GrandMasters: A Message from Ellen Law

From Ellen Law:

Hi folks,

For those of you who want to know....

The Grand Masters program claims success in their first
appearance in the IDBF World Championships!!! Crews from
Canada, USA, Italy together bravely admitted their ages
and raced for their countries and proved to the IDBF
representatives, that the Grand Masters (which they call,
"Grand Dragons") Division not only can field competitive
crews, but ones with fantastic spirit!!!

TEAM USA Grand Masters Mixed crew take home 4 "medals"!!!
Gold - 200m GM Mixed
Silver - 1000m GM Open
Bronze - 500m GM Mixed
Bronze - 200m GM Open
8th of 9 - 2k Premier Mixed
Total of 7,700m (almost 5 miles) raced!

TEAM USA Grand Masters Women's Crew happily contribute their
experiences into promoting the Grand Masters Division in
their races vs Canada at the 1000m, 500m, 200m distances!

The 2005 version of the Grand Masters Mixed crew was a proud
assembly of members from 11 different clubs, 20 TEAM USA
rookies. All will take back to their clubs, new experiences
of the world championships. And hopefully, to buildup their
own programs and grow interest in dragon boating and
participation in the US National Championships.

Clubs represented on this "MIXED" Grand Masters Mixed crew
Los Angeles - Space Dragons
NYC - Wall Street Lions
Newport Beach, Ca - Newport Aquatic Center
Portland - Amazon Dragons
Portland - Dragonflies
Portland - Golden Dragons
Portland - Mountain Home Canoe Club
Portland - Multnomah Channel Canoe Racing
Portland - Stumptown Paddlers
Portland - Wasabi
San Diego - San Diego Dragon Boat Club

Brent B, Chris B, Curtis C, David H, Derek H, Frank V, Jack F,
Jim E, Marshall P, Marti T, Ron K, Barbara P, Carol S, Heidi C,
Judy H, Luahna U, Lynne K, Nancy B, Sharon S, Shelby R,
Dave R = Manager, Jerry F = Steerer, Richard C = Drummer,
Jim S = Captain, Peggy A = Manager

Both Grand Masters crews gratefully thank all of you who had a
hand in the nationwide signup effort, participated in the
testing, tried out and passed the word. Thanks to you, our
TEAM USA GM Mixed and GM Women's crews combined with TEAM
Canada and TEAM Italy to form the core of the Berlin "Grand
Dragons" Division. All the racing was close and exciting.

The IDBF officers were quite impressed with the racing and
several came to me to say they were happy with the results
and we should expect the return of the "Grand Dragons"
racing class for the 2007 Sydney Australia World Championships.

The crew finally got to paddle together in Berlin for three
practices. Each time feeling a little better, a little more
confident, a little better about their teammates.

This crew, full of life's experiences - generally beyond the
baby boomers - appeared ready to add the Berlin Worlds to
their "data base". They took each of the Berlin bumps in stride.
- They said "YEAH SURE" and filled in the GMOpen spot in
the 1000m joining with supporting members of the Iowa
Jr program and Senior Women's B crew to grab the Silver
spot from Italy.
- They said YEAH SURE when asked to fill the 200m Open spot.
- They said LOVE TO when a spot opened up on the 2000m Premier
Mixed event.
- And finally, they said THANKS when I gave them Sunday off!
- In all, this crew started and finished 13 races, and raking
in 7,700m - nearly 5 miles! They raced on 3 of 4 days of
the Championships, which included 6 races on Saturday!

Yes, some may be a tad "bulky" around the waist, carry
artifical hips, bum knees and bring along a ton of drug
forms...They got a taste of the World Championships, and
the racing with world class crews and judges. This newest
class of dragon boat athletes represents a group not one
to be denied. And they will return! I expect to see at
least half of this Berlin crew in Tampa with their own
teams! I am sooo glad to have had a hand in starting this
new class of racers. Especially since I will qualify soon!
I certainly hope to have the same excitement for the sport
as I saw in these fine ageless athletes!!!

Haven't had a chance to update the Grand Masters website since
we left for Berlin (http://www.njdragonboat.org/masters). But
I should have a chance to revise the site within the next month
to reflect the Berlin results and the expectations for the
next World Championships.

The first step in the look forward, is to start forming your
teams for the 2006 Tampa US Nationals (August 25-27, 2006,
and eye the USDBF website
(http://www.usdbf.com) for info. And check with your local
regional organization (links on USDBF) regarding membership.
If you have a Grand Masters team interesting in making the
trip to Tampa, you can either secure USDBF membership as
your own club, or combine with a crew already going and "club"
with them. (Note: each club may only have one team entry per
category. Grand Masters mixed is one division, Grand Masters
women is another...)

The teams that win the Grand Masters division at the Tampa
Nationals will earn the right to select their crew for the
2007 Syndey Worlds!

More about the GMX and the GM effort:

Amiee Moyers
GMX Coach
Portland Paddling Club

Ellen Law
GMX Head Coach
NJ Dragon Boat Club

ps: send your comments or congrats regarding the GM crews and I will post them on the website...


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