As most of you know, we are planning an Open Practice for Saturday August 20th, practice from 9:00 to 10:30 and brunch from 10:30-12:00. We will be inviting anyone who participated in the dragon boat leagues this summer, anyone who has had anything to do with dragon boating, anyone who has signed up for the Lottie and anyone who contributed to the Berlin effort. (Kate is in the process of developing a mailing list) We have received a few inquiries as a result of the resent publicity and would, as usual, welcome any other suggestions. Kate is going to be designing an e-mail invitation, which will go out to all the above. We will also send it to the team to be forwarded to your friends and family (I know everyone is tapped out, but just in case...)
We are going to try and keep this as simple as possible, so as not to involve too many volunteer hours--but we do need assistance. We will need several people to skip practice and pick up food, get the boathouse set up etc. We will need clean-up volunteers and we will need people to either solicite donations for food, drinks and paper products or donate the items themselves. The menu is roughly as follows (to be modified depending on what we can get)
Orange Juice
Bloody Mary Mix
Coffee --cream, sugar etc.
Bagels and Bagel accessories --cream cheese, lox, tomatoes etc.---Dick will get the lox
Scrambled Eggs and Hash Browns --courtesy of Jack via Pamela's
2 fruit and cheese trays--courtesy of Judy via Whole Foods
1 tray of food to be named--courtesy of Judy via Whole Foods
Krispy Creams--???-courtesy of Jack via the bread delivery man at Pamela's
I will try and get Panera's to donate the leftover's from Friday night (I think they do that)
Napkins, paper plates plastic silverware etc.

Quantities will have to be determined when we get an idea of attendance--we plan on sending out the invitations August 5th and asking for RSVP's by August 15th.

SO....if everyone can choose one or two things to do or bring we should be in good shape. E-mail me AND post your contributions on the blog. THANKS.


Saturday Practice

warm up around island
6 x 4 min rest 1 min
65% - 55 SPM

3x5 pullups or hangs
3x10 pushups normal
Side bridges 1 x 45sec

See you Monday - Good Luck Judy, Lisa, Jw & Mom!!


Master Paddlers Grand with Media

Congratulations again to Stef, Lisa, Judy, and Jw for not only making the US team but for handling the local media blitz with such grace and skill. I'm hearing such positive feedback from everyone who has seen or heard these stories: the ones in the papers, the radio show yesterday, and this morning's television appearance.

Thanks, you guys. This is a tremendous boost for dragon boating in Pittsburgh!


Post-Gazette Story on Grand Masters!

Mackenzie's story on the women going to Berlin is in this morning's Post-Gazette and is available online at http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05206/543165.stm .

I bet their hands are getting cramped from signing all the autographs.... ;-)

Don't forget to tune in to the Lynn Cullen show this morning (10:30 AM at 1360AM, WPTT) and to KDKA-TV's Pittsburgh Today Live at 9 AM for more on Stef, Lisa, Judy, and Jw!


Tribune-Review Covers Berlin Women

This morning's Tribune-Review included a story on the four Pittsburgh women competing in the Worlds next month -- this is in the Region section of the print Trib and is the feature photo on today's Trib website: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/ .

Check out those inner arms!


Fit-TV Features Dragon Boat Goal

Fit-TV's "Ultimate Goals" show recently featured a woman whose fitness goal was to get lean and strong for her dragon boat team! (Click on the name of the show to go to her fitness plan and a short video with before and after shots.)

"Lookin' good, team!" Posted by Picasa

Saturday Practice

This will be an endurance workout so you want to be around 60%
Regular warm up - make sure to get heart rates up first thing on the water (after a land warm up)
2 times around the island - try to get a time for both - I recomend starting under the train bridge at the 1000m start line.

Then time yourself from wire to wire (above island to below island) for the Aug 13 race (possibly lets get the time at least - this is a race not 60% if you have to go 2 boats for the round the island bit thats ok but then get into one boat for the time trial.)



Observations from a New Paddler

Jon and Susie paddled with us at this month's Open Paddle. Jon's written about that experience in this week's Sewickley Herald ---- enjoy!


We have just found that TRRA has decided to go forward and buy 25 Dura-Blade paddles for our boats! Although we did not receive funding to buy 40, this is still a great accomplishment.
I'd like to thank my dad for his dedication as equipment manager. Without him, we'd be stuck using those dreaded wooden paddles for the unforeseeable future.

Thanks Dad!

"I have to be in charge of WHAT?!..." Posted by Picasa


The Lottie

The Lottie McAlice is on for Saturday morning, August 13th (~8 AM till noon), Washington's Landing. This is a laid-back, old-school, have-some-fun-on-the-rivers regatta, with a lunch for participants and friends held afterwards.

