Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dragon Boating


Dragon boating is a very popular water sport and there are festivals held all over the world. Many of those have special breast cancer survivor races, plus there are international breast cancer survivor only festivals.

I belong to a breast cancer survivor dragon boat race team. I have been to an international festival in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, one in Caloundra, Queensland, Australia, and one in Sarasota, Florida, USA. About one hundred teams gather from around the world at each of these events and it is amazing to see the thousands of women dressed in pink.

Each team has twenty paddlers in the boat, plus one drummer and one steersperson. The drummer, who sits at the front with a drum and baton, pounds the drum to keep us paddling in rhythm while the steersperson in the back keeps us on course. Both of them watch our paddling technique. The boat is narrow at both ends and bulges in the middle, making it a tight fit for the paddlers at the front and back. There are two paddlers per seat and the person beside you is your partner.

As paddlers we have one hand on the handle of the paddle and the other on the shaft near the blade. We raise the paddle and lean out over the side of the boat so that the paddle is vertical and both hands are over the water. We rotate our upper bodies which puts the blade of the paddle beside the hip of the person in front of us. This is our reach. We jab the blade into the water and pull it back until it is near our own thigh then lift it out. That is our stroke. All the twenty paddlers have to do this in unison, called timing, in order for the boat to go forward. The faster we stroke the faster the boat goes.

I find that Facebook is a wonderful tool for connecting with family and friends around the world. Each day there are many funny videos and thoughtful sayings shared on it. The following is a list of orders given to dragon boat paddlers by their steersperson or drummer that was shared on Facebook. I have heard them all either during practice or in a race. However, taken out of context they may be considered a little off colour. I have added a few to the list as well.

Do you mind stroking for us?

Do you have any wax for my shaft?

We'll do a wet start.

Give me two more inches.

Lower your hand on the shaft.

Pull out sooner, you're getting me wet.

It's really tight back here.

You're holding the shaft too tight, relax your grip.

Dig it deep and feel the glide.

Open up and show your partner your chest.

Don't bob your head.

We are a bit front heavy.

Give it to me.

Don't pull out too soon.

Give it all you got.

Close your eyes and feel the rhythm.

Pull it out at the same time as the person in front of you.

I have a blister on my butt.

Lift your butt cheek when you reach, it helps you thrust more.

You're pulling out too soon and it's splashing me.

Deeper, harder, stronger, faster.

Dig, dig.

Keep it long.

Long and strong.

Harder, harder.

Faster, faster.

Power finish now.

You have this, you have this.

 Gold Fever

The Travelling Detective Series boxed set:

Illegally Dead

The Only Shadow In The House

Whistler's Murder

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