4th Annual Tempe - March 24 & 25

Aww a unicorn is riding him

Squad Division Place
LARD Out of State Mixed 2nd
LARD Mixed A Championship 4th
LARD 250m Sprints 2nd
Men (Space Composite) Men’s Consolation 1st
Women (Space Composite) Women’s Championship 2nd

I’ll let the coaches (Will Lin and Gary Wang), captain (Nick Chekmizoff) and team race manager (Aaron Fong) fill you in on the details of how well LARD did this year in Tempe.

Mmph good banana

I just wanted to say that the 2007 Arizona Dragonboat Festival was fantastic!! The 2007 LARD team really did a great job of showing everyone that we are a force to be reckoned with. We performed well and we had fun. The rides were the smoothest and quietest I have ever felt in a LARD race. Our newest paddlers and first time Arizona racers were awesome. This is going to be a great year for TeamLARD!!

It was also great to see how well LARD and the Space Dragons were able to accomplish with so few practices together. Both the men and the women did a great job. Congratulations to the LARD and Space Dragons coaching staff, especially Will, Gary, Joe and Emily for pulling this off so successfully.

Thanks also to Coach Will. He not only made the 1000 meter race fun for the team but he also made it fun for the crowd. It was a race for everyone to remember.

There was also the breast cancer survivor’s ceremony. It was very moving and touching. Our own Pinks, led by TK as drummer, and breast cancer survivor’s team members from Calgary, Canada and other cities did a wonderful of job with the ceremony. As Kerry read the history of the breast cancer survivor’s dragon boat movement from its beginnings in Calgary, Canada to the first breast cancer survivor’s team in Portland to the first California team in Los Angeles (our own Los Angeles Pink Dragons) to the newest US team forming in Phoenix, Arizona (A breast in the West), the Pink’s boat and the Breast Cancer Survivor’s Sistership came together to form one large boat. Kerry then asked for a moment of silence and then the bagpipes played in remembrance of those teammates who finally succumbed. The paddlers and some spectators on shore waved flowers as the bagpipes played. Thanks to Megan and Lilly for helping to represent LARD at what some called the paddler’s tunnel of “love, hope and remembrance” for the breast cancer survivors as they were coming off the boats.

Finally, Kerry, Leah and the rest of the Water’s Edge race management crew really made the Arizona festival this year. What a difference they made. The festival had the organization and feel of a well-oiled machine as the ALCAN festival in Vancouver but with the small and intimate festival feel of the Portland Selma races. Kerry really made the races come to life. The Arizona festival has finally arrived!


Don't tread on me! - Cutter

This is my first trip to Tempe and I've gotta admit, it's a fun little race. While I was a amused by what they would call a Lake since to me it looked like one of the "rivers" in Los Angeles lined with concrete.

To elaborate on what happened with the 1000m race, Will thought it would be fun to call it. Why? We were scheduled to run the 1000m immediately after a final 500m race. So we decided that it would be better to screw around with the 1000m race and just go for broke with the 500m.

At one point, we stopped paddling and waved to the shore which had a raucous response. Funnily, being the competitive devils we are, once we started paddling again we were catching up to the head boat and were actually running a pretty good piece.

I'm a little older and hopefully wiser now and all I care about is running a good piece, having fun, and hanging out with my family away from family. We did that. I'm happy.


And I must admit, what a great beginning.

A group of Twenty-four paddlers decided to drive out to the Arizona desert to races against some dragon boat powerhouses (San Diego, BAD, Water's Edge, Wasabi) and some neighbors (Team DPW, Killer Guppies, Thunder Dragons). And in my eyes, there was something different about this group of paddlers. This group wasn't quite the same group that LARD usually brings to its races. This group was missing a good number of its familiar faces and their replacements were ones that weren't quite as 'seasoned' and experienced as the ones they replaced, but like any other group of LARD paddlers, this group brought determination, heart, and camaraderie to the races and it showed.

Perhaps it was a bit of inexperience, fatigue, or bad steering prevented the team from medaling and closing out the weekend with an exclamation mark, but this group went out and did a great job representing LARD. They were able to dominate their earlier 500 meter races, blast through the 250m races ( the mixed team pulled off a 1:02:76), and put on a show during the 1000m. They paddled with Space Dragons (for gender) and, more importantly, with one another as though they were one.

In the end, all paddlers left Tempe with more experience, got stronger, and are thirsty for more.

Is that a dance move?

Seriously, great job this weekend. Awesome job by the strokes and second bench for leading the team and finding the settle, all paddlers for dealing with tight scheduling, seating problems, and putting it all out there on the water, and the rookies for showing us that they are true LARD and doing their part to make this weekend's accomplishment possible. Oh yeah, and Tiff for doing a great job on all 15 races that she called.

