2008 - Hong Kong Island Paddle Club - A Dragon Boat and Outrigger

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2008 - Hong Kong Island Paddle Club - A Dragon Boat and Outrigger Powered By Docstoc
                                 Hong Kong’s Olympic Year                         4
                                              2008 Season                         5
                                  The Making of a Legend                          6
                                     Postcards from Noosa                         10
                                   Race Statistics 2007-08                        15
                               Dragon Boat Calendar 2008                          16
                              A Year in Words and Pictures                        16
                                 The Paddling Community                           26
                                            Paddle Babies                         34
                                         Ideas for Training                       35
                                   A Paddle Maker’s Story                         42
                                         Paddle the Planet                        43
                                 Fun in the Sun (and Rain)                        47
                                         Hong Kong Teams                          48

Photo credits:                                          Executive Committee,                            Editorial Staff
Henning Wiekhorst (Dragonboat & Outrigging)             2 0 0 8 - 0 9                                       2008
                                                                Chairman: Andrew Au                         Matt Browne
                                                              Secretary: Emily Mabbott                       Rose Chan
                                                               Treasurer: Julie Devine                      Julie Devine
Graham Uden ( p.23 Dragon Run Surfski photos )
                                                               Coach: Andy Cummings                       Susan Macdonald                                  Events organizer: Agnes Fedoruk                 Kareem Magill                          Sponsorship secretary: Chris Pennicott                Lee Mussi
                                                                                                          Rovi Soeradinata
                                                            Social Secretary: Summie Tam                  Leon Rossbotham
                                                                                                            Summie Tam
                                                     Contact Us                                Edith Terry

                               For general enquiries please contact Andrew Au at
                         For sponsorship enquiries please contact Chris Pennicott at

                               HONG KONG’S OLYMPIC YEAR
Message from Timothy Fok, Chairman, Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China
                                       Chairman’s Letter
                                       This Year: It’s About Raising the Bar.
                                       As the incoming Chairman, I would like to first start by tipping my hat to the chairmen
                                       before me.
                                       The paddling scene is very different now than when HKIPC was first established in 1993.
                                       Back then, HKIPC was the only realistic option if you wanted to race with a hardcore com-
                                       petitive club. Today, other clubs have stepped up and daylight between us and other boats
                                       is (sometimes) narrowing to a sliver.
                                       This is a positive development that is in line with HKIPC’s fundamental goal to promote
                                       and develop paddling in Hong Kong. I think it’s fair to say that HKIPC has played a large
                                       part in this development.
                                      2007 was a good year as shown by the quantity and quality of dragon boat and outrigger
                                      canoe races HKIPC competed in. Our performance over the year was another testament to
                                      HKIPC’s depth and experience. The growth in the number of outrigger canoe races in Hong
                                      Kong is also worth noting.
In August 2008, HKIPC looks to raise the bar yet again by targeting the Club Crew World Championships (dragon boat) in Pen-
ang, Malaysia. Our last outing to the World Championships was in 2004 in Cape Town, South Africa and what a memorable trip
that was!
Lastly I would like to make special mention of our Juniors team. Heading into its 3rd year, I see their continual growth as key to
our sustained development – both as a member of the paddling community in Hong Kong and as a feeder system for future
HKIPC crews. Hopefully we can introduce them to outrigger canoeing this year! See you on the water.

                                                               2008 SEASON
Andrew Au , Chairman, HKIPC, 2008 Season

Coach’s Letter
This being the start of my second season at the coaching helm of IPC, it is a good chance
to reflect on the previous season and take valuable lessons forward to the next.
Following in the footsteps as such venerable names as Fedoruk, Pollard and Shortis and
having the expectations of such a “results-driven” club is quite a daunting prospect to
say the least.
With the ever-increasing number of teams biting the bullet and enter-
ing into “serious “ training, it has been necessary to take some risks with
new training techniques to attempt to maintain the competitive edge.
My main focus as coach thus far has been to strive towards creating a more well-
rounded group of paddlers, be it in a Dragon boat or Outrigger canoe.
A few feathers were ruffled to begin with due to the deviation from the tried
and trusted methods but I have to thank everyone for giving me the ben-
efit of the doubt and sticking with the new ideas throughout the training.
The results though not completely conclusive in all races were punctuated by
some top honors; In Mini boats at Shatin, Mixed races in Boracay, a clean sweep
in Deep Water Bay and a win by the women in the Internationals. Add to this a
1-2-3 by the men around Beaufort Island, a sub-2 hour circumnavigation of Lam-
ma, some top honors in Guam and a close finish only one minute behind the Ha-
waiian lads Around Hong Kong Island, things actually bordered on a good year.
Looking forward to 08, we will aim to raise the bar still further. The CCWC in Penang will be one of our main focuses.
To make sure IPC gives a good account of itself at these races, a concerted effort from the whole crew to improve atten-
dance and increase levels of fitness will be required, since we do not just want to attend these races, we aim to COMPETE !!!!
We still remain the only Hong Kong club to successfully manage Dragon boat and Outrigger interests, which is a big reflection on
the commitment of the membership in general. 2008 is going to be a tough and challenging year, but well worth the pain. ……
Trust me, I’m a PE teacher !!!! See you ALL on the water ...
Andy Cummings, Coach, HKIPC, 2008 Season

