3 days until Vancouver Taiwanese Dragon Boat races… Gung Haggis practices in the rain… again…

3 days until Vancouver Taiwanese Dragon Boat races… Gung Haggis practices in the rain… again…

IMG_2727 by you.Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team at last year's Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Races. – photo

The Vancouver Taiwanese Dragon Boat Races are one of our team's favorite races.  We have race every year, since the inaugural race in 2003.  It runs in conjunction with the Taiwanese Cultural Festival, which is an amazing festival featuring Taiwanese food, culture, music and arts.  It takes place at Plaza of Nations, August 30, 31 and September 1, over the Labour Day weekend.

We met at Dragon Zone as usual for our Tuesday 6pm practice.  A few paddlers were standing outside when I arrived, but because it was raining – we went inside the trailer / clubhouse.  Inside we found more team mates. 

We did a briefing there… as we waited for latecomers. Many of the new paddlers hadn't been on a Taiwanese boat before, and they had missed our Sunday practice (because of the rain), so this practice was important to help get our paddlers used to the Taiwanese boats.

we went down to the dock at 6:20, and loaded the boat, as another
paddler came running down the walkway at 6:25.  We left Dragon Zone,
and paddled over to the Taiwanese boats at the DBA dock.  then switched

We paddled over to Science World – north side to simulate a
“tethered race start”, then did a full race piece to Plaza of Nations. 
paddled to the Cambie St. Bridge, and avoided the rain for a bit.  We
practiced switching seats.  then we paddled West, and around the
bridge, over to Plaza of Nations.  We came into the little harbour
beside the Logger's dock, and explained the Barrel race scenario.  Then
we practiced the “clover-leaf turns” for the “barrel race”.

TCF2007 VFK_0150.JPG by vfk. Here's a picture from last year's races during the NOGARD, or “backward race.”  The teams have all paddled past the flag, stopped the boats, and the paddlers have all each turned around in the boat, and are paddling forwards – as the boat goes backwards.  It's much harder to grab the flag this way… as the steering oar will jam in the water, as the boat goes backwards… and the boat will not go where you want it to. photo VFK

Despite the rain, we had fun.  The turns take a lot out of you, and our paddlers were tired.  We returned the Taiwanese boat, climbed back into the Gemini, then returned to Dragon Zone.   But, we did another race start and a short race piece back towards Dragon Zone.

We are hoping the weather will be drier on the weekend.  We managed all spring and summer to have very few rainy practices, and now we are getting drenched every time we go out in a boat.

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