Washington DC Dragon Boat Festival

A nice article on the DC festival is available online via the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/28/AR2005052800998.html .

The festival hasn't yet posted official times for the races.

2005 North American Club Championships

From the USDBF web site:

The 2005 North American Club Crew Championships event is a qualifier for the 2006 IDBF World Club Crew Championships in Toronto. ..... The event will be at the Welland National Watersport Centre (WNWC) located 30 minutes north of Buffalo, NY and 90 minutes south of Toronto. This is a FANTASTIC venue and this event promises to be the top event outside of Berlin in 2005. ....

The distances are 200 meters, 500 meters and 2000 meters (Premier Open and Women). The following racing classifications will be contested:
Premier Open, Women, Mixed
Senior Open, Women, Mixed (over 40)
Junior Open, Mixed (Under 18)
Super Senior, Mixed (Over 50, what we informally call Grand Master)
Breast Cancer Survivor

Race fees are per person. CAN$50 / US$40 for one racing class (minimum of 5 heats) and each additional racing class is CAN$10 / US$8 per person. Example: You are on the Premier Open and Premier Mixed crews for your club. Your race fees would be CAN$60 / US$48.

Participants will NOT have to wear PFD's! Competitors MUST provide their own PADDLES (and if you want one a PFD). IDBF PS202 and PS202a are the two paddle specification that will be allowed.

This is a three day event: August 26 through 28th.

This is for USDBF, DBC and FMDB registered members. For eligibility requirements see www.usdbf.org

DC Debrief

Confirmed by this weekend's DC experience(s): We have a great team. We paddle strong and with heart, no matter what the conditions.

Jack told the Tribune-Review reporter last fall that he was on the team because of what it offered: teamwork, comraderie, and power. I saw all three factors come out in full force this weekend. Congratulations!!!

Please let me know, via email or a post here, any feedback you have on (a) what worked or what didn't work in terms of how we organized ourselves for the festival, any lessons learned that you want to see applied to Toronto -- this could be stuff directly related to racing or stuff related to the logistics around getting us there and getting set up; and (b) what you think the DC festival organizers did well or should change for next year.



Please post here with questions (and answers) about the DC festival. It will be especially helpful if people who were at DC last year can chip in with any advice!

For instance, I'd recommend bringing a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer. There will be about a dozen port-a-potties lined up in the athlete's village where we'll set up base camp. Sunscreen is a good thing to have, too, but if you forget, don't panic: your teammates will have some to share. If you are sensitive about bugs, you might want to bring bug spray.

There's a great aerial shot of the race course on the DC Festival web site (click on the link to Race Venue) that shows you the relation of the course to the shoreline. And you can see that we'll be paddling past the Kennedy Center and finishing up across from the Watergate! Parking lots are identified in the photo, too.

Memorial Day Party

The 2nd Annual Paddlefish Memorial Day Cookout will take place at the Northway/Butler home in Mount Lebanon on Monday, May 30th, at 4:00. They'll provide the beverages and condiments; we provide everything else.

I'm planning to bring "dirt" (dessert). Please post here or send me an email when you've decided what you'd like to bring!


VO Festival Success

Great job at the Venture Outdoors Festival this weekend! This morning's Post-Gazette included a nice photo of Marie drumming for one of the 4:00 boats (you can also see Lisa in the second bench and the top of Carolyn's head!).

Everyone stayed organized and flexible, so things went smoothly and people seemed to have a very good time. I hope we'll see some of the paddlers in the DBL in June -- and then in the Pfish boat by July! I don't know what the official numbers are, but figure we took out at least 11 boats, and each boat had at least 16 paddlers.... Take away some who were children, and you still have over 100 adults who had never been in a dragon boat before and now -- in the words of one of the young men in the 11:00 boat -- know that it's a "freakin' awesome" experience!

All the Pfish involved did a fantastic job. Congratulations -- and thanks!!!!!


Channel Challenge: Scrimmage #1

The scrimmage in the channel last night will serve as noteworthy fodder for local dragonboat yore! Bob has pointed out the need to get some PFD patches to commemorate each rock strike, boat hit, bridge ram, etc.....

Great work on concentration in the first race, guys. We lost, yeah, but just by a nose.

Great start on the second race -- and hey, talk about a dramatic finish!

Now we need to put the two parts together: focus and power. I'm looking forward to Monday's practice and to kicking dragon tail in DC!


Boating & Water Safety Awareness Clinic

The PA Fish and Boat Commission is running a two-session Boating and Water Safety Awareness Course next week at the Millvale boathouse.

Sessions run from 6 PM till 10 PM (probably won't really run till 10 PM, but...) on Tuesday, May 31st, and Thursday, June 2nd. This is a two-session course; cost is $10, payable to the Fish & Boat Commission at the clinic.

Official Description: "This course certifies participants in boating and water safety, following the PA Fish & Boat Commission curriculum. Four hours of class time plus four hours of canoe time teaches the skills important to be a safe boater in PA. Topics include boat requirements by law, boating age, navigation, emergency procedures, pfd types, signage, infraction penalties, canoe rescue and basic instruction."