 The Making of a Legend

What creates a legend? Performance en-          sessions and at HKIPC’s home base at the Victoria Recreation Club (VRC) in Deep Wa-
ters into it, as do people. A special place     ter Bay. Among the founders, Britons Des and Wendy Mabbott left in 2007 to retire in
helps. Most of all, it takes a sense of style   Noosa on Australia’s sunshine coast.
to establish that almost mystic aura.           Katherine Lynch and Yan Yan Li have gone on to found other clubs, the Hong Kong
Consummate execution, consistency,              Outrigger Canoe Club and Royal X-Women (and Men). Some of today’s best paddlers,
bold amtbition and quirkiness – these           like Emily Mabbott, Des and Wendy’s daughter, have literally grown up within the
are the stuff of legend. Now in its fif-        club. Ah Tin, who manages the VRC in Deep Water Bay, has kept the boathouse and
teenth year, the Hong Kong Island Pad-          club house in meticulous order for three decades.
dle Club (HKIPC) has them all.                  The official history of HKIPC is on its web site, The story behind the
The paddling community has grown in             story is something else. Here we take a look at how the club began, in the words of
Hong Kong, the home of dragon boat-             Chairman Emeritus Des Mabbott; the club’s home in Hong Kong’s oldest sports insti-
ing. It now includes paddlers of exotic         tution, the VRC; and our most valuable player off the water, Ah Tin.

                                                Paddle to Win
craft made from high-tech materials
such as outrigger canoes, Polynesian
in origin, and surf skis, invented in Aus-
tralia in the 1920s to help life savers get
offshore at maximum speed. HKIPC is no
longer the only club to join. But it is still   By Des Mabbott
the main one to beat.
                                                HKIPC evolved from the successful University of Hong Kong dragon boat team, which
The core group of founders has dwin-            had won at Stanley for a couple of years. In the summer of 1993, number HKU em-
dled over the years, but Dan Fedoruk,           ployees on the team had become a very small minority and it seemed to make sense
Agnes Tang Fedoruk, Coral Law and Ah            to form a separate club, so HKIPC was born in October of that year. Outriggers were
Tin Lai are familiar faces at the training      not on the plan in the early years.
Training wasn’t so structured with the University team and many of         and rewards I have got back far outweigh any personal
the crew were of the opinion that a more carefully planned training        sacrifice I have made. In particular I have been rewarded
program could produce even better results. This was something Dan          by being able to paddle with my wife and elder daugh-
Fedoruk as Coach introduced. We were also keen to improve our per-         ter in mixed crews, paddle with some great men’s teams
formance against the local crews and compete in more races in the ter-     with some huge wins, and drum for the ladies who always
ritory and overseas, which we had a small taste of with HKU.               made me proud to be sitting up on the drum.
Initially we operated from the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club at Middle        I guess any non-Chinese speaking individual wanting
Island, but due to expanding numbers and the very limited numbers          to participate in a strong and highly competitive crew
of paddlers who were also members of the Yacht Club, a couple of us        whose goals were more than winning at Stanley would
went to meet the Honorable Secretary of the VRC one Saturday after-        have been attracted to HKIPC. We were the only club in
noon after training to find out if we could come to some agreement         those days offering such an experience. Time has shown
about using the VRC premises. The rest is history.                         that there are a lot of people in Hong Kong who want to
HKIPC was the first non-local club to perform against the local crews      paddle seriously. The development of a lot of other non-
in hard fought races in the territory. We raced the Hong Kong Cham-        local clubs over the past eight or so years has proven
pionships, the Hong Kong International, and as many local races as we      that.
could find.                                                                The beginning of the club’s outrigger section was in 1994,
As the club was formed in 1993, HKIPC’s first races were in 1994. I be-    when 20 members entered into a debenture arrangement
lieve we were Stanley Champions that year and we did extremely well        to buy two Malia six-person outrigger canoes. These ca-
in the Hong Kong Championships.                                            noes remain in Hong Kong in Lantau. The feeling was that,
                                                                           as the dragon boat season ended in June we needed to
In the early days winning Stanley was a great accomplishment for a         continue paddling to enjoy the waters of Hong Kong. So
new club. However, to get better, we needed to compete and test our        we welcomed Mahoa and Mahoe and from those twins
mettle against other tougher opposition over longer distances of 500       the club’s outrigger development came along offering
meters and 800 meters. We sought out other races and started to travel     paddlers other options to race now locally and overseas.
abroad. We have now been to Penang numerous times, Taiwan, Chi-            Now the outrigger program is an equal part of HKIPC’s ac-
na, Singapore, South Africa and Thailand and the name of HKIPC has         tivities with our crews having some success too.
spread due to our strong performavnces overseas.
                                                                           The first social of note was the very first “Nancies” hosted
As for heartbreaks and moments of triumph, there have been many            by our very own Nancy Remondi. This was a review of the
but they become very personal issues. I would need to wander in my         season highlighting the goofs and odd goings on that
thoughts for hours to remember them all. However one thing I’m sure.       had happened. Most people had believed their own par-
I believe I have made a significant contribution to the club but the joy   ticular gaff had been forgotten only to find it relived in all
                                                                           its glory on the night of the Nancies. Long may this tradi-

