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Oct 12, 2009

Vegas Quickie

Besides checking in with a blazing fast 1:57 - top time over the weekend, it seemed that the Vegasers had a GREAT time doing other things... too bad whatever happens there stays there. So I guess that means we're stuck with this quick race summary by Robert, full on recap with pics, to follow. Thanks Robert!

2009 Lake Las Vegas Dragon Boat Tournament - Summary
What an awesome day of racing!!! I first and foremost want to thank the organizers of this event for this awesome late-season racing opportunity. It was a 1st-time endeavor for the staff and volunteers and they did a great job with lots of help coming from the dragon boat community at large. Long Beach's own Pinks had 2 volunteers working the marshalling dock all day. What stamina TK! while the entire dragon boat operation was being directed, from dock operations, to Finish Line Tent by Ellen Law. There were volunteer steers, paddlers, callers and dock workers assisting the community teams, coming from many of the participating Club Crew teams.

Let's talk Racing!
Long Beach was well represented in seeding races with the top 4 mixed heat times going to Splashing Flyers, Rouge/Thunder, X-Generals and our own Space Dragons, respectively!!!

The Semi-Final heats were tough, requiring 1st place to get to Div A, and it was a tight race, but with the calming winds our little Space Dragons and Ripple crew of 16 pulled of the fastest time of the day by that point with a 2:02. Shortly after the Stratford Women pulled a "respectable" 2:03 O_O giving them the 2nd fastest time of the day. More on that crew a little later.

Special NOTE!! =D
The festival teams 250m races required a steady flow of volunteer seasoned steers and callers, and even a few paddlers to fill the minimum 14 paddler requirement. Thank You Marty and Russell for your steering prowess, and Sammi and Rico for your stamina in paddling, and Tran for your inspirational calling.

Back to the Racing!
The Div A finals boiled down to a LB Show of Force! Rouge/Thunder, Splashing Flyers and Space Dragons featuring our Ripple Fast Family. With Sammi at the helm and a steer from Electric Dragons, we were able to sport 18 paddlers for this run, and run we did =D After a rocky start over a buoy or two, we still managed a strong start that kept us at the head of the pack. The settle was fast but long, allowing us to pull ahead for a nice 2 bench lead all the way to the balls-out finish giving us a 5 bench lead and a race with the fastest times of the day!!! With Splashing Flyers just .6sec away!

Now I mentioned The Ontario Stratford Women crew and for good reason, THIS IS ONE STRONG CREW, posting super fast times all day but they wanted more!!! Just before the Women's and Div A Mixed finals, they posed a challenge to race the top 2 mixed teams immediately after the final and the 3 mixed teams agreed! So, immediately after the finals race we headed back out to the start line with Splashing Flyers ... No Water, Dry, Scratchy throats, adrenaline pumping ... Lined up at the starting line with the ON Stratford Women ... and GO!

All warmed up, this was one smooth race! Long, deep strokes, nice rate, stroke after stroke we pulled into a 4+ bench lead, Flyers and ON on our heals, all of us TIRED, throats burning! STROKE STROKE STROKE, and at the finish ... it was Space Ripple by a nose followed by the ON Stratford Women, then Splashing Flyers.

WOW! What fun and good sports all!!! Special pops to for Rouge/Thunder and Splashing Flyers for keeping up the pressure ALL DAY!. SF pulled some impressive times with 2 2:04's and a 1:57!!! Gotta keep an eye on them =p

Special thanks to our Ripple crew members: Kristine, Francis, Jeremy, Anna and joining our last races, Kurt!