Thanks to Nick for being both captain and equipment manager (those cookies were a life saver) and Aaron, our race manager, for handling waivers and the whatnot's.

That said, let's all, those who went to Tempe or not, build from this experience and represent LARD in full force at LB , Vancouver, and SF. It's LARD's 10th season; so let's pull together, push one another, and train hard to make it the best season LARD has to date.

Until next time,

-gary w

Note to all - When applying sunscreen, don't forget to get your feet/toes. Mine are a bit sunburned =(

Paddler's Corner: Jason Tambourine

Shade where you can find it

I first paddled with LARD during the first practice of 2007, however, it was not my first time on a dragon boat. I had actually come out and tried it once in like 2005 with one of my friends that had a "friends and family day" or something for Electric Dragons. It was fun, but I'm not a fan of water, so I was kind "meh" towards the idea of going out regularly.

I joined LARD at the same time as Steve Chung. Steve and I have been friends since middle school. We agreed to come out together because Will and Dennis had been asking us to come out for over a year. I knew Will and Dennis from undergrad at UCLA. They said we should try paddling with their team, that we would enjoy it, and worst case - if we came out and didn't like it, at least they would stop asking us to come out.

First impressions...the weird thing is that I've only been part of the team for a little over 3 years now, but it's hard to even remember what it was like "not knowing" everyone. I just remember that it was comfortable. Everyone was, and still is, so welcoming. The coaches were patient - especially given my persistent lack of overall physical fitness.... I think, the lasting impression though was the way Will and K1 would go back and forth as if they were brother and sister; and learning that they've been paddling together since they WERE little kids and that they really basically did grow up together - and not just them, but a lot of members of the team. Hearing about (you) Kenny driving them to practice when they were too young to drive...I think that just the openness that the team has in sharing all of these things with new paddlers, and how inviting they are is what made me willing to come back. I don't remember feeling like I wasn't part of the team - or at least the team has done a good job of erasing any and all memory I had of that ever occurring.

Wheeled out @ Heart Attack Grill

My first race was Tempe 2007. I remember Will basically taking care of me the whole weekend making sure I knew where I was supposed to be. I remember thinking there was no way I was ready to be thrown onto a competitive boat just 2 months after I had started, and being surprised that I was able to make it through the whole weekend, and doing relatively ok...although I think it was a lot harder back then to see exactly how bad I may have been. Phil and Scott don't let the new paddlers off so easy these days with all of their cameras.

Fond memories....that's kind of a vague question when it comes to LARD. I mean, there aren't too many un-fond memories of the team...except maybe ERGing or seeing how bad my OC2 times were...I've met so many people through my time with LARD, been to so many great events - both on and off the water. Just looking back, besides all the tournaments that I've been to there's also been camping trips, Vegas trips, OC Fair, movie nights, bowling nights, and countless birthdays - including my own big party every year - that I've been a part of or have been made better through LARD. I think besides all of the people though, the thing i miss most is having basically a support group and a means of going out every weekend to be active and get in shape,while doing something competitively. I missed doing teams sports after high school, and dragon boat was a great way to bring back that sense of competition and camaraderie. In addition to that, I've really enjoyed having my brothers Johnny and Brent be part of the team and having an opportunity to spend more time with them, and get to do a lot of these things with them there as well. Really though, there's no way to just simply sum up my overall experience with the team, there's just too much too it to & too many people involved to do it justice in a few short words...and this answer is already pretty long as it is.

Silly? Almost everything this team does when it's not racing or training. Crazy? How many pictures and how much video footage is available after a race these days compared to just 2 years ago even. Strange? For the first year after I started paddling, maybe even longer, whenever me, Steve, Will, Dennis, and Andy would get together - which was almost all the time off the water too - we would ALWAYS be talking about dragon boat. What we thought we needed to do to get better individually and as a team, complaints about races, critiquing each other, etc. It drove all of our non-paddler friends crazy. They definitely though we were strange. We eventually learned to relax more about it off the water, but it took a while. hahaha

I had to leave LARD because life just sometimes gets in the way, like many of our other former paddlers. I'm going into my 2nd year of Pharmacy School at Midwestern University just outside Chicago. - COME VISIT ME!

As long as people I know are still part of LARD, I'll always be at least a small part of it. I fully intend to come back and paddle as often as I can...and hopefully that one day means all the time; but at the same time, who knows for sure what's going to happen after I graduate and whether or not I'm going to be able to do that. I really wanted to be out there even this summer, but the timing of things don't always work out the way we want them to. At least I get to come out once and a while to say "hi" and support my family though.


-Jason (2010)

LARD - Space Dragons Women

LARD - Space Dragons Men

Paddlers new to the Tempe Race
Steve Jeannie Kenny Otto Cindy Aaron Tamby Andrea Megan

250m Sprints 2nd Place

Women 2nd place medals




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