1st San Diego Festival - October 23 & 24
Photo by Doan Nguyen
|LARD A||500m Consolation Mixed Final||3rd Place|
|LARD 1||500m Consolation Mixed Final||1st Place|
|500m Open||1st Place|
|250m 10man Mixed||2nd Place|
|250m 10man Open||2nd Place|
San Diego has secured the permits to hold their first official Dragon Boat race since 1983 in Mission Bay just south of the Mission Bay Hilton hotel.
But to have a race, you've gotta have boats. So the weekend of the 9th and 10th of October LARD was treated to the joy of loading and unloading boats.
SDDBT can't thank you enough for helping us load our dragon boats this morning and this afternoon as it turns out. You guys are as awesome on land as you are on the water. It is so cool that you would take time after your hard practice to "drive" away from Mothers Beach and then suffer through precarious body positions to move four very heavy boats. And then drive all the way back to Mothers Beach to pick up a 10-man boat. Wow!!!
It goes without saying that we could never have done it without you. If there is "ever" anything that our team can do for yours please don't hesitate to let us know.
We are so looking forward to having LARD paddle in our first San Diego Dragon Boat Festival. Your presence definitely legitimizes our race to the dragon boat world.
Photo by Doan Nguyen
I hear from Diane that some of you plan on helping us again tomorrow (Sunday) morning as well after your water and land practices are completed. You can think of this as your "boat moving practice" - hahaha
Again, we can't thank you enough for your help today!!! GO LARD!!!!
[Sunday was a different kind of exciting. We had help from other teams this time and were plied with yummy pizza and drinks as our volunteer lubricant. We moved two more 20-man boats onto their trailer and two 20-man boats to the practice area. The highlight of the day occured while moving a 20-man from the trailer nearest the fence. The steering mechanism was catching against the fence, so we tried to push/pull the trailer out and WHAM the trailer lurches forward and time slows as we all watch the boats drop towards the ground. I took one step towards the trailer to help but my brain was moving fast enough to do some calculations - Kenny versus several thousand pounds of fiberglass -- fiberglass wins. So, I paused there, watching the boats bouncing in the trailer after the collapse. Thankfully, no one got hurt but I think all of us gained a white hair or two when the hitch wheel collapsed. Everyday is another opportunity to experience sheer terror. -Kenny]
photo by Scott Wu
LARD will be adding another race to our season and the great news? It's semi-local in beautiful San Diego! The coaches will send out an evite eventually but first, we wanted to give everyone the heads up so you can book your hotel rooms.
Because this is a semi-local race, we're leaving it up to paddlers to make their own room reservations. There are three hotels recommended on the site, but the least expensive one (the Best Western) is only a mile away and we anticipate this hotel selling out quickly as there are only a limited number of rooms. If you know you will want to stay overnight in San Diego, please book your room ASAP before they are sold out.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to give me a holler.
We are offically adding this race to our schedule! This 2-day event will be the last race of the season.
Please indicate if you plan to participate. There are both 20-man and 10-man divisions.
Rooming accommodations will not be handled by Diane. You can either book your own room or share with the people who have already reserved.
Complete details of the race have not been published at this time, but we can at least expect a healthy dose of good competition and fun.
San Diego, Here We Come!
by Scott Wu (Oct 22, 2010)
Two new teams, “LARD A” and “LARD 1″, will be heading down to San Diego this weekend for our final race of the season and San Diego’s first dragon boat race in a very long time.
Most people that follow teamLARD know we designate our race teams by color (ie. Red, White, Black). We designate our Black team based on time trials and other criteria.
“But, Scott,” you ask, “what team is faster, LARD A or LARD 1?” My answer is: Both. We (the coaches) have used a tried and true technology to designate our teams this time around – the eyeball. Erg scores and oc2 times were not consulted. Our goal was to create two teams of equal ability. We’re going to be experimenting with things we have pretty much ironed out in our target races – steersman, caller, strokes, timing box, midstrokes – we’re going to mix things up.
LARD is set to have some fun this weekend and help out our San Diego sisters and brothers any way we can to make this race go off well.
Also, I have handed over the keys to the TeamLARD twitter account to our race managers and captain. They might be using it to keep you updated on meeting, marshalling, and race times. You can follow the feed at: www.twitter.com/teamlard.