The dragon boat races will run in between the rowing races (or the rowing races will run in between the d'boat races, depending on your perspective!). The 500M course will run from about Red Fin Blues down to the tip of the island; spectators can stand on the observation deck there to cheer the finish.

More details are forthcoming, but mark your calendars now!


Fluffy, R.I.P.

I wish to notify everyone that Fluffy has moved on to the big fish pond in the sky. He fought mightily, but, in the end, I believe that he succumbed to a bacterial infection. I invested in just about every fish pharmaceutical on the market to no avail. I wish to thank everyone on the team for entrusting me with him. He led a good life (well, until he died).

On a lighter note…I do not think that Fluffy left a will. I wish Ben had notified us of his interest in sushi earlier. I do not think that Fluffy would have minded if he was donated to science (or to whatever name best describes Ben’s cooking skills). Ben’s stomach might have been a good endpoint for a fish whose origin was a dragonboat team. A raw fish that died of a bacterial infection might present some problems, though.

Fluffy, R.I.P.


You must be wondering why in the world I have a picture of Fluffy. Well, I took some pictures of my apartment for insurance purposes, and Fluffy somehow ended up in a picture.


Please do not take my attempt at humor as an indicator of my feelings for Fluffy. He really did lead a good life.


Do you or anyone you know have experience making sushi? I would like to make some. I assume its all about getting the rice cooked well and a nice roll? help!

Taking out the boat.... Posted by Picasa

Trib-Review Reporter at Practice

Tony LaRussa from the Tribune-Review is intersted in the story about the US Team women. He will be at our practice tomorrow evening (Wednesday).

Please wear your Pfish or festival tees, if you remember!

Notes from Team Meeting

Here are skeletal notes from last night's meeting: please (pretty please) feel free to flesh these out with your own notes/recollections.

Scholarship system: We approved the proposal to have a consistent scholarship system, to be evaluated annually in April to determine if the system continues to fit the budget and the team composition.

PFDs: A significant proportion of the team would like to own their own blue team PFDs. We will look into whether we can get a group rate for one of the higher end models (perhaps from Excursions or SCD's vendor). Once number of personally-owned PFDs is determined, we will purchase a set of team-owned PFDs for race use by anyone who doesn't want to own his or her own. Next steps: get quotes from PFD vendors for group purchase; get quotes from printer for logo imprinting on 25-30 PFDs.

Fundraising: Basic pitch/approach to finding sponsors reviewed. Specific proposal to hold fundraising party in conjunction with both the Open Paddle that would normally follow DBL2 plus the Donors' Picnic promised to follow the return of the Berlin paddlers (i.e. combine both into one event and use as fundraising opportunity through raffles). Date: August 20, 2005, proposed time = late afternoon/early evening. Big challenge, equally big opportunity. Decision was to go forward with this with a reality check scheduled for Saturday -- (1) everyone asked to send specific suggestions to Jack on raffle possibilities (three or four things you specifically are willing/able to ask for or offer yourself); (2) Jack will ask a couple of people to focus efforts this week on identifying committed donors for things like food/bevs/facilities.

In short, the decision to have a party on the 20th is a Definite Yes. The decision on what kind of party that will be will be determined on Saturday.


Reminder: Team Meeting and Photographer

Reminder 1: The Post-Gazette photographer is scheduled to come to practice tonight at 6:30 to get some shots of Stef, Lisa, Judy, and Jw in action. We may need to be flexible with our regular routine in order to accomodate the photog -- for instance, if he or she wants to get shots of the women paddling right away, we might have to get the boat down (and the head and tail on) before we do our aerobic stretches. We'll have to play it by (dragon) ear....

Reminder 2: Team meeting after practice -- this meeting will adjourn at 9 PM, no matter where we are in the agenda. Agenda items include (a) system for using scholarship funds; (b) system for getting team PFDs; (c) fundraising strategy; and (d) any new business. Jack's discussion of fundraising strategy will include the Big Picture approach, making sure we're all on board with that, and a plan for the Celebration Party/Fundraising Party on August 20th.


Paddles up! Posted by Picasa

Good Racing

First off I would like to congratulate all first time scrimmagers who attended, a job well done as it can be hard and intimidating in that situation.

Race recaps:
500m – We stuck to the race plan and it worked but not by much. in this race as in all the races SCD had us on the first few strokes despite our lighter crew. After the start our stroke rate was aprox. 10 beats fewer per minute around 65 which seemed to be the difference as we were able to move ahead around the 250.

1st 250 – Again we lost the start and remained neck and neck the rest of the way before pulling off the best finish yet to end a seat up. Stroke rate was still a bit lower than SCD.

2nd 250 – With confidence growing we beat ourselves. Again after loosing the start we regained an even alignment by mid-race but a few catch breath strokes just before the finish was all they needed to take the lead and at that point it was too late. Someone mentioned to me that if we had one more race we would of won because SCD were really exhausted after this race – probably exhausted because they wanted to win and we did not want to get tired, many times you only get one race.

