3rd Annual Tempe - March 18 & 19

Squad Division Place
500M Out of State Championship 3rd (2:34.32)
250M Out of State Championship 3rd (1:13.18)

I just wanted to drop a quick message to all of you...

First, thank you to all the participants of the AZ Dragon Boat Tournament this past weekend. The team did a fantastic job representing Los Angeles. Although we didn't get a chance to race the Taipei team, we did get to compete against 2 premiere teams - Wasabi and San Diego.

Makeshift raincoat/escort wear

We even got to paddle with them in the same boat. We even had the pleasure of racing some of our neighbors - the Guppies (and friends), Thunder Dragon, and USC (whom we DESTROYED - over one boat length in a 250 m race - let's see if they claim if they have a dragon boat dynasty too). The Space Dragons were also in attendance, but I don't recall if we had the opportunity to go head-to-head with them.

If my memory serves me correctly, the only team that beat us in any of our races was San Diego. But please keep in mind that we will see much faster teams later this season - and we will definitely see San Diego again.

Special thanks to the "brains" of the boat - Leon (Steerer), Tiffany (Caller), Yonnie (Stroke), and K1 (Stroke). You guys did a fantastic job this weekend. LARD is very lucky to have you as part of the team. Thank you to Diane for keeping all of "our ducks in a row".

For the rest of the AZ paddlers (new and old). You all did a great job paddling on Saturday and enduring the horrible weather on Sunday. We ran some pretty good races this past weekend. Let's take this momentum into Vancouver and defend our Rec A Crown.

For those of you who couldn't join us this past weekend - be warned, we have a group of very strong rookie paddlers. Let's all work hard to make each other better and put together even better teams for Vancouver, LB and SF. The plan is simple - get yourself in shape, rip a big number on the erg and get your LARD-@$$ to practice!

For some of the team, AZ was their first taste of competition. Although we will be attending much larger tournaments later in the season, I know that the race experience you've obtained this past weekend will serve you well for the rest of the season (and your whole dragon boat career).

I'm sure we did bring back some hardware, but I didn't stick around for the award ceremonies. Can someone who stayed (Gary?) let us know how we placed in each division we raced in? I'm very interested in seeing who won "most organized team", "best drummer" and "best uniform" (yeah, right).

Finally , congrats to all you marathoners, let us know how you did!!!!


Paddler's Corner: Bill Ting

I started with LARD in September 2005, the weekend right after San Francisco DBF.

Through a visit to my wife's girl friend; there I saw the dragon boat paddle and racing pictures. Her husband used to paddle on the Viewsonic Team and he told me about the dragon boating at Long Beach. After that visit, I checked the internet, and was thinking of checking out the Killer Guppies (because they had an earlier meeting time). Luckily, their team took that weekend off, while our Die-hard LARDies showned up and bingo. I am happy thereafter. (Betty was there to join that weekend too)

My first impression that morning was that they were really friendly people. I was greeted by Arthur and Aaron (the Bruce Lee Twins). Later, the coaching by Leon was just impressive. We all know that after the first session, I was 100% better. Heck, I could even paddle with my eyes closed to feel the wind, the power, the rhythm, and yes, the pulse of TeamLARD. The aftermath of muscle sore was nothing. I became a member of this growing LARD family.

My first Race was the 2006 Tempe race. It was not that intense and it was a good learning experience. I did not pace myself and burned out by the end of the race. Now, I am in better control. It also started my long term car-pooling and rooming with Mark and sometimes with Jesse and Aaron. The camaraderie and team bonds just got stronger.

There are so many good memories: The first medal at Tempe, the Comp 'C' First Place at Vancouver, the Bike Ride with Arthur encouraging me to finish the ride, the banquets, the Portland trip etc.; all in the company of teammates that I feel comfortable together with.

I think I am under control most of the time. I wonder the portable toilet post I did for Mathew can count as silly thing. Maybe, like James said, I am still Young At Heart; still silly and crazy inside. I know I can yell out loud and be crazy. I lose my voice in most races by the second day.

LA style foraging

One funny thing that I have to share with the team is that: On my first trip driving to Tempe, Jesse was chewing gum all day and he wasn't aware of that. That night, Mark had his own bed and I shared a bed with Jesse. The next morning Jesse had this sore jaw. Later, on the trip home, he told us he thought I hit him at night, but could not ask me why I did that. Anyway, he eventually realized it was the chewing gum, not me who did the damage. I am not a mean guy.


Bill Ting (2010)

Paddler's Corner: Lori Skelton

I was introduced to the team by Rich Maher. I had just joined 24 hour, ready to get my fitness on once and for all. My co-worker had tried Rich's spin class and mentioned how good it was. Reluctantly I said I would give it a try. To make a long story short, Rich and I developed a great friendship. One night he said my timing was good and he wanted to take me out on the water. I had no idea what he was talking about and even thought we might be going on a romantic boat ride, but I was up for anything. He really didn't tell me much about Dragon Boating and let me experience it for myself.

My first impression of the team was great. I thought everyone was so warm and welcome and there was this amazing cohesiveness. And then when I got fitted with my mildew ridden vest and the splintered heavy yellow paddle, I was golden. Leon was so kind, encouraging and patient. Let's just say that LARD had such a positive impression on me, I never looked back. I have been paddling ever since (Winter of 2005) the day the yellow paddle entered the water. I have never missed a race to this day.

Boxes and plastic to keep warm

My very first race was Tempe 2006. I'll never forget how sick I was, but nothing was going to keep me from this race. I rode to Tempe with Carla and Vicki and we stopped at Sam's Roasty Toasty for some yummy chicken on our way out of town. The morning of the race was unbelievably cold. There was lightning, thunder, hail, rain, you name it. I have memories of Will and the guys taking the linings out of the trash cans and using them for rain gear. I believe it was Peter who went and purchased a small propane heater we all took turns in front of getting at least a hand warm. It was crazy. My very first race experience was in the Women's boat, we were combining teams with San Diego. The adrenaline rush was intense! I loved every moment of it. I believe we took first place. The night ended with all of us in Nick's room enjoying his scrumptious Cosmos. I'll never forget how wonderful everyone was. They made me feel like one of the family.

teamLARD rolls deep

I love our team LARD more than words can describe. It has been a life changing experience. And I have the LARD ink to prove it. ;)

Lori (2010)




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