I hope to see you all in San Diego!
photo by Scott Wu
We arrived in San Diego last Friday and I wandered over to the race site to check things out. The sunset was amazing.
Many of the volunteers that were there to help set up and move the boats just stopped dead in their tracks to take in the sunset. You can see the Sea World tower on the left in the background.
as posted on www.sddragonboatrace.com
(Oct 25, 2010)
Thank you to all the amazing Dragon Boat Teams that stayed and played with us in San Diego on Saturday & Sunday. Some misty rain, soon became joyous rainbows and sunshine for a fabulous start to a great weekend of racing on the glassy waters of Mission Bay. Peaceful Monks blessed our boats and awakened the dragons with the mysterious eye-dotting ceremony. Local dignitaries congratulated our athletes' efforts and energy. While faraway teams from Seattle, Portland, Arizona, San Francisco, Los Angeles and even Colorado became competitive with lots of serious paddling, and cheering on the beach, just south of the Hilton Resort. College teams from USC, UCI, and UCSD let their energy loose from start to finish! Team Survivor from San Diego and the LA Pink Dragons exhibited their strength and spirit during a memorable moment honoring friends who have battled cancer so bravely. Corporate teams from Sanyo, SEO Consultants, Kaiser, Physical Plant Operators, DPW, Splashing Flyers, and Crime Fighters gained a renewed spirit of teamwork. A HUGE thank you (and well-deserved "Spirit Award") to LARD for lugging boats and all the volunteer students from UCSD for helping the race run so smoothly all weekend long. We even finished 45 minutes early... so our out of town teams had plenty of time and a beautiful sunset to enjoy San Diego's finest restaurants & attractions. Team Wasabi took over the "Tavern" for a perfectly casual Paddlers Party Saturday night. On Sunday, in the totally tippy & super speedy new 10-man races, Lanakila's strong Mixed and Open team won a $1,000 cash prize; while the sleek & powerful Kai Elua women won $500 for their racing day! Wow! Be sure to check out the race results for all our Championship races. They are posted under the Racing tab. We look forward to seeing the same teams and some new faces on the water in San Diego next year in 2011...Thank YOU all!
San Diego DragonBoat Races
by Manny Caldera (Oct 25, 2010)
I saw the e-mail during the week which indicated that we needed to be in San Diego by 6:30 a.m. Ok not a problem. Well not true!
Our home gets up at 2:45 a.m. in the morning; we are out the door by 4:00 a.m. and I say to the family “we should be there by 6:15 a.m.
Cynthia is staying up with me to keep me awake and Christopher is going to sleep. Two hours later both individuals are asleep and wake up 3 miles from the Mexican Border. Cynthia tells me “Tijuana 3 miles”, and I reply “no” you mean 30 miles? As we drive over the drop on the freeway, I see a sign “Welcome to the Mexican Border” What the hell!!!
Diane helps with registration.
I stop the car 500 feet from crossing the border on the freeway; the cars behind me stop on the freeway; the Mexican Federal Police pick up their binoculars with machine guns. I say something in “Spanish” I see a sign that said U-Turn to USA; Cynthia’s said take that lane. I reply “si”
An Immigration Officer would not approach the vehicle at which time he said “What is your business”, I replied “my wife forgot to tell me to exit at the last exit. The Officer drops the vertical post from the ground, and raised the arm. We were now on our way back to San Diego.
Saturday Race(s): Men’s Finals
500m Open Championship
1. LARD 2:12:64
2. Splashing Flyers 2:17:19
3. BAD 2:19:99
4. DPW 2:21:31
I was very honored to be seated with the men’s LARD team. I had this sense of pride that went through my mind; that I did not want to let the team down; especially the finals men’s race. I could feel the adrenaline. I began to go through all the lessons I have learned over the weeks practicing with LARD. Changes that were made to improve my paddling.
I wedged myself in my seat, and re-griped my paddle and waited for the signal. Goooooooooooo! I felt we were one boat and one paddle. That I was a member of a Family instead of a Team. And that, MasterCard cannot purchase.
From the Shore:
Aaron preparing for battle
My Family was racing; whether it was the LARD Women or mixed. I watch as they executed the perfect paddle in and the perfect paddle out as they moved forward. The crowd from the shore watched as our team was being announced. It was a perfect day; regardless of the rain and being overcast. I was very impressed to see how many members of my team stayed to cheer our team members on regardless of whether they were seated or not.
