|Black||Final Mixed I||4th (2:24:36)|
|Black||Championship Final||4th (2:26:73)|
|Red||Final Mixed II||3rd (2:30:96)|
|Men||Final Open||4th (2:21:26)|
|Women||Final Women||2nd (2:46:25)|
|Pink||Final All Cancer Women's Division||2nd (3:21:64)|
|Pink||VIP Teams||4th (3:11)|
Hope all of you guys are looking forward to this weekend's tournament with as much anticipation as I have these past several *months*. Though the Alcan Festival up in Vancouver has traditionally been our race season-opener, we have always fielded the most LARD paddlers at the Long Beach Festival. This weekend we will be sending 35 of our own out there to claim bragging rights!! For several of you guys, these races will be the first of the season, but make no mistake, this 'local' tournament hosts a powerhouse of competitive teams from our neighbors up in the Bay Area, to those down in sunny San Diego, and of course, those neighbors we see on a weekly basis at the 'other' tree :-)
Our *ONE* TEAM is fielding 4 crews this weekend (2 Mixed, LARDmen, LARDwomen), and I am confident that we will perform very well amidst the other seasoned teams out there. Because of the convenience of addressing all of you guys through this e-mail, we just want to reiterate several of the key components of our stroke that hopefully everyone will think about these next couple of days before the races.
To all team members,
This is just a short note to follow up on all the congratulations sent (and written so eloquently) by fellow teammates. Four divisions entered. Five trophies and a ridiculous number of medals received (for those who missed out, remaining medals will be distributed at the team party at Kenny’s place). You paddled with passion and fire, but at the same time, cool. You were consistent. The summary moment for us in this year’s tournament was Black and Red finishing first and second in the Championship Quarter-Finals to both advance to Semis. And even without a finish call at the end, no other boat was around when we crossed the finish line. Not even close. What a proud moment to not only be a coach, but even more so, participate as a team member. I’m sure you’ve read your fill of details, so I’ll just close with a great pat on the back and big hug. Great job.
And our PINKS continue to march on, also coming home with a trophy and medals. Earning silver in a two-team field of cancer survivors, you certainly are not last. A larger field would affect the placing only in the fact that there would be more teams for you to beat; see Vancouver. You ladies have come a long way, and even while taking new paddlers, you have improved and raced competitively with a much more established team. Standing ovation from all of teamLARD on your continued achievements.
In addition to paddling and participating team members, thanks to team leaders who helped to make the event not only possible, but successful. Quick rundown of recognition: our coaching staff for training, organizing, helping to train other teams including PINKS; team trainers/ambassadors who helped to train other teams; other team volunteers (calling/paddling/steering) throughout the weekend; Evelyn for the wonderful Long Beach program; sponsors and those who solicited sponsorship and donations (Billy); and supporters (friends and family) who came to help set up and cheer us on. This was truly a team effort and this tournament’s success can be attributed to all of you.
Hey, we’re not done. San Francisco is coming. I would like to encourage all of you to be active in recruiting. Possibly some members on other teams we trained that might be interested? We have enough time to train them, and we certainly need the numbers in order to make two full teams in SF. Loosely estimating, I would say we need an additional 15 members to join before the tournament. This takes into consideration the increased allowance for paddlers (20 per boat vs. LB 16) and those we know will be unable to make the tournament. So the challenge is on.
Also, please respond about the bike ride ASAP; it’s next week. You are welcome to invite fellow friends/family.
I’m off to Portland. Have a great practice. We’ll come home with more stories and some noisemakers. You’ll recognize the noise. Clink, clink. Clink, clink.