Friendship Races – June 3, 2006 – Parsippany, NJ

Pfish Participants?

At this moment 14 Pfish have indicated they will attend the event, and another 7 Pfish thought they might attend. I need all Pfish to confirm to me whether or not they will be attending this event. You can email me at rich.t.smith@verizon.net, or, call me. Information about this event can be found at Friendship Race Info.

If possible it would be great to have a big Paddlefish turnout. Participating and networking can only be an asset for the Dragon boat community and growth in Pittsburgh.

Currently indicated “YES” on race interest sheet; Ben, Carolyn F, Carolyn N, Dick, Jim, Judy R, Kathi, Kim, Kit, Kristine, Laurie, Lisa, Rachel, and Rich.

Currently indicated “MAYBE” on race interest sheet; Ada, Bob, Frank, Jack, Jordan, Judy L, and Mina.

MapQuest Directions to Lake.

Google Map for the Lake.

Friendship Races – Parsippany Lodging

A block of 10 rooms are being held at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel under the name Paddlefish Room Block. This is a nice hotel and you can review it at Sheraton Parsippany Hotel.

I have not developed a starting suggested room matrix for this event so please hook up with other Pfish for rooming together. If you need assistance in finding a roommate please let me know and I will help.

(pasted from the Sheraton Contract)

It is our understanding that all reservations will be telephoned directly to the Hotel Reservations Department (30) days prior to your arrival. In order to receive the preferred rates, for which you are contracting, guest must identify their affiliation with the Paddlefish Room Block. Rates cannot be changed at check-in or check-out for guests who fail to identify their affiliation at the time the reservation is requested.

We do require that a credit card guarantee equal to one night’s room and tax (14%) (30) days prior to your arrival accompany all reservations. Request for reservations received after this date will be accepted on a space available basis only and the special group rates may no longer be acceptable.

To make reservations, your guests should call our Central Reservation Department at 888-627-8148.

MapQuest Directions to Hotel

Google Map for Hotel

All reservations must be completed by May 3rd to guarantee our rate. The rates are as follows:

  • Single Rate $90.
  • Double Rate $90.
  • Triple Rate $100.
  • Quad Rate $110.

Toronto Dragon Boat Festival – June 24th and 25th

Early Action Recommendations

In preparation for our trip to Toronto please ensure you are prepared for International Travel, especially given the heightened sensitivity to Homeland Security.

  1. It is highly recommended you travel to Toronto with a current US Passport. This will lessen hassles that might occur upon re-entry to the United States. Since it takes weeks to renew or obtain a Passport please take action on this now. If you need suggestions of places to go for photos and such ask other Pfish. I know Karyn mentioned a location at the Team Meeting but I cannot remember what she suggested.
  2. (from the Paddlefish Blog Archives, thanks to Kathi and Bob) -- Bob just reminded me that in the magazine that Erie Insurance puts out, they recommend that you get an International Insurance card (Provincial Inter Porvence Proof of Insurance Card) of some sort. It is sent from your insurance company, it is free and usually sent quickly. You do need to know which vehicle you plan to take--for most that is not an issue, but if we were undecided, I guess they'd send us one for each. We call our agent, and, like I said, it appears a day or two later. Pam is planning a trip to Canada and read about it in the AAA book about crossing the border. It probably just makes things easier if there is an accident, God forbid.

Toronto Lodging

A block of rooms is being held at the Days Inn – Toronto East Lakeview. The block of rooms is being held in the name of Paddlefish (or Richard Smith if they are confused). Information about this hotel can be viewed at Days Inn Toronto. The rates for the rooms are:

  • $89.99 Canadian plus tax for 2 people.
  • $10.00 Canadian plus tax for each extra person.
  • The actual US Dollar amount is unknown since it will be based on the exchange rates at that time. For information only today the US Dollar is around 86% of the Canadian Dollar.

All reservations must be completed by May 31st. Days Inn phone number is 416-261-8100.

MapQuest Directions to Hotel

Google Map for Hotel Location


fun 'n' games...

Friendship Races - hosted by NJ Dragon Boat Club

To try something new this year, the team is traveling to Lake Parsippany in NJ for some fun racing. Here is a little information from their site about the event:

Lake Parsippany

To promote participation, friendly competition, BCS Awareness, team work as well as a means to share a little bit of cool Asian culture with the locals!!!To promote BCS Awareness, dragon boating as a support group and hope we can initiate NJ's 3rd BCS crew!