My younger son raced in the first men’s race, but not in the men’s finals; so he was not eligible to receive an award. I mentioned this to the individual who was handing out the medals, and he took the medal back. As we are loading up the car to leave, I saw Christopher walking towards us with a medal around his neck and the “Biggest” smile on his face. “Now that is what family is all about…"
-Manny, a member of a LARD family and not just a team
500m Open (photo by Gordon Hom)
It's like finding that perfect wine to go with your meal.
For additional capsize
capabilities, use this pairing!
When you're in need
of musical accompaniment.
Battle of the LARDs
by Kenny Kim (Oct 27, 2010)
Many of us drove down Friday night and it was the first time I wasn't the driver in a carpool. Phil was the designated driver for Delwin, Billy and I. I must say, the drive down and back up was almost as entertaining as the race itself. Them's good people.
We did not arrive at the butt crack of dawn. No. That would be too easy. We arrived in pitch blackness of pre-dawn. It was cold and the city was still asleep. But we are LARD and we wake up at absurd hours of the day.
The first order of business after the tent setup was to move the boats from the shore to the water. Before dragging them down though, we had to ask the boats to cough. Scott had the dubious honor of feeling up the undersides of the boats prior to hoisting them down to the waterline where we arranged them side by side on the water to eyeball their relative weights and assign them to lanes.
As a racing venue, I must say, I liked it. There was lots of grassy areas to sprawl out upon with the finish line ten feet from our tent and the marshalling area just a few hops over. Personally, I can't eat when I race, so I didn't really get a chance to eat at any of the food vendors, but I did walk by and saw the usual festival fare of burritos, Thai, and nachos.
Saturday's races went by at a blur. LARD was racing practically every 30 minutes. Among the 10 man Visitor's Cup (whose lineup changed with every race), LARD A, and LARD 1, and assisting the corporate division, our team was warping time with the number of events we had to rush out too. Many times, we were racing back to back and had to transfer our caller and steerer from one boat onto the other on the water.
LARD A (photo by Gordon Hom)
With the seating set to explicitly acclimate our newer paddlers to LARD-style racing, each squad was split evenly and that equality was evident as we raced each other in the consolation finals. I was on LARD A in that last race and while we put in a good fight, I'm going to blame the boat on our less than optimal showing. Stupid red scaled boat - how I hate thee. It is rare for LARD to race itself and we celebrated with a good old fashioned splashfest ('ware Nick with his scoop technique!).
LARD Men was a different affair. With just enough men to fill out the boat, we put on a grand showing. While there were a few hiccups with timing and fatigue, the men put on a grand showing with Megan Yeh making her premier as a race steerer. The finals race was a thing of beauty. Our boat jumped ahead from the start and we all felt it. That thrum of power and adrenaline. It's what I live for in races and we all put on a race to be proud of.
The races were running so quick and smooth that the races were going to finish ahead of time. All of the full boat races were now behind us allowing us a moment to catch our breath and think of our next important task. Dinner!
Because of the short setup time for this race, the individual lardies were left to find their own room and dining. Some of us met at the gas lamp district and ate some very tasty fish and some overcooked prime rib. And as usual, I was overheating like the food powered furnace that I am. Stupid hyperhydrosis.
For those of you planning on staying at the Best Western again, I strongly advise against doubling up on the beds unless your back is made of steel. The night before I think I got all of three hours of sleep as I bunked with Delwin. Laying on the edge of the bed was excruciating. Saturday night, I found a free bed in Bill Ting's room and I sprawled passing out minutes after laying down.
I wake up without an alarm at 7:30 and I text Phil to see if they're up so I can go down and change. He texts "Yup. Just got back from Tijuana. Billy married a stripper." LOL. I can already tell it's going to be a fantabulous day. We're all in good spirits even though we're not racing today as we think about all the good food we're going to pig out on while we watch our teammates race.
Watching the races on the finish line
Of course, as we're almost all packed and heading out in our street clothes, Phil gets a call. "We've gotta change guys, we're racing today." What?! Aww man, I didn't bother rinsing out my vest because I didn't think I was going to race. Crap.