Pride in History : The VRC
                                                                           tion continue.

Before the Hong Kong Cricket Club (1851), Ladies Recreation Club (1883), Jockey Club (1884), Hong Kong Golf Club (1889), the Royal
Hong Kong Yacht Club (1890), and the Kowloon Bowling Green Club (1900), there was the Victoria Recreation Club.
The group of British traders who founded the VRC in Guangzhou in 1832, ten years before the beginning of the colonial era were row-
ers and sailors, and the club’s regatta section eventually became the Hong Kong Corinthian Sailing Club, later renamed the Royal Hong
Kong Yacht Club. The VRC itself moved to Hong Kong seven years after the territory became a British possession as a result of China’s
defeat in the First Opium War in 1841.
The flagstone building with its awnings, potted plants, landing ramp designed for cruise ships, pontoons and slipway tucked beneath
Island Road, together with its companion facilities in Sai Kung’s Emerald Bay, is not just the oldest sports club in Hong Kong but among
the oldest in Asia. The current clubhouse in Deep Water Bay dates from 1953; the Emerald Bay location dates from 1963. Both locations
are steeped in the ambience of Hong Kong of the 1950s, but are merely the latest in an architectural sequence that has marked the
changes of Hong Kong from Victorian enclave to the post-1997 “Special Administrative Region” of China.

At Deep Water Bay, despite the busy traffic of Island Road, the          swim on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday mornings. Main
long verandah overlooking the water and the concrete landing             sports included rowing, swimming, water polo, sailing, gym-
below are tranquil havens for children and sunbathers. Much of           nastics, fencing, weight lifting and boxing. Twice in the pe-
the furnishing of the club is gently recycled, dating from windows       riod before World War II, the VRC anticipated the HKIPC’s an-
of opportunity seized by Ah Tin and his co-workers when mem-             nual paddle to Macau with teams of oarsmen in racing shells.
bers have offered tables, chairs, and potted plants. A brace of age-     The club’s swimmers also pioneered the annual cross-harbor
defying gold fish swim in a tank below photos dating back to the         race in Victoria Harbor, which ended in 1973, due to rising
1930 League Championships photo of the VRC Water Polo Team,              levels of water pollution.
and many more of HKIPC events from recent years.                         In the years after World War II, the club became a powerful
The club had many locations before it moved to Deep Water Bay,           driver for organized sport in Hong Kong, launching the Hong
from Guangzhou to Queen’s Road Central to Causeway Bay and               Kong Amateur Swimming Association and the Amateur
Kowloon, moving each time as land reclamation claimed its piece          Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong,
of waterfront property. From 1904, for nearly 50 years, the Victoria     which held its initial meetings in the VRC on Chater Road.
Recreation Club was one of Hong Kong’s grandest architectural            The Quest for Gold: Fifty Years of Amateur Sports in Hong
memorials to the British Empire. Located in Central adjacent to          Kong, 1947-1997, edited by S.F. Lam and Julian W. Chang
the Hong Kong Club, the Chater Road clubhouse was an Edward-             (Hong Kong University Press, 2006) includes a chapter on the
ian pile with flamboyant brickwork and rococo detailing.                 role of the club in Hong Kong’s sports history by Honorable
As the city’s premier sports club, it had a four-lane swimming           Secretary Frank Pfeiffer. For those who wish to learn more
pool, a gym and bars – all for men only with limited hours for           about the VRC, the official history, together with member-
women and boys. Boys were allowed to use the pool from 6 to 8            ship applications is at
am on weekdays and Sundays for HK$4 per swim. Women could

