San Francisco - Sept 25, 26
CHARGE! (photo by Phil Sun)
|Black:||Comp A Final||4th Place|
|Black:||Visitors Cup Final||3rd Place|
|Red:||Comp B Consolation Final||3rd Place|
|Red:||Visitors Cup Consolation||1st Place|
|White:||Rec B Finals||4th Place|
|Men:||Open Division||2nd Place|
15th Annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival!
Photo by Scott Wu
This year, over 110 dragon boat teams with 3,500 dragon boat paddlers are expected to attend, racing a 500 and 300 meter course.
The dragon boat teams range from novice to competitive skill levels. The novice teams represent local Bay Area corporations, public agencies, and non-profit community organizations. Recreational and competitive teams practice year-round and hail from all over the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands. This year's championship race is going to be one of the fiercest battles for victory to date!
SF Race Weekend Information
by Jason Cheng (Sept 23, 2010)
Looking forward to seeing everyone up here for another exciting race weekend! Lori's pretty much covered it all, the only thing left on the preparation checklist is to simply get some quality rest these next two nights. I couldn't find the reference I had in mind to articulate the quantitative benefit of getting good rest in the days leading up to a race event, but in short, get as much of it as possible. Nothing you can do from here on out will have a greater impact on your performances this weekend than catching some good 'ol Zs tonight and tomorrow. (Note the shuttle departure time Saturday morning. It's the same for Sunday :-D ) You've all trained hard together and on your own to improve your team. Bring that commitment and intensity with you.
See y'all soon,
Fourth Year at SF
by Jessica Lee (Sept 30, 2010)
penguin. penguin. frog!
This year's San Francisco race was my 4th with LARD. It was also my 2nd year race managing instead of paddling. San Francisco is always a wonderful race with lots of good food (provided by our wonderful DieselFish hosts), good shopping, and tons of good times with the team.
This year was definitely no exception. There was a new t-shirt vendor, bok choy, who had an amusing white rabbit shirt (those who ate the candy when they were younger certainly understood the shirt). There were 3 new food vendors, mobile vendors at that. Yes, that's right. CDBA brought in local food vendors to add more variety to our lunches. We all had fun trying out the baos and pilipino food.
On the water, LARD once again had 3 crews. We expanded our family even more this year with guest paddlers from Aero Dragons, Canada, and Seattle. Many races were just as close as ever.
As for the annual cake war, Diesel kicked it up a notch by getting the guys involved. They even had a cute little mixer game to help the teams get to know each other better.
Each cupcake had a flag on it. One side of the flag was the diesel logo; The other side had the lard logo. There was 1 name on the flag. If it was a lardie, the name was on the lard side. ditto for the diesel ppl. the point was to pick a cupcake that caught your eye. Ideally it would be a cupcake w/ a name from the other team then go find that person. lard far outnumbered diesel so it didn't necessarily work as planned but it was definitely not a failure.
by Leon Cheng (Oct 1, 2010)
Following the last race in San Francisco, we rushed back, missing out on the team close-out. Lost in the balance of our hectic schedules - doctor's appointments (Wynne and Avy) and work (I've already gone to Seattle and back this week), we did not get a chance to chime in on our experience.
While all of you warmly welcomed us back, in truth, it was a selfish exercise for us. We have practically missed the entire race season, and we missed you guys. Coming and just watching (let alone getting the chance to participate) was something that we dreamt of (heck, I got the best seat in the house to watch the races from). We witnessed the strength of the team, your support for one another, your inspiration, the organization, everything that defined our team and everyone's role in contributing to that definition.
I had mentioned, steering the last boat in the last race of the tournament that, regardless of result, the race for me was about gratitude. My feeling of pride at that point couldn't have been any greater. Considering the showings by the full depth of LARD and represented by all the squads of the team colors, the weekend up to that point was amazing. Following the last race, nothing changed. Having said that, I did notice the look or silence of disappointment from some of you on that boat. I remembered that look in Long Beach. But I want to put it in context because San Francisco was so clearly different.
Long Beach. LARD had been so completely selfless. For Avy. For Wynne and for myself. For our/your family. The loss in the sense of self seemed to yield unpredictable, uncontrollable, and undeniably dissappointing results in Long Beach. It wasn't us, it didn't feel like us. But you all continued on. And trained hard, and pushed one another, and believed in one another. On that last boat in San Francisco, out on that water, before that race, I think everyone gained that sense of self, that belief that we were capable of anything. As surely as the building momentum of results and showings from our entire team, we felt ourselves. And while we didn't always run perfect races, we knew where we belonged - amongst the best.