So it turns out we have a 10-man mixed AND a 10-man open entry for Sunday. Those of us who were still around and able to gear up hopped in the boat and I hope it's not just me, but good god, the boat is heavy.
Racing in the Open Division in a 10-man is nothing like the 20-man race. In the twenty, it might wallow deep, but the boat flies. In a 10-man, you're still sitting very high and the boat is simply too heavy to get the power-glide stroke I live for. The photo above is the 10-man open semi-finals fighting to catch Lanakila, one damn fast crew.
Random fun moment: C-Dub panicking when a large beetle lands on her lower leg. Nick being the gentleman that he is knocks it off her leg. C-Dub stepping on the beetle accidentally while she screamed and ran away.
LARD 1 (left) vs LARD A (right) (photo by Raymond Quan)
LARD helps with Corporate Races
by Billy Leung (Oct 26, 2010)
Team Name: Crime Fighters On The Water
Team Captain: Ed Prendergast
Team Coach: Monica Sengstacken
Race Experience: Various
Crime Fighters On The Water are a motley crew of San Diego Sheriff’s Department’s sworn and professional staff, family, and friends. Formed in 2009, the names and faces often change with each dragon boat race, but our fun-loving and competitive spirits remain bonded by our team quest to bring home the gold! See you all on the water!
Corporate A Champs:
1. Kaiser Permanente 1:18:41
2. DPW Dragons 1:19:06
3. Splashing Flyers 1:19:15
4. Crime Fighters 1:23:1
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to call for the San Diego Sheriffs Crime Fighters on the Water Team for the 2010 1st Annual San Diego Dragon Boat Race. This team competed in the corporate division against some heavy competition in the 250m races. No doubt they were an extremely inexperienced team, but they made up for it in heart. In our first race together, Mike, the Crime Fighters, and I blew the competition out of the water. Even though I set a really high rate (that was my first time calling), they held strong and finished first. They were so excited when they won first that they requested I call for them again.
When it came down to the championships, I was called down again, and this time Phil was steering. I looked at the competition and saw what we were up against: DPW and Splashing Flyers. It didn't matter. I told my team to lock in and focus. I tried setting a lower rate this time in hopes of syncing them up better, but in the thick of it, they wanted a higher rate. They finished a very respectable fourth, and I was super proud of them. I told them that they were up against teams that trained all the time, and they were only behind by a few seconds. If they began training and synced up, LARD would have to look out for these guys.
LARD also furnished callers and steersmen for two other corporate teams.
Here, Kat furnishes them with a quick on-the-water lesson for their race.
What do you mean you want to sleep in?
by Doug Nyland (Oct 27, 2010)
10-man Open Final
Since I knew I had no races on Sunday, I slept in and was going to grab some breakfast- then the phone rang. The friendly caller asked, "Doug? This is Vi, have you left your hotel yet?" LARD was given a boat in the 10 Man Open 250 meter and she wanted to know if I was interested in paddling! I was there in 15 minutes!
and we let him seat the boats
I know the teams that were picked for the weekend were a mix of LARD Black, Red and White, but as far as I was concerned, I was climbing on board the Black boat and I was going to earn my spot. Everyone on the boat was amped and in good spirits as we paddled out to the starting line. The encouragement poured from Kat and Philip and from paddler to paddler. We knew that the competition was going to be tougher than it was the day before; we had to come strong.
Bill and I were anchored in the 5th row. The horn blew and LARD tore into the water at a steep rate. When we hit the "ups" I am sure that I could not have given any more than I was! That rate was definitely at my threshold but I was resolute that I would match what my bench-mates were giving.
We settled into power strokes and in my peripheral vision I could see that even with all the power I felt in our boat, it was still tight and there was a boat right with us on the right. I don't remember how many "powers" Kat called but I know at some point there was just empty water in my peripheral vision and it felt amazing! I felt that we fought even harder as another power was called. The boat felt like a monster and we emptied everything onto the bay!
As we passed the finish line, Bill and I both collapsed onto our knees, heaving with each breath. What a rush to give everything you have, even more than you knew you had, knowing that everyone else on that boat is giving just as much as you are.
10-man Mixed Final
A Great Weekend in San Diego
by Scott @ readyandreach.com (Oct 25, 2010)
10-man Mixed Final
Last weekend was the first San Diego Dragon Boat Race since 1983. TeamLARD headed down for our last race of the 2010 season.
