|Black||Mixed IA||4th (2:16.26)|
|Black||200M Grand Championship||1st (0:52.04)|
|Red||Mixed IIA||5th (2:26.31)|
|White||Mixed IIIB||6th (2:52.50)|
|Men||Open B Championship||1st (2:18.58)|
|Women||Women’s A Championship||3rd (2:38.15)|
my heart beats aflutter for you. congratulations for a great weekend of heart and racing! hearing and seeing the support of all the LARDies was extraordinary, and i thoroughly enjoyed wrecking my voice cheering for our boats!
everyone's hard work at practice contributed to our achievements this weekend. we had our ups and downs, but in the end, i think we showed everyone this weekend just how deep our team runs. if you had any disappointments over the weekend, take that with you to practice this next month and a half in preparation for portland and san francisco, and use that as fuel for your fire. and then be ready to whoop up.
soreness, hoarseness, bruises courtesy of mr.s lin and chung's teeth, and looking an utter disaster today notwithstanding, i had a great time this weekend with y'all. as always. =)
A face we will never forget
Alison pre LARD
Alison’s paddling career started in 2001 when she joined her high school team, Kennedy. At the time, high school paddling was still in its infancy, and teams would come and go with the wind. In 2003, the Kennedy High Dragon Boat team disbanded, and Alison followed a friend to Southern California on Water, a team better known as, SoCOW. SoCOW was a conglomerate team of high school and collegiate paddlers from the Cerritos area. With So COW, Alison experienced moderate success at the annual Long Beach International Dragon Boat festival. But success wasn’t what motivated her to continue paddling. It was on this team where Alison began to develop the friendships and bonds with her teammates that ultimately led her to join LARD.
glare of death
How Alison got to LARD
In the summer of 2007, LARD had begun focusing its efforts on building its membership base. The team parlayed its recent racing successes and built good relations with local college and high school teams. It was a fortunate case of right place and right time. SoCOW had been shedding members and LARD was there to offer a home. The group’s impact was immediately felt as they led LARD White to its first medal, Rec B consolation gold. It’s been a full 3 years, but it seems her presence is as deeply rooted as any other member on the team.
BJ's Sunday Dinner
Alison’s Success on LARD
Alison’s tenure on LARD could double as a Hollywood movie plot, where the hero begins as just another face in the crowd, defies the odds and finally finds success at the highest level. Between honing her skills on water at practice and improving her fitness in the gym, Alison had been relentless in her quest for improvement. In the span of two short years, her commitment to excellence catapulted her from an aspiring white paddler to helping LARD Black to one of its greatest achievements, 2009 San Francisco Dragon Boat Race Mixed Comp A gold. Alison, soft spoken and humble, would love no more than to quietly share the glory and defer acknowledgement, but the team would see things differently. In 2009 Alison was recognized, as voted by her peers, as the season’s most Improved Veteran paddler.
The real Alison
Alison as a person
Most of us know Alison as the happy girl from around the corner...and that's exactly what she is: sweet, simple and fun loving. What you see is what you get. She appreciates what she has and is humble about what she's earned. Though quiet by nature, Alison found in the sport of dragonboat a passion and drive to defy and help redefine her character.
Alison's future ventures.
She is [temporarily] leaving the team to pursue a Masters of Psychology at CSUSF. She plans to paddle outrigger in San Francisco. She will hopefully one day return. But, no matter how far she travels, she will always be our teammate. We wish her the best and hope to see her soon because she will always have friends here.
Quick, which one's which?
Hey everyone -
My mom was skimming the LA chinese world journal and looked what showed up! Here is a VERY loose translation. The English itself can be improved too, but that's just me being lazy. I figured all I really needed to have in there was that LARD kicked ass this weekend ;)
note - I was pretty sure our boys won the men's division right? Did the reporter get that part wrong?
Showdown by 0.01 seconds Long Beach Dragon Boat Highlights
Amidst the screaming and cheering, after two days of the 2007 Long Beach competitive racing, the champion was born on the afternoon of the 29th. Home team, the Los Angeles Racing Dragons (LARD) won! the A group championship in 52.04 seconds. Right after them was SF Dragon Warriors. This was the 11th year for the boat race. It’s become an annual event for watersport loving people. Not only the southern California area teams participated, teams from Nor Cal, all over the US, and as well as Taiwan, and China sent competitive teams.