About the Races
We will take our competitors from all entries/teams and mixed them, and mixed them, and mixed them into crews for gals vs gals, guys vs guys, mixed and a totally mixed crew. Everyone will get in 4 races and maybe more to help folks prepare for the beginning of the 2006 racing season! We also plan to incorporate out 4 new mini-dragon boats or 10 paddler versions of our full sized 20 paddler dragon boats into the races! We will have a BCS Memorial Ceremony as well as informational handouts. SITE = Lake Parsippany, NJ.

Members of the 2005 Berlin Championship medal winning Philadelphia Jrs plan to defend their 2005 championships! We look to grow the winner's circle to include others...are you ready? Well, come on down!!! You'll love the water, our boats and our Jersey hospitality...just don't go faster than 25mph around the lake!



Paddlefish Men

The Paddlefish men's relay team won silver at the 2006 ERDBA Indoor Paddling Championships, finishing just one second behind a strong team from Philadelphia and a solid nine seconds ahead of the Wall Street Dragons.

In addition to Ben, Erik, Nathan, and Jonathan, the Pittsburgh Paddlefish were represented in New York by Stefani, Carolyn, Laurie, Dick, Joei, Rich, Judy L, Kristine, Lindsey, Marie, Richard, Ada, and Mina. Hoo-rah!

(Photo credits: Stefani and Judy)

Congratulations to Indoor Paddling Champs!

Congratulations to all of the Paddlefish who competed in the ERDBA Indoor Paddling Championships this weekend! Pfish came home with 19 (!!!) medals: 7 gold, 6 silver, and 6 bronze.

Way to follow those race plans!


GWN Announces Openings in Dragon Boat Camp

Great White North (GWN) sent Dragon Boat Camp Attendees a packet of information for the upcoming camp in Florida. It looks like it will be great fun as well as an educational week.

Along with the packet they announced there are a couple of cancellations in the third week. GWN has already gone through their waiting list and still have openings. If anyone is interested in experiencing the camp contact GWN ASAP.

As a reminder we have 11 of our Pfish attending the second week of camp. I am certain a full report will be shared upon their return.


Banner Time!

Joei and Ada working on the new Paddlefish banner.

Interested in helping? No sewing/quilting experience necessary! Just contact Stefani for information on the next gathering.

Misc Notes and Reminders

  • TRRA Safety Meeting tonight at 6 PM at the Millvale Boat House. (I'll take notes and include those in the update this week, but if you're thinking about steering or drumming this summer, please try to make this meeting or the one on Thursday morning -- 7 AM.)
  • TRRA Spring Fling is Wednesday night, 7 PM to 9 PM, at Washington's Landing.
  • Our next team meeting is Monday, March 27th.
  • The team needs your talents! Specifically, we need someone to take the lead on organizing food stuff for next month's retreat, someone to partner with Rich on logistics for the trip to Parsippany in June, and someone to take the lead on logistics for Toronto. Rich has done much of the groundwork for these things, but he's just one guy. We need you!
  • And speaking of your talents -- I'm going to be asking soon, again, for volunteers to serve as steerspeople or drummers for the Dragon Boat Leagues. The first league session runs from June 6th through June 27th, plus the Three Rivers Regatta as its capstone race event on July 2nd. The league meets Tuesday evenings at 6:30 PM; TRRA will provide someone to be there and be in charge! Whether you're pfresh or pfunky, this is a volunteer opportunity you'll not only be good at but also one where you'll have a good time!
  • If you haven't done so already, please enter your information into TRRA's new membership database (configured by the folks who do Regatta Central, online at http://www.threeriversrowing.org/r-RCguidelink.html . You can pay your membership dues this way, too ($350/year), or handle that the old-fashioned way.
  • Our winter training season is drawing to a close, so it will soon be time to give Carolyn your check (made out to the Pittsburgh Paddlefish) for "water season" team fees.


Celebrating a 21st

Paddlefish celebrated Jordan's 21st birthday at the Harp & Fiddle, with some help from Sean McClorey and various other folks at the pub!

