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Vancouver - June 17-18

Squad Division Place
Comp C Championship 1st

Hello LARDmates!

Thank you all for such an amazing and memorable weekend of paddling and team spirit at the Alcan Festival. Heading into the weekend, it was really great to see all the well-wishes from those who were unable to make the Vancouver trek this season; your support at practices undoubtedly prepared your teammates for the fierce competition we faced both days. This year's Alcan crew of 33, armed with 11 fearless newbies to the tournament(*), represented teamLARD very well.


    Saturday, mixed 1
    1) Pemberton Bald Eagles 2:04.370
    2) LARD (lane 4) 2:08.540
    3) Absolut Sake: Shaken 2:17.890
    4) Shibumi 2:23.390
    5) Canada Line 2:33.410
    6) Team Sauder 2:42.120
    Sorry, I was having focusing issues with the camera on this race.

  1. Karen Cheng
  2. Betty Chang(*)
  3. Huay Wee
  4. Gilda Soonthon (*)
  5. Gary Wang
  6. Arthur Yeh
  7. Wynne Cheng
  8. Tony Yang
  9. Evelyn Yang
  10. Bill Ting (*)
  11. Rich Maher
  12. Jesse Wong
  13. Nick Chekmizoff
  14. Megan Yeh (*)
  15. Matthew Chin
  16. Peter Lau (*)
  17. Mark Feng
  18. Will Lin
  19. Nate Chu (*)
  20. Connie Chung (*)
  21. Leon Cheng
  22. Tiffany Wu
  23. Karen Chan
  24. Scott Wu
  25. Belinda Vong (*)
  26. Vc-sat-mixed2

    Saturday, mixed race 2 1) Dragon Hearts Team Ultimate 2:10.440
    2) LARD (lane 4) 2:11.140
    3) Sweet and Sour Dragon Balls 2:11.580
    4) Kryptic Storm 2:22.930
    5) Dragon’s Breath 2:32.970
    6) Gift of Life 2:36.780
    7) Canada Line 2:40.280

  27. Courtney White
  28. Lori Skelton (*)
  29. Chuck Chang
  30. Wendy Wright (*)
  31. TK Kimura
  32. Denna Jung (*)
  33. Steve Chow
  34. Jason Cheng

In the weeks leading up to this particular race, I didn't quite know what to expect. There was such satisfaction and resolve from having won last year's Rec A Championship (an accomplishment that had eluded us for the previous 5 years), that there was a sense of 'well, how do we top that? CAN we even challenge some of these competitive teams?' After all, we've never considered ourselves to be an elite or competitive team. We practice exclusively on the weekends, they hold 2-3 practices on weekDAYS. Our team members drive an average of 35mi to GET to practice, they spend less than 20min. We paddle early on weekend mornings, they hold evening weekday sessions. ("They've got the golden arches, we've got the golden arcs. They use a sesame seed bun, our buns have no seeds.") And so on :-)

In the end, I attribute the success of last year and this past weekend's races simply to great teamwork. Everyone's selflessness and commitment to one another as a teammate--whether as a paddler, caller, steersperson, coach, and/or manager (Jesse!) enabled us to achieve these goals, including: Vi and Ev's much-appreciated support as co-managers, Gary flying up just to race on Saturday (his commencement was on Sun), and last year's Rec A Champions even.

The spoils of victory from last year's tournament certainly extended beyond those coveted medals; we were 'treated' to a first-ever 11:51A race on Saturday, our FIRST race of the day! With a handful of paddlers flying in late on Friday, the additonal sleep was awesome. The fact that our crews on Saturday were then able to place 2nd in both seeding heats--and grabbing yet another 11:40A first race the next day (Sun)--further reveals how important every crew is to the overall success of the team. Excitingly, our combined gender teams with TD Lightning, who coincidentally won the RecB Championship, performed amazingly. The women made it to the Championship Race (!) and the men went neck-to-neck against the DragonWarrior men's crew in the Consolation Final for 1st/2nd (I had a flight to catch!).


