10th Annual Long Beach - July 29-30
|Black||Mixed I Final||5th (2:19.03)|
|Black||250m final||1st (1:02.01)|
|Red||Mixed II Final||4th (2:21.50)|
|Women||Womens Div||2nd (2:32.63)|
|Pink||All Female Cancer Survivor||2nd (2:53.35)|
|Pink||Masters Final||6th (3:05.34)|
Another race weekend completed for this 2006 season. And what a ride this season has been! There have been other wonderful summaries written about your accomplishments and hard work and thank you's to all who made this year's Long Beach tournament a success. I'd simply like to add to that.
The Long Beach races have certainly shown the strength and character of this team. Despite our desire to be perfect, we seldom are. We've recognized that we are capable of making mistakes, and most likely will continue doing so in the future. But what I have found most promising and positive about this team is the attitude towards improvement, in individuals and as a team. We have run bad races. But instead of dwelling on mistakes, you choose to do better. In the rare instances we have run perfect races, you challenge yourselves and each other to do even better. Better than perfect? You betcha.
It is with this fundamental attitude, that will allow LARD to always be successful, rather than measurement through wins, losses or placing. We use ourselves as a measuring stick, and by this standard, you have all set the bar high.
Additionally, the success and pride from Long Beach should be shared by all of you. This extends far beyond those who directly paddled in specific races, were on particular squads, but to all team members.
Those who helped prepare the team. A personal thanks from me to all the coaches for your hard work. Training, seating, race organization, etc. From Pinks to LARD, you have all done an exceptional job.
Those who helped to organize the event. Directors, captains, and committees. For figuring out things, for getting information to the team, for providing and following up with the schedule, for organizing the abundant drinks and food, tent. And so on. An unbelievable amount of work. Thanks.
Those who helped support the team. From your friends and families, to the each of you. None of our boats would have done so well without each of your enthusiastic support. On our team, this support is as much a factor in our performance as our paddling. We clearly gain strength and inspiration from one another.
And holy smokes. Have you all seen the tats? It's certainly not for everyone, but everyone should take to heart the significance -- because it talks about the impact that this team, this sport, and each of you have made on each other.
With Long Beach over, I look forward to the next hurrah with all of you. San Francisco, here we come!
See you all at practice.
San Diego showing us how it's done.
Thanks to all that paddled, contributed and supported to the LB Race.
We performed well, individually and collectively, and we take our successes together as a team, and we learn together as we continue to get better.
Thanks to all that came out Friday for a little bit of camera time and a lot of prep-paddling. Special thanks to those who stuck around hungry and sleepy to put up Will’s Monster canopies.
Special thanks for double-duty Diane for helping Dr. Chen with Tournament Management, then turning around and helping us make sure we were on the right keel with all our paperwork.
To Ev, Jackie (Jason, let her know), Vi for keeping us on schedule and well hydrated.
Be dunked graciously
To Andrea and Gilda to making sure we were paid up and all accounted for.
To Wileen, Jackie (the newbie ;) ) and Christy (The import) for stepping up and being our non-paddling volunteers, thanks for helping the tournament keep going and for helping us chip in and help support our local community. Hope you like bright green t-shirts ;)
To Yang, Nick, Chuck, Tony and Will for the canopies that kept us cool in the scorching heat. I think we were the most sun-protected team. Monstrous thanks to Will for those monstrous canopies.
To TK and Mike, thanks for all you do on the various teams, and for getting the lanes straight and wrestling the buoys and docks all weekend.
Oh no, not Diane!
To our coaches and Captains Chuck/Nick and Steve/Andrea, thanks for getting us up to speed for the tourney and keeping the team focused on our performance. Your encouragement and challenges make us stronger.
Oh, and yes, finally, thanks to Betty, Wendy and Mike the ice/drink guy… You guys did an excellent job with hosting. You took care of two teams, we never ran out, and yes, we had extras at the end.. and it was below budget! The sandwich meats and goodies really held us over from heat to heat.. and when I say heat.. thanks once again for the hydration.
2006 Long Beach Grand Champions... not only that, LARD earned a second place in both Open and Women's Divisions.
In a word, "Unbelievable". (although after our Vancouver performance, I should be a believer by now...)
This team continues to impress me with its grit, determination, discipline, and perhaps most importantly, its camaraderie.
LARD put together some of its best race pieces EVER. Our boats were blasting out of the starting docks, the bodies of our races were strong and consistent. And, believe it or not, the timing was phenomenal - I'm talking flawless. I had a brief chance to take a look at the race photos and there were some very impressive paddle angles (and great facial expressions too ;) ).
Despite the debacle that was the Black Div I Finals where we were unbalanced by 55 pounds due to a few last second swaps, our entire team paddled like champions. As a member of the coaching staff, I want to personally apologize for putting LARD in this unfavorable position in such an important race. The coaching staff also made a few more errors but we have learned from our mistakes and hope these "glitches" never happen again. Hell, now that I think about it, we did that on purpose to PISS you all off. I think this is the first time LARD has ever paddled w/ fury, aggression and anger. In the words of Rage Against the Machine, "Anger is a Gift". ;) If this method of motivation works for you, feel free to tap into it!
The Red squad paddled exceptionally. It's amazing to watch you all paddle. The grace and power that is displayed was truly appreciated by anyone that knows what to look for in a dragon boat team. I can't believe some of you have been paddling for less than a year. Each and every one of you deserve credit for our success this weekend. Each one of you paddled with passion and determination. It was absolutely great seeing long-lost veterans come back to power our boats. Newbies, great job, you all are "figuring it out" quickly - stick with it.
Women - watching your boat race literally gave me the chills. I have NEVER seen a LARD boat that in tune. The timing and technique were amazing. I'm sure that boat felt as good as it looked.
Men - the power you guys can muster is amazing. The determination and fury was evident. We were FLYING.
Additionally, our steerers did a stellar job lining us up, motivating us and keeping us straight throughout the race. I'm sure most of you noticed the current was moving at a 90 degree angle from our intended line of travel. There is a reason why that despite their strength as paddlers, Leon and Matt are always steering. Amazing job steerers.
Our callers kept us focused and motivated - as usual, ladies, awesome job. I hope LARD gave you some good boat rides this weekend!
With all of this said, our work this season is not yet done. We definitely have some areas we need to improve on and we still have one more tournament this season - San Francisco. We are going to see some VERY fast teams up there (Dragon Warriors, Bad, Diesel Fish, etc.). Not only are they fast, but they are going to be PISSED. We have added another target on our backs - now it's time to step up for one last hurrah this season.
Now is a great time to bring out friends that are interested in joining our team - we should be able to get them up to speed for SF.
As for me personally, my brother is getting married next Saturday, and I will be heading down to San Diego with a few other LARD paddlers on Sunday to try out for a US National team that's heading for Taiwan later this year. But don't worry, LARD will be in good hands this coming weekend. I'll see you all soon with some new things to work on!!!
Be proud. Win with humility, and lose with grace.
row 1: susan, ev, k2, huay, tiffany, k1
row 2: leon, jackie, connie, gilda, wynne, betty, yonnie, diane, ev, megan, jessie
row 3: jason, lori, courtney, andrea, vicki, mark, ???, chuck, dennis, andy, ???, ???, gary
row 4: tony, matt, scott, steve, peter, evan, rich, jason, mike, nate, tdo, bill, lorena
row 5: nick, will, art, aaron
1st Place 250m Grand Championship Div A
2nd Place Women Division A