, which took all 24 of us and we headed down the channel to the
Fraser River
– I steered.

Checking the shores for our boat we went
quite a ways before we gave up and turned around.  We changed steerspeople and I
paddled on the way back up the channel (see picture – that’s me
with black hat left rear of the boat).  As we passed a neighbouring dock a man
waved us over.  Our BuK had been found by the RCMP.  We decided that it was too
far to go and pick it up with the boat we were in so one person left in his car
to check it out.

The boat was in Kanaka Creek (if you know
your history you may know that Kanakas were what Hawaiians were called when
some came her 100+ years ago).  The guy checking threw a chain and lock on it
so he could return in the morning to pick it up.

Next morning, a group headed out in the
6-16 to get the BuK.  When they got to Kanaka Creek they found ½ a boat.  Yes, ½
a dragon boat still chained in place.  A close examination of the break found
that it had been sawn in two.  Nice neat across the boat.  The ½ boat was
brought back see picture.


Who would do this – vandals?  No,
too neat a cut.  Either someone who will add a transom and make a little boat
of their own or a someone who hated the dragon boat tied on that wharf.  Pretty
weird, huh.  RCMP are investigating.

Canada represented

Two teams from the Lower Mainland and
Fraser Valley
will be the Canadian Representatives in the Australian National Dragon Boat
Championship Races in April.  A mixed team and a Woman’s Masters dragon
boat team.


Gung Haggis Fat Choy Steers/Paddler and
Travelling Correspondent

With Canadian Team competing in Australian

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