San Francisco - Sept 22 & 23
|Black||Comp A Championship||2nd (2:05.79)|
|Black||Visitors’ Cup Championship||3rd (2:11.74)|
|Red||Comp B Consolation||2nd (2:16.61)|
|Red||Visitors’ Cup Consolation||3rd (2:17.35)|
|White||Rec B Consolation||1st (2:29.63)|
|Pink||Mixed C Championship||6th (3:04.70)|
What a fabulous weekend of racing and fun. I have 3 words to describe LARD's performance this year at the 2007 San Francisco International Dragon Boat Tournament:
OH MY GOODNESS.
LARD has surpassed ALL of the coaches' expectations. Coming out of the Long Beach Tournament, we realized that our starts and finishes were incredibly strong when executed properly and that we needed to work on the settle portion of our race. LARD went back to the drawing board and came out in SF firing on all cylinders like never before competing (and beating) some of the best competition ever assembled in California.
Regardless if you were able to come up to SF with us, YOU are part of our success. YOU are responsible for what happened this weekend. Your hard work and teamwork were realized this past weekend.
To LARD White, you are LARD's future and we are grateful and fortunate to have you on board with us. I hope you had a great time this weekend and got a taste of some good dragon boat racing. You showed pure guts in winning your final race on Sunday. Excellent work. Thank you to Matt and K2 for guiding White. Thank you to the veterans who paddled for White showing LARD the true meaning of teamwork and that dragon boating is a team sport - not an individual one. Perhaps more importantly, all of our new paddlers were able to feel like part of the LARD family (well, actually you ARE a part of the LARD family) and were able to meet some new friends.
A very wet start
To LARD Red, you ran some SOLID race pieces competing against some of the fastest teams in North America. Keep in mind you were racing against the best other teams have to offer. You made LARD proud. Many Red paddlers have paddled for Black in the past and noted that the Red team's boat felt very similar to a LARD Black boat. Tiffany (the Cutter) and Gary did an excellent job calling and steering putting LARD in optimal position at the start of every race.
As for LARD Black, you beat every single team except for one - an all star team from Vancouver. You beat a German team that stood a foot taller than some of us, you beat every single team SF had to offer - Dragon Warriors, without a doubt, the fastest of the SF teams and possibly the fastest on the West Coast and BAD with their years of experience and excellence. We did not match up physically with some of these teams, but it didn't matter. Nothing stopped you.
Every single team built on their races throughout the weekend making each successive race even better than prior races. There was no mental let down for any teams at any time. There was nothing more the coaches could have asked for.
Again, regardless of what team you paddled for, or even if you weren't able to make it up to SF with us, YOU are responsible for LARD's success. YOU represented LARD and the Los Angeles paddling community. You should be proud of all you accomplished.
LARD-Black Comp A finals
Going into the training season, keep in mind that we ARE going to out-do ourselves next year with 2008 Dragon Boat Nationals as a possible target race. We'll be paddling in the training season, but make sure you get the R&R you need to come on strong next season. Now is the time to do that marathon, triathlon, or outrigger race you've been eyeing. It's time to sleep in guilt-free for awhile. Enjoy! LARD traditionally plans some non-paddling events in the training season including bike rides, paint balling and camping trips. Stay tuned to see what is on tap the next few months. I hope to see you all at the end of the year banquet celebrating our 10th and most successful season to date.
Thank you for giving LARD a race weekend (and season) I will never forget.
Almost a week later, I’m still on a high from your performance in SF. What a way to close out, not just the season, but a benchmark volume in the history of the team!
Learn to sleep anywhere
From a scrappy group of friends and family who simply enjoyed the sport and decided to go year-round, to ten years later, a distinctively much LARGER group of friends and family who paddle year-round in a sport we all enjoy. Another notable difference? While we have always strived and more recently considered ourselves to be competitive amongst some of the top teams on the west coast, for a moment (at one of the largest tournament in the US), this latter group can legitimately claim to be the top American team from the west coast.
And this designation is certainly not limited to the Black Crew. The success of our team is shared as a whole. Success in performance and spirit are infectious. Watching the White Crew paddle their best race, in a fiercely close final, and come out victorious, to the Red Crew pulling their best race EVER, jumping every other team but one in their final…
All of this rubs off on each other, and honestly, I don’t believe that Black’s performance could have come without the precedent and tone set by all LARD teams. And have you heard a louder team out there?! You were all inspired, and inspiring. Compared to our competitors out there, our boats definitely ran with the advantage of “the 23rd man” (can I coin that phrase?). And did you all see our PINKS?! They represented in the mixed division, and outright won the cancer division. An amazing group of women.
So congratulations to all of you. Even disregarding placing, I would unabashedly say that we represent the best team. Period.
Let me quickly give a broad-brushstroke thanks to all of you for making this race, this team, and this season happen, from all of our team members to the supporters, to the captain, directors, coaches, and many others who volunteered your time and heart in working for and helping to lead this team.
So what’s on the horizon for teamLARD? Well, in early October we’ll be organizing some activities like our annual bike ride. Our 10-year banquet is coming. Outside of the team, there’s Oktoberfest and other recreational activities will be announced. Heck, if you’d like to plan a team get-together, dinner, or other activity, just do it. “If you plan it, they will come.” Just coordinate with the team leaders to ensure there are no conflicts with other planned activities.
And there’s that little thing about the US Nationals coming up in 2008. LARD is almost all but guaranteed to be there. So think about it. It took us almost half a year of racing to peak for this last race. How do you want to represent at the nationals?
That being said, have fun this training season. Practices will be slightly more informal. We’ll try different things, experiment. We’ll do some videotaping. It will be great for new paddlers to pick up this new sport without the pressure and hectic training schedule of the race season. So bring ‘em out.
Paddler's Corner: Kat Quinto
I learned about LARD because Otto joined the team. A bunch of us (me, James, Jeff, Phil, Hugh, Alison, Meghan potter, Jane and Jilly) were with another team and we all decided to leave because we wanted to get more competitive. Otto invited us to go to LARD practice one weekend after the LB race in 2007 and we all did!
My first impression of LARD . . . Well actually let me tell you what i told james before even going to our first LARD practice. i was very hesitant because first, LARD was perceived as THE best team in long beach (and still is by the way!) and i told james, "i don't think i'll join because i suck so much and i don't think they'd want me". in short, i was very intimidated even before my first practice with the team. but i came out and after my first practice i thought everyone was so friendly and outgoing and funny... the atmosphere just made it easier for me to fit in =)
i will never forget my first race with LARD!!!! Leon said that it was the very first time LARD brought up a 3rd boat/team to SF and i was a part of it. i was on the white boat back then.
Our very first race that saturday morning was super cold; it was raining when we were marshaling and then it started pouring so hard as we were lining up at the start line!!!! i raced through the rain, it was amazing! i actually really liked it =) and LARD white won first/gold in our division!
i stayed because LARD is so much fun. LARD is the epitome of greatness! it's not just a team, it is family and i don't ever want to leave!!!!
Rec B Consolation 1st Place
Comp A 2nd Place
Visiting Championship 3rd Place