So, we knew we could. Do anything. And the race was run, and it was a great one. Not the very best of our races, but a great piece nevertheless. The results weren't about what we were incapable of doing, but speaks to the strength of our competition; in this case, you can't do anything but give them their due and well-deserved respect.
So what does that say about LARD? I am convinced that our team has never been stronger. Wynne and I look forward to transitioning from cameo appearances to the comfort of re-establishing some regularity to our schedule, attending practices, participating in team events; simply being with family.
About gratitude. Thanks for giving Wynne and I our missed LARD season, all in one weekend. We are thrilled Avy was able to see her extended family, all dressed in glorious LARD colors. Thanks to my mom for making this trip possible. So much to be grateful for. So in reviewing our whirlwind, last-minute, frenetic and tiring decision to make it up to the Bay Area to catch the last of LARD's target races of the season (San Diego notwithstanding), after having lost my voice (and regaining it since), after getting [too much] sun, the heat, the long drive, the way things happened, the way it ended; everything - we wouldn't have had it any other way.
I trust you have all made it back safe, are recovering well, and are looking, as we are, to the next LARD adventure.
Leon, Wynne & Avy & Gus.
Photo by Eric Tang (Dragon Warriors)
by Patti Misischia (Nov 7, 2010)
San Francisco Race was a "Breath-taking" event that I will NEVER forget! The excitement of it all was so GREAT! I look forward to next year becoming stronger & more improved as time goes. This was a Wonderful Journey & Experience....the Encouragement, Excitement, Fun, Laugher, Smiles, Hugs, Massages, Beautician, Sharing, Caring, Anticipation, Adrenaline, Hard work and Dedication by each teammate that was put into the whole wknd, Being with all of YOU...simply UNBELIEVABLE!
Being on the "White Boat" was awesome! We gave it our all! I'm very proud to have been on the boat and to have accomplished what we did!
The MOST BEAUTIFUL part of the whole experience.....ALL OF YOU!!!! Thank you for accepting me into your FAMILY!! I plan on making you PROUD next year!!!!!
Sunburned in San Francisco
by Kenny Kim (Sept 30, 2010)
Mike eating a dog
This was a phenomenal weekend for me. Not only did we bring up the strongest three crews in our team history, I had the opportunity to paddle with the Red Squad and the men in the Open Division.
While there have been warm weekends for SF in the past, this was very unusual in that this year I got more sunburned from San Francisco than I did Long Beach which traditionally sends everyone home either lobster red or ten shades darker than they were just two days prior.
Men Saturday morning
First up were the men in the Open Division. Twenty men in one boat sits very very low in the water. While there is a phenomenal amount of power, we sit so low in the water you need every erg that you can get. We had a good warm up and we're one of the first heats of the day so we're all focused and ready to set the bar high for the weekend. We line up without a hitch and we fly. It was fantastic. The amount of power and speed. This is what I train for. It's one thing to buy something or ride something that goes fast. It's a whole nother universe when you are the source of that speed. With a smile, we win our semi-final heat and will advance tomorrow to the Finals.
Black is up next and they take 1st in their heat by a good boat length and its our, Red's, turn now. I'm sitting row five with Cheryl as my benchie. It's the farthest forward I've sat in a many many moons as I'm usually mid-stroke in row six or farther back in the engine room. We're pretty amped and we're early enough in the morning that the winds and water conditions are still fairly flat and we run a decent piece but our timing is a little off. We run it out with a solid second place, but we all know what we need to work on and we head back to rest and prepare for our next piece and cheer on our White Squad who are racing against some very tough competition and place fourth in their seeding heat.
Megan's watching you
Second round for Red and the winds are picking up. We've switched sides and I'm on my left (which is admittedly my less technically accurate side) but we've all practiced this. Otto lines us up nice and neat. We're ready. We're ready. And. . . we're still ready. Lane 6 is holding us up and we are now floating on the left buoy but we don't have enough time to chum right and of course as soon as our hull touches the buoy the start is called. Left side calls from front to back, "Watch the buoy!" One. Two. CRAP. Four. Five. I don't miss a stroke, but its definitely not on time as I am forced to swing my paddle two feet higher to clear the swinging flag pole. While our power was there. The boat is heavy. Our timing isn't there and our mental focus has admittedly been broken by the start. We place poorly and will not be going on to the Comp B finals.
What makes me so proud of this team is that even with the poor second run. Not a single person attempted to place blame nor did we lose our cool. We all admitted the start messed with our heads and reassured each other that for the next heat, we would be 110% focused.