Why are we winning now? Commitment. Paddlefish have shown a dedication to being at 2 of 3 practices per week with a few excusable exceptions in addition to committing to a year round program. Lets take this up a notch and be proud of it.
Practice Saturday: 4 x 1000m @ 60% good technique & a power 20 at the 250, 500, 750 & finish – Get good power and speed on the P20s and keep good technique between. The 1000 course starts under the RR bridge and goes to the foot bridge – 200, 250, 500, 750 & 1000 are marked on the right (thanks to Eric, Kate & Nathan)

See you Monday.


Sewickley Herald Story on D'boats at the Regatta

This week's issue of the Sewickley Herald includes a really positive story from Jon Creese, the sports editor, on how much fun some Sewickley women had in DBL1 -- especially at the Three Rivers Regatta!

After listening to their enthusiasm, Jon decided he'd have to try it himself, and many of you met him on Saturday when he and his friend Susan joined us for the "Open Paddle." He'll write about that experience in a column for an upcoming issue.

See http://www.gatewaynewspapers.com/sewickleyherald/49539/ for this week's article.

Jen and Rachel get ready to line up! Posted by Picasa


Scrimmage vs Steel City on Wednesday

Just a reminder that we're scrimmaging Steel City tomorrow -- be down at the Millvale boat house by 6:30 PM.

We'll stretch, launch the boats, then paddle down to the Convention Center and race for a delegation of visitors from China.


Great "Open Paddle"!

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who helped make this weekend's "open paddle" such a huge success. Lindsey did a wonderful job organizing everything and made a beautiful photo display. Thanks to everyone who brought food and beverages, who helped set up and clean up, who helped anchor the various sections of the boat so the new paddlers had experienced coaches on hand --- and very special thanks to the Pfish who so graciously stayed on shore and in kayaks when we ended up with that embarrassment of riches: more paddlers than seats!

Fantastic teamwork all the way around!


Coach Ben: Our Fearless Leader Posted by Picasa


Saturday's Feast

From Lindsey:

For open practice day we are going to be having fancy hot dogs, veggie burgers, beer and everyone else is bringing a side dish or dessert.

already taken are salad, blackberry pie and i think maybe chocolate chip cookies

I guess some people have their usual, but if you want to email me what you are going to bring so we don't have 5 pasta salads, that would be great. Thanks!



Raftin July 10

This Sunday (July 10) our company, Laural Highlands, has a slow day so I was able to work out a good group deal for those interested - 15% off for a lower trip (thats the class 2-3 section). trips usually take 3-5 hours, include a decent deli lunch on the river and of course the best guides in the buisness. You can choose from fully guided (a guide in your boat) or just guided (a guide standing on a rock telling you where to go and helping you off rocks if you get stuck.) The first trip check in time is 10am and it is a 1h 30m drive from downtown. depending on how many people come the better the deal I can get, this invite is going out to all- you, your family, friends. The only thing is that I have to call the reservation in as a group on Saturday (July 9) so will need to have a good count by Friday.

I will try to setup a date later in the summer if folks can not make this short notice - plan on $60 - $70 per person with a recomended min. age of 12. (the fully guided costs about $20 more).

Post responses here or email Lindsey by Friday morning - lindseynicolemiller@yahoo.com

Find out more by calling or webbing - 1800-4RAFTIN or www.laurelhighlands.com

Scrimmage Date Change; Saturday's Open-Paddle

Steel City has had a conflict come up with Tuesday, the 12th, and so is asking that the scrimmage be switched to Monday or Wednesday. Please stay tuned on the resolution on this one, but I wanted to let you know ASAP so you know you've got your Tuesday back!

Reminder: Saturday's an "open paddle" -- time to invite friends and colleagues to come down and have some fun on the water.


This Atlas never shrugs.... Posted by Picasa


Dragon Boating at the Regatta

The races today were a lot of fun -- a great way to show the new paddlers and the city what a fantastic sport this is. Thanks to everyone for the great attitudes and the great efforts, with a special thanks to Chuck for organizing things and to Steel City for initiating the 1000M Steersperson Challenge!


July 4th Update

The Shrimp Peel starts at my house sometime around 4:00 on Monday, July 4th. Call me if you need directions.

We'll leave for Millvale about 7:15 and launch the dragon boat at 8:00 PM for our paddle to the Point to see the fireworks.

Don't miss it - this is absolutely the best way in Pittsburgh to see the fireworks!



Who Was Lottie McAlice?

Lottie McAlice rowed her father to work, and, in 1870, rowed her way into the history books. See The History of Women in Sports.

In honor of Lottie, do we want to try to add a women's dragon boat race to the novice mixed races at the Lottie McAlice Regatta in August 13?