The next birthday gathering is to toast everyone with birthdays in March and April -- Friday, April 7th. We're thinking about (non-smoking) Florio's on the South Side.


On the Water

Woo-hooo! It was great to be back on the water this weekend! March 11th may be our earliest spring paddle ever: last year's inaugural paddle was the first Saturday in April.

Please keep a pair of fleece pants and a wool cap handy in the trunk of your car or your gym bag, just in case we get another chance to go out. (If you're wondering about the advisability of fleece vs regular cotton sweat pants, talk to Rich.)


cordially invites you to attend
our first annual


Wednesday March 22, 2006
7:00-9:00 pm
Washington’s Landing Boathouse

Join us as we break out of the winter blues to celebrate a new rowing/paddling season!

Please RSVP to Kristi Sparta at Kristi@threeriversrowing.org by March 15.


Info on Finger Lakes Festival (July 2006)

Paddlefish: See below for info on the Finger Lakes Festival. If you haven't done so already, please let Rich know soon whether or not you will be joining us here!

Dear Fellow Paddler and Dragon Boat Enthusiast:

The Ithaca Asian American Association (IAAA) will be hosting the Finger Lakes International Dragon Boat Festival (FLIDBF) on July 15th, 2006. We invite you and your team to join us for an exciting and breathtaking day of competition.

The Festival will take place on Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, New York, USA all day Saturday, July 15th. Local and visiting dragon boat clubs will compete in 250 and 500 meter races.

Opportunity to earn ERDBA circuit points and cash prizes makes the Finger Lakes International Dragon Boat Festival the one not to be missed!

1. Venue – Cayuga Lake is the largest of the Finger Lakes and provides a beautiful setting for boating. The races will be held on a long and narrow inlet off of the lake, which will provide close viewing for spectators and protection from wind and wakes for paddlers. Additionally, the Ithaca area is a beautiful region full of wonderful activities for friends and family to enjoy. Winery tours, outdoor music festivals, local farmers market, Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, miles of hiking trails and college tours are a few examples of what’s available to be discovered.

2. Competition – Ithaca, NY is at the epicenter of the major dragon boat racing hubs in Eastern North America (4 hours from New York City, 5 hours from Boston, 4 hours from Philly, 4 hours from Toronto, 4 hours from Ottawa, 5 hours from Montreal) and we believe this provides the Ithaca Asian American Association with the ability to host a festival featuring the fastest Canadian crews racing side by side with the fastest American crews.

3. Experience –Our members have wide ranging knowledge and experience with dragon boating. We’ve hired professional services from Great White North and Jeff Campbell to provide us with support and assistance in making the FLIDBF a success.

Additional information can be found on our website at www.ithacadragonboat.org . We’re limiting the festival to 32 teams; so please respond as soon as possible if your team is interested in competing in the Finger Lakes International Dragon Boat Festival.

We hope to see you in Ithaca on the weekend of July 15, 2006!


Siv Somchanhmavong
President, IAAA and Race Coordinator


Tune In!

Two television alerts for this weekend:

Saturday evening at 7:30 PM, WPXI (the local NBC affiliate) is showing "Out of Harm's Way," a report on the juvenile justice system here in Pittsburgh. You'll see Bob and his handcuffs!

Sunday morning, at 10 AM, Bill Flanagan interviews TRRA Executive Director Richard Butler on "Our Region's Business."


Team Meeting Date

Our next team meeting will be Monday, March 27th, and will include cheers for the paddlers returning from the New York City championships. Please note this meeting date on your calendars.

(On an unrelated calendar note: dragon boat races will most likely be held at the Three Rivers Regatta on Sunday afternoon, July 2nd, and not on Saturday. I'll send out something in the update or post here when the date and time are confirmed.)


Women's Grand-Masters Team for Nationals

Robin Parker from the Schuylkill Dragons in Philadelphia wanted Pfish to know they are putting together a grand-masters women's team if anyone is interested. For more information go to http://www.schuylkilldragons.org/

Quick Call for PFD Orders

Dick is placing an order for Stohlquist PFDs at reduced rates with Ben Lau of ERDBA tomorrow. If you'd like your very own PFD before we get back on the water, now's the time to let Dick know. We've got 8 people with orders so far.