Sunday has Red in the Visiting Cup Consolation. For those who are unaware, the Visiting Cup is only two heats, the Finals and the Consolation. They are seeded according to what I believe is the team's performance on Saturday and because of Red's second heat we are in the Consolation Final. The focus is there. As we are lining up, I don't hear a word. Everyone's eyes are in the boat and I can feel it. We want this. If we don't win, it is not going to be because of a lack of focus or effort. And it is a beautiful run. We're paddling on our first sides (for me the right) and it feels good -- real good. With a heaving chest, and a smile on my face, I hear we've taken 1st. I feel the momentum building quietly.
No hiding from the sun
Red Squad is a very reserved group and the focus is palpable in the air as we head into our Consolation Final. All I wanted from the race was to recreate and build upon the piece we ran for the visiting cup race. We were racing on the same side again and we have a good lineup from the outside lane. The spray is incredible and I'm racing with my right eye closed as I squint through sprays of salt water in my eyes. I see Sandy in front of me paddling her heart out and I re-double my efforts even as I feel my shoulder shredding a little. The timing feels good, but I can sense the fatigue in the movement. We're getting tired and while we give it all in that last push, when I looked up and around I see all of the racing teams were pretty much in line. It wasn't until later that I found out that we had placed third.
Funny moment. I'm packing all of the team paddles to drive them back home and I see Jason and Karen standing by our gear and I walk up to him and start hitting him;
I *smack* Like *smack* Switching *smack* Sides - SMACK. I had raced on the same side three times in a row and my left shoulder was throbbing mightily. Evidently, I was so focused I missed the message that they felt our timing and power was better on that one side, so we paddled that one side all of Sunday. ~ Kenny
by Billy Leung (Oct 7, 2010)
Red Engine Room
San Francisco, as a tourist spot, is not an unfamiliar place, and I've been there many times before. However, I have obviously never gone to SF with this overbearing competitive aura. You could feel it in the lobby of the Marriott, at the Racer's Village, and definitely in the water at TI. The competitive atmosphere definitely matched the feeling I had in Vancouver. At some point during that weekend, I had injured my foot badly somehow, and I wasn't able to walk properly. But that didn't stop me at all from hobbling to the boats and pouring it on.
I finally got to experience the infamous splashing of SF waters on LARD Red's last race. It definitely felt more thrilling with the splashing, plus it helped considerably with the massive heat wave we were experiencing that weekend. Overall, we definitely put in the best races we could muster, and I felt like it brought our team even closer. We have one race left in the season, and we're gonna make it a stellar one. Stay Classy, San Diego. I'm Ron Burgundy?
We can do it!
by Karen Wang (Oct 10, 2010)
LARD Women Saturday
It's a Saturday morning in May and its going to be me versus the erg machine. Will weekend after weekend of land training and practice pay off?
I step on the scale.. DANG.. that hasn't changed. I get on the machine and get ready. I remember to set up big and use my core. As the words of encouragement egg me on, I keep it strong and refuse to let fatigue trip me up. When the two minutes are up, I am panting and can barely stand. I'm not going to tell you what my erg score is, but the hard work has definitely paid off. :)
This is what I remember before every race piece from May onwards. I have worked hard and have to keep working hard to prove my spot on the black squad. All of the land training and practice with the team culminated this weekend for me at TI. I knew I had big shoes to fill. I also know that I have gotten better since I began, but I still had a long way to go to become even better. I also think about Vancouver, when I am pretty sure I clacked paddles during a race (sorry Coaches!... and Nick) and remind myself this cannot happen again.
As the racing progressed, I am not only happy with how black performed, but with how Red and White were doing as well. I felt as if their successes was this intangible fuel that helped perpetuate the feeling of "We can do it!"
We all know that LARD did not get to sing the national anthem on the final day of the races. I know that there are some bummed feelings out there. Even I felt bummed as I took the bus ride back by myself to the hotel so I could catch my flight. I wanted some bling!! However, I realized that regardless of what squad me or anybody is on, I'm honored to be part of a team that performed marvelously well against such tough competition.
Throw Puppy in the pool!
by Jeannie Lin (Oct 11, 2010)
Had it not been in front of a zillion people I probably would've kept going until he was thoroughly embarrassed but alas I wasn't getting very far on that.
lol. Agh the jerk. He usually gives me hugs but was giving me crap that weekend. When the Magnum kids pushed him in, I laughed and watched. After he got out, he was like, "You're going in!" And I decided I wasn't going in alone!
by Noel Villegas (Oct 12, 2010)
I never had much loyalty to any sports teams. I attribute much of this to being born in Queens, NY and being a Mets fan through the early/mid 1990s. Much like the Knicks of recent memory, there was never much to root for. In high school and college, I didn't participate in team sports either. I hadn't joined any basketball or football teams, the extent of my participation in organized sports was a season in little league during third grade.
