12th Annual Alcan Festival, Vancouver - June 17 & 18
The largest festival LARD had attended.
|Rec B Consolation C||5th (2:36.59)|
We are entered into the "recreational" category. This seems to be one notch below the really kick-ass teams. From the look of it, our competition looks pretty tough. I think we can handle it. A number of us have worked really hard the last couple of months and we have seen improvements (some steady and others impressive) and I think we can go up and be respectable, to say the least.
We will be a new team and an underdog; I think we're the first team Vancouver has seen from Los Angeles. Los Angeles previously has had no history nor representation in the larger international dragonboating forum (though San Diego International team has acheived considerable success). Of the five teams I recognize, BAD and Dieselfish from the Bay Area, Stumptown from Portland, and Team Sake (I Think) from Seattle, can all beat us.
We can beat the Dragon Warriors (if they are the same team we saw in Foster City last year). I know nothing of the other teams listed in our category. The race schedule has been set; it was finalized yesterday. I think we should go out there with a positive attitude. Have fun. We're going to be the lead team for our organization, as well most likely be back in future years.
We will be bringing a group of 20 participants. This means 18 paddlers. EVERYONE will be required to paddle EVERY race. This will require a lot from each of you; see ICY HOT/Ben Gay. Besides our own races, we will most likely form other teams with partner and sister teams for Men's and/or Women's, etc. races. Again see Icy Hot/Ben Gay. This tournament will be fun but will require a lot of your stamina. Be prepared, this is what you've been training for.
You've got to pump pump pump it up
LA Dragons gonna tear you up
Wave wave wave good bye
Kiss our LARD as we pass you by!!!
I say "go" you say "win"
"go" - win - go - win
I say win you say team
win - team - win - team
I say team, you say lard
team - lard - team - lard
put it together - "win team LARD"
-Cindy (June 12, 2000)
This was the first year LARD attended the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival in Vancouver, BC. The festival site was truly awe inspiring for our rag-tag group of 20 year olds whose only race experience was in the foundling Long Beach and San Francisco races. The experiences here would propel us in an entirely new direction. We had seen the promised land and found ourselves wanting.
Our first hurdle was housing. Laura did some digging and found the Kingston Hotel. It was clean but it was small with communal bathrooms and really not much of a hotel but it was cheap and most of us were just starting off in our careers so flights and housing for races were always difficult to pay for.
As for the races, I remember being absolutely shocked at the number of teams competing. There were 37 visiting teams and over 125 local teams. Our experiences with Long Beach and Foster City in no way prepared us for the enormity of the sport internationally and the level of competitiveness of the sport as a whole. For West Coast tournaments, Vancouver has a most unique relationship with its dragon boat festival. The number of corporate teams is greater than the number of entrants in many of the Southwestern tournaments and these corporate teams while not generally in the same league as the year-round competitive teams can hold their own and are not just fluff teams.
Back in the day, the competitive spirit was still in its infancy and we spent as much time dining and carousing as we did paddling. It is not all about racing. That weekend we had a grand night of dancing and yes, a little drinking (anyone who remember the Korean BBQ?). If you haven't traveled with the team to Vancouver, this one race was a major impetus for teamLARD to forge itself in to an entirely different creature.
Unforunately, one of our team mates became very ill while in Vancouver, but we mustered on. During these early years, it was a monumental struggle to fill the boat especially with women. We would almost never have alternates and often found ourselves racing a bench or two short of a full boat.
Kenny reminiscing 2010
Quick Race Facts
Stewing in the heat in army tents on asphalt.
Race Course Length: 650m 2150ft
Lane width: 10m 33ft
Number of lanes: max 9
Thanks to all for a GREAT weekend!
For those who couldn’t make it, imagine the Olympics, with a racer's village, concession and booths, a convention center for the sponsors (Alcan), a large stage with continuous live bands; it was amazing! We've never seen anything so big. The festival was even advertised at public bus stops, etc. be able to share pictures shortly.
The teams out there were tough. In fact, I don't think we saw one team that was not in sync. Some were trying to qualify for the 2001 world championships. We came in at the tail end of the recreation category, but we did well. Our times for the 500M (or 65OM or something in between; it was never made clear. There was a discrepancy between the program and some racers and officials) was 2:28, 2:30, and 2:36 respectively. The currents and wind picked up through the course of the event. Up to nine boats raced in a single heat. We raced in the light sixsixteen boats. Everything was well-organized, as far as conducting the races.
Greg K., Kenny K., Wynne W. starboard.
THE BAD AND THE GOOD
The bad: we came in at the end of the pack.
The good: we were within reasonable distances in all races.
We paddled against teams that trained at least three times a week. We were two paddlers short (and maybe even more, especially in our last race with one member sick and one injured). Our times would have placed us in the top two teams of the novice division (top time for the novice champion was 2:25). The minimum number of practices to be considered as recreational division is twenty. In those terms for our team, with one practice a week, this equates to months. Twenty practices was MINIMUM. A large number of our team have not yet been with us for that long! Many teams had exceeded those requirements by a large margin, which was evident. There is a big discrepancy between novice and rec times and unfortunately we fell in the gap between the two. But I am happy with what we did. We were challenged and everyone worked damn hard as a team.
NEXT YEAR AND OUR TEAM FUTURE
We will be back. We will be entered again next year in the rec category, but we have already learned a lot. We’ll know what to expect. Those who participated in this event, please have comments and suggestions available at practice this week: things to incorporate into workouts, stretching, races, cheers and exercises; overall, ways to improve the team. Bring pictures! Be aware that there are also a lot of positions available as an officer on the team: all the things that have to do with team travel and races. We’ll talk about these later, but please be willing to volunteer.
THIS NEXT WEEKEND AND THIS SUMMER IN GENERAL WILL BE A GREAT TIME TO BRING NEW PEOPLE OUT! We want to give newbies enough time to train and participate in the Long Beach race. We have had a number of dedicated group that has stuck with us through months of training. This is extremely admirable, but is not the norm. Most members who have joined and stayed on our team did so because of the races. They're fun. Let's try to get people out to have the opportunity to join us for these upcoming events. It’s vital that we continue the cycle of recruits (and increasing membership) to have the available bodies to participate competitively and improve in each of our tournaments.
WE HAVE TO GET THE DRAGON WARRIORS BACK!
We had beat them at the Foster City Tournament last year. This year, they were talking smack (not really directly at us, but it was overheard). They followed it up by beating us. But, in the last race, we lost by only .7 seconds. Long Beach is our house. Let's send their Bay Area asses packing later this summer!
I’d like to reiterate all the thanks and help we received this weekend. We worked hard as a team. The next time that L.A. goes to Vancouver will have better results. See you all this weekend.
I SAY WIN - YOU SAY TEAM
WIN TEAM WIN TEAM
I SAY TEAM YOU SAY TEAM...
UH... HUH? -ala Karen :)
Wila Chun (KG)