I strongly encourage you to take this course if you can fit it in your schedule. We will continue to be called on to volunteer for things like Learn to Paddle and the Dragon Boat League, and a strong background in water safety will make us even better volunteers! Registration is online (http://www.cmiregistration.com/user/org/program.jxp?org=198&id=32846&refresh=1115394625020).


Doug and Rachel line it up.... Posted by Hello

Venture Outdoors Festival

Below please find an excerpt from Venture Outdoors' newsletter; it gives a good overview of Saturday's Festival. Please note the "rain or shine" designation, the parking location, and that people are being encouraged to "bring spending money."

Venture Outdoors Festival – Free!
Saturday, May 21, 2005
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Rain or Shine)

Pittsburgh’s North Shore Riverfront Park– near Heinz Field

Free parking for Venture Outdoors will be available at Gold Lot #1 (you must enter the lot before 3:00 PM)

Everyone (from beginners to experts, kids to seniors) is invited to come out and try a new activity, learn about a wide array of clubs and organizations, buy some of the latest gear and discover all the great outdoor amenities we have in the region.

Quick Facts about all the things going on:

100 Exhibitors – Bring your questions and some spending money

Climbing Wall – 24 feet of rock climbing fun
Fishing – Try your luck with over 20 species of fish in the area
In-line skating – Start with the basics or learn some new tricks
Bike Rides – Take a guide pedal around town or along the trails – (bring your bike and join the fun)
Kayaking – See how it easy it is to learn
Canoeing – A perfect way to explore the rivers
Dragon Boating – 20 paddlers, 1 drum, tons of fun
Frisbee Golf – Play a couple of holes

Mountain High Sales - Outdoor technical gear, apparel, and footwear at 30%-80% off Retail pricing. Marmot, Keen Footwear, Vasque Footwear and Atlas snowshoes. Also clothing, boots, tents, sleeping bags, camping, stoves, snowshoes, accessories and much, much, more!

Pittsburgh Voyager - River tours 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM

Adventure Sports Magazine – Pick up a free copy at their booth
Allegheny Mountain Rescue Group - Demo of Search and Rescue dogs 1:00 PM
American Adventure Race – Participants will be passing through all day – help cheer them on!
Bike Pittsburgh – Smoothie samples from their “Bike Blender”
Brier Hill Farm – One word “Llamas”
DCNR - Rubber stamping activity for the kids plus free Hike for Health Guides
Construction Junction - Salvage art
GASP - Test drive a hybrid car and hear the motor purr
Boy Scouts Greater Pittsburgh Council – Visit the Scout Funmobile
Keystone Concessions - Electric-assisted mountain bikes
Mesa Creative Arts Center - Reiki and mini tuning fork healings, plus a small medicine wheel
Massage therapy – Experience this technique from 2 different providers
Conscious Healing - Energy psychic readings
The Woodmobile – Learn about PA’s great forests
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts - Hand made paper and other crafts
Yoga Tent – Yoga sessions throughout the day with different instructors
Unicycle and Juggling – Come test you hand eye coordination
Drumming Circle – 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM along the river (bring your own drums if you like)
Nature Walk – 11:00 AM Patterns in Nature
Food- Sree's, Mung Dynasty, Joe’s Hot Dogs, Rita's Ice and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and New Hope Coffee
Girl Scouts – 11:00 and 12:00 Songs and Games

ROCS! Award – Come find out who is this year’s winner!

On top of all the activities and events be sure to get your entry in to win more than 30 different cool prizes! With all this cool stuff happening you want to get there early and enjoy the full day. Don’t forget to bring the sun block and dress in your adventure clothes!

This festival is the perfect way to kick-start your summer!


Thought for the Week

Some Monday words of wisdom:

"What the office takes away, the river puts back."

See you on the river tonight! (And Wednesday, and Thursday, and Saturday....)


Paddlefish on the Allegheny

The Tribune-Review reported last weekend that researchers have their eyes open for paddlefish in the Allegheny -- they should start looking around the 40th Street Bridge some Wednesday evening....

See http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_331885.html !


Calendar Reminders

Our practice schedule overlaps with some other important paddling events this month. We will not hold formal practice sessions on Saturday, May 14th, or Wednesday, May 18th; instead, everyone is asked to come on down to Millvale to help with TRRA's Learn to Row/Paddle events.

May 14 (Saturday): 9 AM till Noon (Millvale)

May 18 (Wednesday): 5 PM till 9 PM (Millvale)

The following Saturday, May 21st, we will start practice at the regular 9 AM time and paddle down to North Shore Park for the Venture Outdoors Festival. We'll need to set up a shuttle system to get people back up to Millvale. If you can stay and help out for some portion of the Festival, that would be great -- it runs 10 AM till 5 PM.

May 21st is also the date of the huge Highmark Walk; we need more volunteers to help us meet our commitment to fielding a team of 10 walkers for Vintage House. Please let Stef know if you or a friend of yours would be willing to walk on this team.