Saturday, men’s race 1) FCRCC Men 1 1:51.120
2) Portland Paddling club 1:52.120
3) Ultimate Roli Men 2:01.830
4) TD Lightning/LARD (lane 8) 2:07.940
5) Seattle Sake men 2:08.710

All of our Mixed, Men's, and Women's races faced a slew of challenges throughout the weekend, and I was overwhelmed with pride, happiness, and exhaustion when we crossed that finish line and received confirmation from Ev that we had held onto our position by .XX seconds, knowing that every single person on our roster had contributed to this accomplishment. My only regret is that we couldn't all celebrate as a team last night, as a dozen of us had evening flights to make immediately following the final race. Oh, the festivities that would have ensued....(AAAAUUUGGHHHH!!!) Perhaps those who stayed on in Vancouver for a couple of days can fill us in upon their return.

'So what now?,' you must all be thinking. Well, Long Beach is just around the corner, and as strong as the team is right now with regards to power and stamina, we've learned that much is also to be said about techinical efficiency and disciplined execution of what is practiced. That being said, I invite all of you to continue supporting one another as teammates at practice whenever you can, and to enjoy paddling all over again. There's always room for jell...improvement.

Man, is anyone else's hamstrings and quads sore?? I feel like I've done a few dozen too many squats...


Happy paddling,

Wishes from Brian Goodell

Lori S. is friends with Brian Goodell who is an Olympic champion and former World Record holding freestyle swimmer. The two of them used to work together and he has always been a great inspiration and mentor for her.


Saturday, women’s race You can hear scott cheering in this one :)
1) Ultimate Roli women 2:21.690
2) Wasabi Women 2:29.030
3) TD Lightning/LARD (lane 4) 2:37.080
4) North Shore Sirens 2:38.550
5) Pemberton Spirit 2:39.850
6) Mighty Women 2:44.590
7) OarDeal Women 2:52.170

Hey folks!

I guess I should chime in too before it's too late. :-P It's been such an amazing tournament. On the water, we performed great. Off the water, everyone has showed great sportsmanship and camarderie. The beer garden celebration will be remembered for a long time. I would like to say job well done to everyone. Since there has been so much congratulatory remarks floating around, I'll stop right here.

A few things I noticed about other teams at Alcan I thought worthy of sharing with everyone...

1) Our neighbors across the pavement, the Killer Guppies, made it to a very competitve Comp C final where the difference betwen 1st and 9th is only 2.5 seconds. So congratulate them if you have a chance for representing Los Angeles.

2) One of the competitors in our Sunday mix races is Eye of the Dragon. Apparently, the team consists mostly of blind or partially blind paddlers. For both races, they were right there with us. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty darn impressed.

3) Dragon Warriors from San Francisco won Comp B finals. But had to rerun the race because there was a protest by another team. Right after the rerace, they were scheduled to run the Open Consolation final. So the men, tired from the rerace, stepped off the boat and stepped right back on another boat, and many without switching sides. Being just a consolation race against 2 other teams, they could have just put in a half-hearted effort. But for pride and competition, they paddled their hearts out like true warriors. I give them major props for that.

Anyways, that's all I have to say about Vancouver for now. Long Beach is only a month away. There aren't many practices left. And don't forgot LARD has beach monitoring this Saturday. Please sign up with Nick. We only need a few hours from each of you to make it work.


Chuck makes front page Globe British Columbia


Sunday, Mixed race 1 1) Pacific Reach 1:58.230
2) Pemberton Bald Eagles 1:58.960
3) Strathcona DWW1 1:59.800
4) San Francisco Dragon Warriors 1 2:00.470
5) ACME canoe club 2:01.170
6) Pacific Reach 2 2:06.640
7) LARD (lane 2) 2:06.710
8) Eye of the Dragon 2:07.980

Hi Everyone,

I want to chime in too before its too late. By now, you already know from the coaches and the captains how successful we were this year in Vancouver: Competitive C Division Champions!! As Team Manager for the 2006 Vancouver Race, I want to congratulate all of you on achieving this great win. This is the best that LARD has ever done at Vancouver. We also achieved LARD's best race time ever this weekend. You all worked hard for this and you all deserve it.

I also want to congratulate and thank the co-managers, Vi Wu and Evelyn Yang. As Jason mentioned below, they kept us aware of when we needed to be ready for pre-marshalling so that we had enough time to warm up. Without them, we could not be as well prepared for each race as we were. I want to thank the Captains, Chuck and Nick, for keeping track of everyone for each race.