Most Valuable Person:                      Ah Tin has seen HKIPC paddlers come and go. He said: “In the early days, the HKIPC paddlers
                                           were rather arrogant, but also highly professional. They were extremely focused on com-
                                           petition and self-improvement. Today, they are nicer, and more relaxed and sociable. They

Ah Tin Lai
Of all the people whose drive and
                                           look at dragon boating as one more type of training for exercise.” He added, with a touch of
                                           sternness: “If they want to get the glory, members have to change their way of thinking and
                                           be determined to race and win!”
personalities have shaped HKIPC,           The 52-year-old has never taken up dragon boating, although he comes from a family of
perhaps none is more self-effacing         fishermen, and paddled kayaks and canoes when he was younger. He lives with his wife and
than Ah Tin Lai. He has been with the      two teenage daughters in Stanley.
VRC since 1976, and if anyone has
served as a godfather to the HKIPC, it
is Ah Tin. In the early 1990s, after the
Hong Kong University Dragon Boat
Team had been based at the VRC
for a few years, Ah Tin was the inter-
mediary for the first negotiations to
make the VRC the formal base of the
newly formed HKIPC.
Over the years, Ah Tin has quietly
put himself on the line for the club,
extending opening hours until the
end of weeknight training sessions
and turning a blind eye to non-VRC
members in need of a hot shower
in winter months. “I don’t feel like I
have done much to help HKIPC, but I
have been quite proud to have them
at the VRC and help the club in small
ways,” he told HKIPC co-founder
Coral Law in an interview. As Coral
noted, “Everyone who has met Ah
Tin can tell that he loves his job and
looks at the members of the club as
his own family.”
Postcards from Noosa
Love of the ocean should teach us to accept change. One change in 2007,
though, was tough for all – the departure of Des and Wendy Mabbott for
the sunny shores of Queensland, Australia. Des and Wendy were founders
of HKIPC in 1993 and they have been a mainstay of the club since. When
Des retired from his job as director of Emergency Health and Safety at the
University of Hong Kong, Wendy gave up her dental practice for a life near
some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and their own swimming pool.
Life has not stopped for the Mabbott’s, who have kept IPC posted on their
activities on the Sunshine Coast.

