Long Beach Race | July 28-29
|Black||500m Div IA Finals||2nd||2'06"70|
|Red||500m Div IB Finals||6th||2:18.92|
|White||500m Div III AA Finals||7th||2:27.83|
|Open 500m Div A Finals||1st||2:04.57|
|Women 500m Div B Finals||1st||2:31.06|
|Black||200m Div A Finals||2nd||50.57|
|Red||200m Div A Finals||5th||53.96|
|White||200m Div B Heat 82||5th||1:01.63|
I Am a DieseLARD Paddler
Justin Chi (July 30, 2012)
2008 Sprint Race. I am top left back row second
from left wearing dark green
For the summer of 2008 during my first year of paddling with UC Irvine, I was to return back home to Northern California. Committed to paddle with UCI at the Long Beach Festival, I looked forward to training with one of the many Bay Area dragon boat teams and learning as much as I could while meeting experienced paddlers. I eventually narrowed my selection down to three: Dragon Warriors, Ripple Effect, and Diesel Fish. Dragon Warriors was tempting as they were one of the strongest teams at the time, Ripple Effect was an exciting prospect as I had heard great things from UCI paddlers who had paddled with them, and Diesel Fish was exotic as I knew absolutely nothing about the team. I decided to take a leap and contacted Diesel Fish primarily because of the closer Redwood City practice site.
DF/LARD UCI alumni
It was a great decision and I remember the summer as if it were yesterday. I recall attending practices three times a week, learning more about paddling and technique, meeting amazing Fishies, and culminating my entire experience by racing with the first crew at the Fremont Sprints. It was difficult to say "goodbye" at the last practice before school started, but I didn't know how much I would stay connected with the team for years to come.
Over the years whenever I went back home, Diesel would always be there for me to get my paddling fix. I recommended DF to many of the UCI paddlers who lived in the Bay Area and saw them become devoted to the team. For the few times a year I could attend practice, I watched the membership change and saw the beginnings and growth of the Diesel Fish Youth team. When I joined LARD four years after paddling with Diesel, it was awesome to know that they were our sister team. At the race tents I saw Fishies who are still paddling today and others who became leaders for the team. At the DF/LARD dinner planned by the fantastic Karen Wang, we feasted on delicious gyro meat and tzatziki sauce and shared stories. At the race I saw an evolved Diesel Fish team with their prideful bright green colors and passion to paddle hard, sometimes in heats against LARD.
Some of the veteran DF paddlers may not remember me, and most, if not all of the new paddlers do not know me, but I am proud to be a DieseLARD paddler. I am excited to be reunited once again at Treasure Island and look forward to seeing both teams improve and surpass expectations.
mp3 of the program
Fourth Annual Paddle Art Award
On behalf of the Los Angeles Racing Dragons, I would like to thank you and Kialoa again for offering us a discount on purchasing a hybrid paddle for our Paddle Art Contest. Attached is a photo of this year's winner, Ashley Tang from JAWS high school division dragon boat team, receiving a hybrid paddle.
Congratulations Ashley Tang!
Hell Hath No Fury, Like a LARD Women’s Scorn
Tabitha Huang (Sept 9, 2012)
What a season it has been for LARD! Shortly after returning from Hong Kong, we had to prepare for Long Beach. Coming back from 6 days of racing to a 2 day race, everything seemed shorter. Also the weather was cooler and the water was cleaner!
There’s always something special when paddling in a women’s boat in a race. Though we may not be as strong as the men, our timing is always spot on. When it boils down to race time, the women definitely know when it’s time to get ugly. Gender races tend to have fewer heats and therefore it puts more pressure for the boats to do well. In this case, the women’s boat only had two races. The first heat to qualify which finals divisions to place and the last one is the finals. It was a little tough to get the boat up to speed in the first heat and while there was the aggression, there were faster teams out there in our heats. Although we did not qualify for the Division A final, we all believed that we could excel in the Division B final.
Once we were lined up at the start for the finals, I could feel the ladies on the boat wanting redemption from the previous heat. We all had one common goal, which was to do our best race piece as the coaches have taught us and to come in first place. In my opinion, I believe we accomplished both goals. I could feel the fight in each stroke, each one getting stronger than the next. When the fatigue starts to set in, you find what motivates you from within. Fight the fatigue and realize that everyone on that boat is probably feeling the same way you’re feeling. To cross that finish line knowing that you helped your team get first place is a rewarding feeling. Keep up the awesome work ladies, it’s always a pleasure paddling in a women’s boat.
Is there cake?
Crystal Wang (Sept 10, 2012)
I'm sad to say this was year marked the end of our cake tradition with DieselFish. After calling a truce last year in SF, I was a bit relieved that Karen and I didn't have to create a delicious masterpiece this year. We did toss around a few ideas with other team members about possibly a dessert buffet, a cake with fireworks, or maybe a cake with little mechanical boats that can race each other. But as you all know our team was busy working our butts off at practice and shaking off the jet lag from Hong Kong. During the first day of the race and team dinner, I could hear Diesel and LARD paddlers whisper and ask each other "Is there cake this year?" I decided to mess around with a few people and tell them that they were in for a real treat and that our cake was EPIC!!!. I must be a horrible liar with a bad poker face because no one believed me. I must admit, I did have a craving for a piece of cake after dinner. Maybe next year...
A dunking we will go, a dunking we will go
Kenny Kim (Sept 10, 2012)
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a little evil. I felt the need to renew the Long Beach dunkings. I was there in 1998 when it began, and it has faltered a bit in recent years. So, my first victim was Vincent. Why him? Why not? So I enlisted the help of Phil, tracked down Vincent and found him to be a most agreeable victim. He didn’t run, kick, or fight at all. It was actually rather nice. We walked him out to the water (thank goodness he’s pretty light) and gave him a heave ho into the drink. A good sport, that boy. I like him.
And then, since there was no way we would throw anyone but our worst enemies into the Hong Kong waters, we had a solemn duty to throw the groom to be into the water. Thanh, T-do to those who know him, was also a great sport about it. No fighting. No kicking. And we had a lot more help to attempt a greater distance in our paddler hurl :) Although, we didn’t get him too deep and Karen, the bride-to-be, was also given a good dowsing.
Mike, our other groom to be, put up a bit of fight. Sandy saw the shenanigans and snuck off the moment we went after Mike, leaving him to Tdo, Will and my mercy. It wasn’t until the end that Mike put up a mighty fight and sadly, Will’s shirt was sacrificed to the Dunking Gods as Mike made a last ditch effort to take Will down with him unsuccessfully.
The last dunkee was Otto. I had a bad feeling about it so I bowed out of this one. He was actually not that bad until Jeff stepped in to help and then Otto became possessed. He kicked. He twisted. He fought like his life was on the line. Good god, what a fight. Thank goodness I just got to watch from the sidelines :D
Long Beach newbies
500m Div IA Finals 2nd
Women 500m Div B Finals 1st
200m Div A Finals 2nd
Open 500m Div A Finals 1st