Our goal heading into this race was to experiment with various seating configurations and to give our newer paddlers a chance to compete side-by-side with some of our more experienced paddlers. We also wanted to do everything we could to help out San Diego with their race.
250m Open Championship
1. Lanakila 01:10.02
2. LARD 01:13.21
3. SD Lifeguards 01:13.41
Although our goal was not to put our strongest crews together as we do in many of our other races, I was very excited to see how TeamLARD stacked up against some of the best outrigger teams in California, if not the U.S., as Lanakila, IMUA and Kai Elua raced in the 10-man 250 meter divisions on Sunday.
Well, the results surprised me. We learned quite a bit about our roster configurations and we were able to compete with some of the best the dragon boat and outrigger community had to offer.
Our evenly split 20-man teams (LARD 1 and LARD A) finished first and third, respectively, in the Division 1 consolation Final and our 10-man mixed and open teams both finished second in their division behind Lanakila. We were the only dragon boat team in the mixed final.
Delwin, Aaron, and Tabitha captured some stunning images and video of the racing from the chase boat.
Steer Us Straight, Steer Us True
Megan Yeh (Nov 3, 2010)
The 2010 San Diego Race was my first time steering. No, I don't mean the coaches threw a brand new steerer into the races, but it was my first time race steering and I was nervous as heck. I was going to be steering for the Open too and well I've known good steersmen to lose control during Open races. Didn't I have a right to be a tad nervous?
In the end, I did alright with no major mishaps, but definitely faced many difficulties. One being the constant winds that would blow us out of our lanes and what contributed to that was the not-so-great PA system that we could hardly hear. Many times we weren't even sure when the race was about to start, so making the necessary adjustments for optimal positioning was extremely hard.
Unfortunately, this being my first time steering in a race, I wasn't able to focus on how our paddlers were doing. But at least I concentrated on the most important thing that a steersmen should: making sure we didn't crash into anyone. At least I did a good job at that! Another difficulty that I faced were the lane markers, there was only 3: the start, the 250m mark, and the finish. The worst was the finish because they were all white, so once we passed the 250m buoys, it was like, "now where do I go?!" The last difficulty was the number of races we had, once we finished racing one, we had to jump onto another to steer. It was super tiring, my final count for Saturday was 7 raced, 4 steered, and 1 called. I was beat.
Aside from all the adversities, it was an exciting experience, especially steering for the Open 20man Finals. It wasn't necessarily the fact that we took that race (though that's always a plus), but the feeling of getting more and more powerful as the piece went on. I believe to the right of us were Splashing Flyers who were the closest to us once the race started, but with each power that was called on we gained more and more distance from them. The response and also the momentum we were riding was such a rush. I've been on the boat so many times, but being in the steersmen seat during a race brings a whole different perspective. Now I have even more respect for race steersmen than I did before.
Bad Dragon, bad!
Gordon Hom from Sake (Oct 26, 2010)
"Wooah, I think we're gonna have a collision."
-Tim from the chase boat.
Hot Sake, lane 1, was racing two BAD teams in the 10-mixed semi finals. BAD in lane 2 lost control out of the start hitting Hot. We were told that BAD had a guest steersman who was not prepared for BAD’s powerful start and may have fallen. Once Hot was clear of BAD we resumed racing because there was no signal to stop. The chase boat did not stop the race until we were near the finish. By then Hot had gone full out to turn the boat back to catch up.
"I was in bench 3 and saw the head out of my peripheral coming towards me. I think our steersman tried to get us parallel because the head passed then the gunnels smacked together."
The chase boat told all teams to return to the start to redo the race. When the teams got to the start, the dock marshal said to go back to the beach. About 200m back to the beach the chase boat told us to go back to the start. The reason for racing again was that there was no time in the schedule to do it later.
After the race, Kerry informed the teams that officials were going to determine if BAD would incur a time penalty and then teams could then decide whether to protest. BAD did incur a penalty but did not protest. BAD in lane 3 could have protested because they crossed the finish in the first race before it was stopped.
by Delwin Leung (Oct 27, 2010)
Tim on the chase boat with Delwin & Billy
San Diego race was definitely a great way to end this year’s season. While we were all expecting a sunny San Diego, we were met with a cold, wet and windy weekend. LARD did phenomenal both on the shore and in the water from helping move boats up a hill to battling it out in the finals.