My crowning achievement was being hit by a pitch during the last inning of a game. I stole second, third, and home (on a wild pitch), but my greatest exploit was mostly enabled by 8 year old imprecision. I suppose I never really understood what team meant. when people high five each other during sporting events, I never really got it.
What a sight.
Given my fairweather fan history, it was a new experience for me to watch my team compete in TI. The white boat hadn't even hit the water yet, but everyone was watching from the shore. The red boat was running their first heat and it was a close race. I can say unambiguously and without exaggeration that I felt chills at the finish. There was a collective energy from the team watching on the shore that was fueled by the passion in the boat, which was unlike anything I'd seen. It's like we were willing them forward, channeling energy from a distance. While the red boat didn't place first, there was a collective sense of accomplishment in that second place finish: a recognition of a job well done and an acknowledgement for areas of improvement. And for me, I got something which I didn't have before: LARD pride.
The 2010 San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival
by Scott Wu (Oct 1, 2010)
It’s taken me a while to process what happened last weekend. Hell, after the craziness that was Sunday night (all you can eat shabu, all you can drink “spirits”, and the mayhem that was O’Neil’s), I’m just beginning to shake off the cobwebs.
I have been racing in SF for many years and I love it. The level of competition is high, the venue is awesome and the boats are fairly evenly matched. There is clearly lane bias at this race (as in every race) but the organizers realize it and seed teams and heats accordingly. Thanks, CDBA, for putting together one of the best races LARD attends – those buses were absolutely incredible – leather seats, tables, and wifi in the buses. I hope to see them again next year!
The Canadian teams that made their way down – Dragon Hearts Magnum, Jetstart, Masters of D’Zone, to name a few, were way fast (as f’ing usual). It’s absolutely fantastic they all made their way down. Magnum trained like monsters this year and the race results reflected it. Jetstart was fast as usual – we love racing you guys. I made sure I stayed for the closing ceremonies to watch all the Canadian flags flying and the signing of the Canadian national anthem.
As usual, the SF teams led by Dragon Warriors and BAD paddled “uber” fast. Props to DW1 for a blazing finals piece. You guys killed it!
I am also very happy to report that the Long Beach dragon boat community represented very well. It was so good to see the Killer Guppies getting faster. Siori is doing a fantastic job with KG! :) The Long Beach Masters are also getting faster, with some tweaks and some buy in, these squad will be very fast in years to come.
Extra special thanks to DieselFish for hosting us, organizing our race day food and drink, and putting together an absolutely killer Saturday night dinner. I can’t imagine TI without you guys!
As defending champions of this race, LARD defended honorably. I won’t lie, it didn’t suck hearing the words, “LARD Black, defending champions” as we lined up for our heats. I’m sure it fired everyone up – perhaps even more so, the other teams. I will train harder to hear that again.
We paddled with soul, with grit, and with passion. Frankly, I think we did the best we could do – this year.
The question now becomes will you have more to give next year?
LARD is no longer the hunted, we are now the hunter – a position I cherish.
The race results can be found here.
Scott via readyandreach.com
We were able to secure a private reservation at Happy Shabu Shabu for Sunday 9/26. The owner is willing to close down the entire restaurant for us for 3.5 hours which means we can actually fit up to 60 people or so. Currently we are planning something like 7-10:30pm but we can adjust accordingly based on the race finish time. If you were unsure or have friends in the Bay then they are more than welcome to drop by. We can be rowdy, loud, obnoxious and just have a good time without worrying about other patrons.
Only caveat is that he's requiring a deposit to secure the reservation. Because of this, I'm asking each person for a $20 deposit to make sure I don't get left hanging dry if a lot of people end up bailing. Please be prompt so that we do not miss out on this reservation opportunity. I will be collecting money at practices and this deposit will be returned to you at the restaurant on the night of.
Happy Shabu Shabu
1401 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
All You Can Eat - $22.95
All You Can Eat/Drink - $34.95
(I believe there is an AYCE vegetarian option but I don't know pricing)
Grace Elvina (Guest)
Nicole Peck (Guest)
Lynda Razo (Guest)
Manny Caldera (Guest)
Henry Lee (Guest)
Doug Nyland (Guest)