Congratulations and thanks to the coaches, Leon, Scott, Courtney, Will, Gary and Jason for such a great job they did with preparing us in the last few months for this past weekend and for working the seating and making the little but very important adjustments after each race to get us to win the championship. I think the lessons learned after each race and the adjustments made by the coaches were key to achieving what we did. I also think the responsiveness of the entire team to the adjustments from the coaches was key. I especially want to thank Jason for joining us from San Francisco to be part of the coaching staff and for getting us warmed up before each race. And thanks to everyone for taking responsibility for getting your own heart rates up before each race.

Bike ride

The team captain for TD Lightning, Ray, also extends congratulations to you on behalf of his team on winning Competitive C Division. They expect to see us next year winning Competitive B Division.

Lastly, I want to thank Arthur Yeh for helping me get home and Leon and Wynne for taking the paddles.

Jesse Wong

2006 Team Manager for Vancouver Race


Sunday, Comp C FINALS 1) LARD (lane 6) 2:07.110
2) RGL United 2:07.640
3) Eye of the Dragon 2:07.280
4) Synergy 2:07.840
5) Just Dragon Along 2:08.280
6) Strathcona DWW2 2:08.310
7) San Francisco Dragon Warriors 2:08.340
8) Team Storm 2:08.610
9) Killer Guppies 2:09.580

I don't have anything really new to add; just more general LARD love all around. but since i'm procrastinating from work anyways, I thought i'd add my two cents. my top 10 highlights of the trip:

10. hanging out in a beautiful city like vancouver--props to leon for putting together the awesome bike ride on monday

9. the crazy gelato place. I finally tasted kimchi gelato. it's nasty. those italians should leave the kimchi making to my people.

Sorry, no video footage.
Sunday, Men’s consolation
1) San Francisco Dragon Warriors 2:01.680
2) TD Lightning/LARD 2:01.920
3) Seattle Sake men 2:06.040

8. kerry the canadian for hooking us up with wine and for being so good to us. I don't even know the guy but he's my new canadian best friend.

7. hotel accommodations. kudos to diane, the team mom, and everyone else who made all the hotel arrangements. you made it so easy for the rest of us.

6. hanging out with td lightning and the other canadians. they were good people, eh? except for the guy who took a picture with my camera at the beer garden. he was gross.

5. coaches, captains, & managers. I'm sure I only saw one-tenth of the work you were doing to make this tournament so successful and even that seemed like way too much work. organizing 30+ paddlers can't be easy but you guys were pros.

4. beer garden. crazy fun. spotlight on Gilda for changing her flight in order to party like a rock star at the beer garden and then promptly pass out for the rest of the evening. k2 does some mighty fine cartwheels.

3. korean bbq in a bag and rice balls in the purse. but a pox on the other table who didn't help us finish our sushi and then went out for crepes. did you see how much we were suffering?

Sorry, no video footage.
Sunday, Women’s Division Championship
1) False Creek A 2:07.440
2) False Creek B 2:08.040
3) Wasabi Team Huge 2:08.410
4) Ultimate Roli 2:10.250
5) Pacific Reach 2:11.580
6) Lowell-itas 2:14.920
7) San Francisco Dragon Warriors 2:15.690
8) Wasabi Women 2:19.660
9) TD Lightning/LARD 2:23.430

now thats an ugly baby

2. team in general. you guys give me the warm and fuzzy. i've only been on the team for a year (and if you exclude all the flakey times i've missed practice it's more like half a year) but you feel like family. crazy, debaucherous family who eats a lot and can't hold their alcohol--but family.



Nate looks so sad.

Here's a pic from a local photographer.

Captured moments after finishing our Competitive C Final. I believe at this point, we didn't realize our placement.

And no, it's team love, not Will being inappropriate on a date...

It's been said before, but every stroke counts... especially with a heat as close as this:


Karen Cheng
Huay Wee
Gary Wang
Arthur Yeh
Wynne Cheng
Tony Yang
Evelyn Yang
Rich Maher
Jesse Wong
Nick Chekmizoff
Matthew Chin
Mark Feng
Will Lin
Leon Cheng
Tiffany Wu
Karen Chan
Scott Wu
Courtney White
Chuck Chang
TK Kimura
Steve Chow
Jason Cheng

Vancouver Newbie

Betty Chang(*)
Gilda Soonthon (*)
Bill Ting (*)
Megan Yeh (*)
Peter Lau (*)
Nate Chu (*)
Connie Chung (*)
Belinda Vong (*)
Lori Skelton (*)
Wendy Wright (*)
Denna Jung (*)