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Shanghai: Sept 10 - 14

Squad Division Place
 
500m Mixed 6th Place

SCDBC 10-Man Team to Race in Shanghai

by Scott Wu (Jan 15, 2010)

For those of you that aren't on Facebook/Twitter or don't read my blog:

Dr. Chen has asked me to put together an SCDBC/Long Beach based dragon boat team for a September race in Shanghai that will be held in conjunction with the 2010 Shanghai Expo.

Here are the details as I know them now (subject to change) – the tournament starts on 9/15/2010. All races will be in 10-man boats. Distances are 200m, 500m, 2000m (circle race). There will be 14 paddlers on the roster, plus a steersman and caller. If you make the team, you will have to pay for your airfare to and from Shanghai as well as the cost of your visa. Everything else should be taken care of. I’m am sure there may be other changes, so be prepared to spend a bit more money (the exact amount, I do not know).

I understand the race is right before the 2010 San Francisco Dragon Boat Tournament. My intention is to coach/race in Shanghai and also make my way over to San Francisco to coach/race with my own team.

This is the awkward/discriminatory part: The organizers of the race (not me, not LARD, not ICEA, not SCDBC, or anyone else/entity in the U.S.) require that there are a minimum of 8 paddlers of Chinese descent on the boat during each race. As such, 2 paddlers on a boat can be of any origin – white, black, green, blue or brown. I am not currently aware of any age minimums or maximums.

I will be testing all paddlers interested. The details of testing will be disclosed at a later date after I get a grip on how many are interested and after I have had a chance to speak with the other coach(es) that will be involved.

The caliber of paddler I envision should not only be strong, but have no problem with blending with those that paddle around him/her. These paddlers should be motivated enough to train on their own. I will demand effort and attention at our practices (and races) but will leave it up to you off the boat as to how you wish to prepare yourself.

How do you make the team? The first step is to indicate your interest by replying to this evite.

Next, we will be testing (likely on a paddling ergometer in addition to oc2 or oc1 on water testing). We will determine at a later date whether there will be a series of cuts or just one cut. The EARLIEST we will test is in May so you have time to prepare yourself.

If you make the team, you will not be able to paddle with any other team for the 2010 season. JUST KIDDING! You are encouraged to paddle and train with your own team throughout the season. We will practice as a team but our practices will be a supplement to the training you are doing for your own team.

Raw numbers will not be the only factors in team selection. The goal is to pick the best TEAM Long Beach has to offer so there will be a subjective part of the selection process. Technique and blending are critical as is one’s character and attitude. Team chemistry will be a priority.

If you have any questions, fire away.

This is going to be fun. Step it up.

~Scott

Thank You, Kialoa!

by Scott Wu (July 28, 2010)

Kialoa Paddles is graciously sponsoring the Southern California Dragon Boat Club (SCDBC)/International Cultural Exchange Association’s (ICEA) 10-man Dragon Boat Team that will be racing in Shanghai later this summer. The team is comprised of some of Long Beach’s best paddlers from TeamLARD, Space Dragons and the Killer Guppies.

Today, I received the box with the paddles we will be racing with and the shirts (Patagonia Capilene 1) we will be wearing in Shanghai.

I visually compared these new Kialoa Dragon Hybrid Paddles to two of my favorite paddles – the Kialoa prototype/first gen Dragon Hybrid Paddle I used in my previous review and the Burnwater Reactor II.

As I mentioned in a previous post on R&R, the 202a Spec Modification allows for a sharper blade tip. Guess what these new Kialoas have? Yup, my dream has come true.

Clearly, the new Kialoas are sharper.

Here’s a comparison of the first Kialoa Dragon Hybrid Paddle (left), the current Kialoa Dragon Hybrid Paddle I just received (center), and the Burnwater Reactor II (right).

Thanks again Kialoa for your generous support.

~Scott

Day 1 Long Beach to Shanghai

by Kat Quinto (Oct 13, 2010)

The team arrived in China just before lunch time and Dr. Chen was already waiting for us right outside the Baggage Claim area. After getting our dollars changed to RMB, we walked to the parking lot to get to the shuttle/bus that was rented for the day just for the team! During the bus ride to downtown Shanghai Dr. Chen gave us a little history about the city and how it has grown over time with regards to transportation, economy, tourism, etc. There were also a lot of advertisement for the World Expo and Haibao, the Expo mascot, is everywhere! We were also able to get a glimpse of the Expo area from the bus. The buildings in downtown Shanghai are also very fascinating!