This year there were a total 165 teams; 3000 competitors came to race in the event, many bringing family and friends. The sponsoring organization calculated a record breaking 20,000 plus spectators coming to the race.
Day 2 was the elimination competition. Racers came early for warm ups, last minute coaching and morale speeches from their leaders. The mood was really serious at the registration tent, and you could constantly hear teammates encouraging each other. One can tell their training has been rigorous, and how important this festival meant to the teams.
From the moment the sound horn goes off, the colorful dragon boats along with the beating of the drums and the shouting of the paddlers, the boats sped to the finish line. Along the banks, the cheering crowds were shouting or even stripping off their shirts, whipping them around in support - all the way to the finish line.
This year’s 200m final competition was extraordinarily competitive. The teams finished within 0.01 seconds of each other, a photo finish determined by the officials’ video.
The teams that came from Taiwan , representing the Taipei fire department took third in the men’s division. For that group, first went to San Diego and second went to SF DW.
The Taipei mixed division team (with Wasabi women) was defeated. The coach Hu Yu Shi said it was regrettable, analyzing that their defeat was in part due to his team not bringing their own paddles and had the effects of jet lag as a disadvantage – they didn’t perform as they did back in the Taipei International Dragon Boat Championship. Nevertheless, competing abroad, the teammates were pleasantly surprised with the hospitality of the overseas Chinese. Mr Wu Juin Hong, the captain, said, “the overseas Chinese not only brought cases of water, drinks and snacks and fruit, some of them even loaned their own paddles to the team…giving 110%.”
This whole bunch of musclemen came to Long beach. They became the favorite of the crowd. There were many young girls wanting pictures with them. A lot of the teammates also went to swap their tops with the Taiwan team. By the closing ceremony, much of the Taipei fire dept tops were on blond blue eyed bodies. In addition to the fire dept team, there was the Tian Jin all star university students (4 schools including one med, one industrial univ). They took 4th in the university division.
Who's crazy for LARD?
Thank you, LARD for teaching me a lesson this past weekend. you have all taught me that if you have the proper mindset, you can do anything. i think all of our paddlers - competitive and "not so competitive" - can take something away from LARD's performance this past weekend.
I saw something i have never seen in a LARD boat this past weekend - rage. not the type of rage that leads to violence and prison time ;) , but the type of rage that most competitors use to compete at the highest level. some people call it the killer instinct. the best in world use it to their advantage - michael jordan used to find the smallest reason to punish his opponents. tiger woods is also notorious for this. the most inane comment from an opponent was blown up into a reason to teach his opponent a lesson. it doesn't matter what gets you going - whether it is an off-hand comment you heard or even what an opponent's uniform looks like ;), a perceived slight, a crappy or unfair start in a previous race, or it could be that significant other that pissed you off. what matters is you work yourself into a mindset that will allow you to perform at your peak.
Remember the feelings that you had in your gut sunday that allowed you to perform beyond what anyone (or even you) expected from our hodge-podge team? we competed against some of the best teams dragon boat had to offer - teams that were in better shape than you, teams that were stronger than you, teams that practiced more than you. we started w/ outside lanes and were written off by pretty much everyone. our red and white teams paddled against other team's top crews. our black team competed against world-class teams. you used these factors, ignored fear and fed your rage. when you got onto those boats on sunday, you paddled with controlled aggression and the results showed.
However, rage alone does not guarantee success. preparation and dedication are also major factors in success in our sport (and in life).
Of course, rage is only a tool we use to convince our fragile minds to perform at peak levels. this rage must be controlled such that we still show humility in victory and grace in defeat.
By no means is this year's journey over. we still have a lot of work to do - one of the main things is making the body of our 500 m races stronger.
We accomplished quite a bit this past weekend. what is your fuel? we now have a bigger target on our backs. let's step up to the challenge in Portland and SF.
paddle with rage.
200m Group A 1st Place
Open Group B 1st Place
Women Division A 3rd Place
Division I Group A 4th Place
Division II Group A 5th Place