My most memorable moment of this race was watching the final race of the 10-man mixed division with LARD battling it out with Lanakila. Watching from the chase boat was definitely a whole new perspective. While I was to take pictures, I almost couldn’t help myself to just put down the camera and cheered the team on. Maybe that is why we won the spirit award. I am definitely excited to see what the new season will bring.
The antics of Kerry aka Puppy. I normally only hear Kerry on the docks but some of his race commentary was awesome. "Who's going to win? Team caterpillar or team clack!"
And props to Otto for putting that extra oomph in announcing the race.
A Steerer's Perspective
by Phil Sun (Oct 27, 2010)
Phil steering Sun Mixed
The 20 man boats were pretty standard... except I could not see the freakin 500m finish line! There were only buoys at the start and finish, and they had no flags at the end. I was cracking up when one of the people on the dock said, "Aim for a tree far away." There was a whole line of trees on the horizon! The best part was the on-water paddler swapping. Due to a paddler shortage, the drummer and steersmen of one boat needed to jump onto the other boat in the next heat, so LARD A and LARD 1 would meet on the water and I would hop onto the other boat to paddle, or vice versa. It was pretty fun to do, and we got to say hi to our fellow teammates!
250m Mixed Championship
1. Lanakila 01:10.81
2. LARD 01:10.96
3. IMUA 01:14.24
4. BAD I 01:15.70
5. Wasabi 01:16.25
6. Hot Sake 01:17.22
The 10 man boats were quite interesting. They were very sensitive with the slightest hint of carelessness would steer you off course. Add the heavy winds that were picking up, and we had a fun day of steering. Several boats that day had trouble steering, and one boat even steered into another lane [see, Bad Dragon, Bad above]! I was so focused on keeping the boat straight, because the wind kept pushing the boat left, that I didn't even pay attention to the paddlers, and thankfully we finished the race with no problems!
The nice thing about 250m races, was that I could SEE THE FINISH LINE! I fell over in the boat after the last race, from the wake of the chase boat. Quite hilarious in retrospect.
Racing with Heart
Crystal Wang (Nov 5, 2010)
San Diego...it was a great race to end the season. Going into the race I really didn't know what to expect but I was ready to put my jersey on and get back out on the water. My favorite races had to be the women’s race and the mixed finals for both days. I remember all the ladies were pissed off and amped up from the faulty start from our first race. Leon would have been proud of how “ugly” we were on that boat. No matter what the outcome was, I felt that we ran a great race with a lot of heart. The mixed finals race was just super fun. I remember all the “friendly” trash talking while marshaling because we both wanted to beat each other so bad. In the end LARD 1 beat out LARD A but I’m pretty sure we didn’t care who won once we started splashing each other at the end of the race. I’m glad I was sitting in bench one so I could hop out before getting wet.
The last race of the weekend…10 man mixed finals was intense! I expected Lanakila and IMUA to take off on us at the beginning of the race but I was pleasantly surprised to see Lanakila still next to us after the start. I could see them out of the corner of eye during the whole race and it definitely gave me the extra fuel to dig deep and pull hard. I was happy and sad to hear that we came in second by .15 seconds. Happy because we held our own against an amazingly strong team and sad because…well, it’s .15 seconds! Overall I had a lot of fun packed into the short weekend and I’m looking forward to coming back next year!
by Kat Quinto (Oct 30, 2010)
Calling for LARD is a treat. I think the caller/drummer has the best seat in the house during a race or heat. It gets really exciting and it brings dragon boat racing to a whole new level for me.
As a caller in SD, I had a clear view of each and every paddler, steers person and the rival teams.
I was able to witness the determination, strength and passion from the faces of each of our LARD paddlers. I felt the strength of our boat when we paddled as one, the effectiveness of our workouts paid off when we gave the other teams a good fight and the camaraderie when the rest of our teammates on shore cheered us all the way to the finish!
1st Place 500m Open
2nd Place 250m Mixed (photo by Gordon Hom)
2nd Place 250m Open (photo by Gordon Hom)
Spirit Award (photo by Gordon Hom)