We got dropped off at Yu Yuan Old Street because Dr. Chen wants to bring us to this famous Steamed Bun Restaurant and because there were so many people there we were reminded to watch out for pick-pocketers and that explains why most of us were carrying our backpacks up front. The place is a famous tourist spot and there were many vendors on the street selling all sorts of things. It reminded me of Chinatown here in LA, only BIGGER and more crowded!

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Day 1

We lost two people because of the crowd, Kim and Vince. We later found out they bought some street food and only cost them about .50cents (US). Anyway, for the rest of the team, we made it to Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant. The food was yummy! I want to go back! We all tried the steamed bun with a straw. It has a straw because there's soup in it and just the bun, no meat or anything inside. After lunch, the bus picked us up and brought us to a market place where they sell cheap clothes and merchandise. We all just went around floor by floor to see what each stores sell. We were really bothered by the local vendors who followed us around because they knew we were tourists and they kept showing us stuff that they sell for cheap. Nobody bought anything but Dr. Chen, I think.

After an hour there, the bus picked us up again and drove us to a grocery store where we bought drinks and snacks. I love Asian grocery stores because they sell so many different flavors of chips, drinks, candies, etc! Otto and Phil bought a BBQ Steak Flavored Pringles. They said it wasn't good at all though. Fail! But I bought a bunch of bread and they were yummy!

After the grocery store rendezvous, we traveled for about an hour to our hotel near Qing Pu and we got our rooms. Our rooms were all located in one building and on the second floor. We had dinner and met some of the teams that night and then toured the Old Town in the dark, everything was closed so again, fail! I think I went to sleep at 8pm local time that night, too! =)

~* kAt

Day 2 Zhu Jia Jiao Town

by Phil Sun (Oct 12, 2010)

He has Otto's hat!

Today was suppose to be our practice day, but practice wasn’t until 1:00 pm in the afternoon, so we decided to take a stroll into the old town. The gateway and buildings looked like they were straight out of an old school Chinese movie. Scenery was awesome, and even for a rainy day, this town on water just had a very homely feel to it. Even the small ferry boats looked very ancient authentic. The “power steering” was hilarious to watch. It was literally an old man in a straw rice hat pushing and pulling a giant oar, and the boat somehow just moved.

Before we left there was some drizzle, so you figure, that’s not so bad. 5 minutes later… it was POURING! We didn’t have umbrellas ready, so we ran from shop to shop until we bought these cheap leaky umbrellas costing 10-30 RMB ($1.50-$5.00 USD). Most of the shops sold local foods and desserts, some trinkets and touristy items. At some point, the rain was coming down so hard it flooded the walkways, we just gave up and walked in the rain. We went around buying stuff all soaking wet, a lot of the locals stared at us and some even laughed, those “crazy foreigners!”

Practice time! Those bulky wooden 14 seat boats were heavy… and smelly too. And our orange block PFD’s were very fashionable too. Otto and I got some amusement out of steering with these giant wooden fly swatters. I was the first time the actual entire Shanghai crew was paddling together. It took a bit of adjustment but we got the hang of it quickly. We quickly found out the starting calls were completely bogus. “5 minutes until start” (in Mandarin), means 30 seconds left until the start horn.
“2 minutes until start” means 10 seconds left.

2010-vid-shanghai2

After practice, Scott and I attended the “captains meeting” while everybody else was having fun playing Mafia back in the dorms.

Part I - SHDBA Meeting: We thought we were going to be discussing the rules, instead went into this fancy conference room where the tournament directors wanted to hear our suggestions on how to improve the race and SHDBA (Shanghai Dragon Boat Association). I thought it was interesting to hear about Dragon Boating from different perspectives internationally.

Part II - Dinner: We arrived into the dining hall a bit late, so we were seated at the race officials’ table. 7 older Chinese men who were smoking and drinking and having a jolly good time, and of course they toasted us. Being guests, of course we didn’t refuse… a few drinks with them =)

Part III – Race Meeting: The same race officials that we sat with hosted the rules meeting and drew lanes. I swear the bracketing system was so complicated, several teams were confused on how to advance in the tournament. The initial seeding of teams was a bit complicated too. 4 teams would go up and pick a face down card to determine the order in which you will draw a numbered ping pong ball out of a bag to determine which heat you will start in.

I'm a hitman.

I'm a model.

Part IV - Finding a way home: Afterwards, they forgot to arrange rides for us to go back to the dorms. Luckily the captains from the Filipino team , Rhea and Loye, came shopping here yesterday so we followed them back to the dorms through the old town that we got rained on earlier in the day.

Thus ends day 2... after two more rounds of Mafia. Notable phrases from the Mafia game that night:

Vincent (from KG): “……….It’s not me………..”
Sandy: “I know who I am…”
Jesse: “It’s Lori!”
Otto: “You guys always kill me!”

-Phil

Day 3 Qing Pu

by Scott Wu (Sept 13, 2010)

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Day 3

Quick summary – this race seemed to be a big deal in China – tv cameras everywhere, people lining the streets and bridges to watch. There were teams from Germany, Philippines, Macau, Hong Kong, and Japan. The Shanghai Dragon Boat Association really did a great job making everyone feel welcome. There were more than a handful of professional teams – by professional I mean paddling and training as a day job and racing for prize money as a salary bonus. As a result, there were some teams that, well, just took off on us.

We were projected to finish in the bottom 1/2 of the races – or 18th out of the 20 teams in the tournament depending on who you talked to. Rather, we finished 6th place overall (based on a scoring system encompassing 250s and 500s) taking home a SWEET trophy and about $1,300.00 in prize money. The money went straight to the SCDBC to help buy the Long Beach community new dragon boats.

We definitely spread the Kialoa love internationally as the Philippine team wanted to buy our Kialoa paddles from us. Thank you so much, Kialoa, for your generous support. Thank you, Dr. Chen and the SCDBC for your never-ending support. Also, thanks to the Long Beach paddlers that took the time to train and travel to make this a race I will never forget.

More to come later. Here are a few pictures – that I managed to get to my iPad.

Scott via readyandreach.com

Day 4 World Fair Sept 13, 2010

by Lori Skelton (Oct 29, 2010)

2010-vid-shanghai-haibao

Love the stache. Strike a pose. Vogue

Our last day in Shanghai, we decide to visit the World Expo. As we head out our tour guide gives us a few tips and what to expect. She hands us our matching tour guide hats and $100 RMB for our lunch and we're good to go. Upon arrival the weather decides to wreak havoc and we all start scrambling to purchase the plastic pastel rain slickers. We all looked like a bunch of Easter eggs. So, once everyone was somewhat protected from the torrential downpour, we got in line at the entrance. This was quite an uncomfortable experience getting squished and shoved to no end. We all started holding hands so not to lose each other. Our guide was then able to get us into a line for pre-purchased ticket holders and we were lead through the corridor like cattle going to slaughter.

Once inside, the Expo was quite a sight. As the day went on, the weather got better and better. It would take a few more days than we had to actually see everything, as some of the wait-time was about 2 – 4 hours. Our tour ending up being primarily an architectural tour of some amazing works. Some of the pavilions we did visit were,the Pavilion of Urban Planet, which was cool as they had a dome replica of planet Earth. We visited others such as Philippines, Africa, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Philippines had some great musicians and yummy desserts. Africa had quite an entertaining fashion show, but let’s just say we weren’t looking at the fashions.

We were able to sign a petition to save the Komodo Dragons and of course I signed my new Dragon Boat name, Lovi Skeletor. We spent a good 10 hour day walking, eating and enjoying a lot of good laughs. This was the Mecca for people watching. We were impressed by the Asian Squat being done by all ages. The old men were as limber as the babies. At times I felt like I was one of the attractions, I don’t believe the Chinese see many blonde haired, blue-eyed women. While waiting in line we found the warning signs quite comical; “No Noising” and “No Challenging”. The Expo’s mascot, Hai Bao, (Little Ocean Dumpling), was quite the star as he was on every piece of merchandise imaginable in all the shops.

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Day 4

We decided to stay our last night in the beautiful Bund district. After checking into our Manhattan Business Hotel, complete with mirrors on the ceilings and see through bathrooms, we were ready to once again partake in another Chinese meal. Sandy’s friend recommended the restaurant Lost Heaven. The atmosphere was beautiful and we enjoyed a delicious meal. On our walk back to the hotel along the Huangpu River, the skyline view was spectacular. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower was quite impressive. I’ve never seen a city skyline so magically lit. Unfortunately, we were out so late, the lights did not stay on for long. A great day was had by all.

The whole Shanghai experience was a wonderful adventure.

Women

Kat Quinto
Lori Skelton
Jeannie Lin
Vi Wu
Sandy Yang
Jackie Lai - Space Dragons

Men

James Banh
Scott Wu
Jesse Wong
Otto Jan
Phil Sun
Kim Bushong - Space Dragons
Vincent Wong - Killer Guppies
Michael Parker - Space Dragons