July 2, 2007
Aussie Humour
Sorry to clutter up the airways but as I need   Needless to say we don’t have our com-
to get used to this sort of humour, I thought   puter and we are visiting the local li-      ps please keep in touch. We will contact
I would share with you. Des plus: Aussie        brary daily to do emails etc. We arrived     individuals in due course once we are
Kidnapping A driver is stuck in a traffic jam   in Queensland last Friday during the         set up at home but feel free to email any
on the freeway. Nothing is moving. Sud-         coldest winter in living memory with         time. pps and in case you are interested
denly a man knocks on the window. The           temperature on arrival (06:00 hrs) at two    we have retained the results of the races
driver rolls down his window and asks,          degrees! Tempted to go paddling today        so if you are interested in your time all
“What’s going on?” “Terrorists have kid-        for the first time with the recreational     you need to do is ask.
napped John Howard, Peter Costello, and         crew and it was a great morning with
Kevin Rudd. They’re asking for a $30 mil-       much to see. Any way the most impor-
                                                                                             August 2, 2007
lion ransom, otherwise they’re going to         tant reason for this email is to thank you   What’s Happening Back
douse them with petrol and set them on          all for coming along to our farewell bbq
fire. We’re going from car to car, taking up    and in particular to those who joined in     There…?
a collection.” The driver asks, “How much       the OC-1 races in early July. To have a      As the website is still not working (!!) would
is everyone giving, on average?” “About a       race on our last day at our second home      some one produce the results of the re-
litre.” Des                                     seemed entirely appropriate. I hope          gatta at the weekend please? We remain
                                                you all continue to race the canoes and      very interested in the events in HK. OC
                                                keep reducing the round middle island        race season startes here in Sept with OC
                                                times in time trials. Thanks you all for     6 in Oct so not long before we get to race
July 26, 2007                                   making our time in Hong Kong a most          too. It is also whale and dolphin season
                                                enjoyable and rewarding one and one of       but so far no sightings. Finally our con-
Our New Home                                    the happiest periods in our life.            tainer has been released from Customs
Our sincere apologies for taking so long                                                     and we are now eagerly awaiting the
                                                We miss you all very but are finding
to be in touch. We haven’t forgotten you                                                     arrival of all our possessions and our ca-
                                                that there is much to do here and will
and have been reading the various emails                                                     noes. Life here is tough... ahem? Warm
                                                undoubtedly enjoy life here too. come
that are circulating. What has happened to                                                   regards to all, Des
                                                down some time and sample life Noosa
all the guys? We are now in Australia and
                                                Style. We are living 7km from the canoe
are gradually getting ourselves organised
                                                club and 10km from the surf beaches.
but still await the container to arrive with
                                                With uncluttered roads driving is a
all our possessions. The container has
been at the Brisbane port waiting for Cus-
toms clearance which we hope will be any        Warm regards, Des and Wendy
day now.
September 1, 2007                               in August it didn’t stop raining for 3 solid
Bottle-nosed Dolphins Say                       The OC-1 season in South Queensland
Hello                                           has started with one race down, one
                                                cancelled due to bad weather and the
2 pm Friday..
                                                next in early Oct. Most races are orga-
Dear All, I may not be there in person but      nized to run down wind and the first
am there in spirit. I am pleased to report      one from Caloundra to Mooloolaba was
the Noosa Outrigger club is alright. Lots       just that and it was a hoot. I had only got
of paddlers with varying degrees of ex-         my canoe the day before so I hadn’t had
perience. However the reason I write            chance to take it for a spin. I found out
this quickly is that this morning after         who the competition was and didn’t do
paddling from 6am to 8:30am twenty              too badly. I had to register my canoe
members of the Noosa Outrigger Canoe            with the Southern Queensland branch
Club mucked in to deal with the recent          of AOCRA and got number 788 which I
mess in the club’s container and bunkers        thought was a pretty lucky number.
caused by flooding of the Noosa river.
                                                Surprisingly ladies OC-1 racing is not so
In addition another 10 members came
                                                well developed as Wendy had hoped
down to lend a hand even though they
                                                with only under and over 40 divisions.
didn’t paddle. A very refreshing re-
                                                However it seems to be growing and
sponse. More from the sunshine coast
                                                many of the girls in Noosa are in pro-         hey I am no longer boatmaster so I don’t
soon now that we finally have been con-
                                                cess of buying canoes so things are on         have to worry. Not only that the guy who
nected to the intranet.
                                                the up. In fact one of Noosa’s members         makes OC-1’s can repair OC-6’s and their
Keep up the good work guys. Am hop-             makes OC-1 canoes and his boats appear         amas really well.
ing to see you at the next Hamilton Cup         quite popular with quite a few members
if not a little earlier. For us our next OC-1                                                  The first Official OC-6 race is in early
                                                buying them. They are relatively low
race is next weekend at Coff’s Coast                                                           October in Hervey Bay where all the
                                                volume canoes and appear to compete
which I understand is in New South                                                             humpback whales are at the moment. I
                                                well in races here. They are not unlike
Wales although they are part of the                                                            wonder if we will see any while we are
South Queensland division of AOCRA.                                                            paddling. That would be something! Our
                                                OC-6 racing has yet to start proper al-        new Club Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club is
Tally ho! Wendy would also like to re-
                                                though there was a charity race (Row for       based in a park by the side of the Noosa
port three bottle nosed dolphins came
                                                Cancer) last weekend at Maroochydore.          River and we can get there by pushbike
by to say hello when we were in our OC-
                                                This was a river race and tactics played a     in less than 20 mins which works out to
1’s last Wednesday. Warm regards, Des
                                                big part with many sandbanks to nego-          be a good warm up. From the park the
September 26, 2007                              tiate. Normally the waters in the rivers       ocean is about 15 mins down river so
                                                here are quite clear and the banks are         by the time we negotiate the surf at the
Letter from the Sunshine                        easy to identify but the recent rain had       river bar (sand bar not the type found in
                                                clouded the water so it was a bit hit and
Coast                                           miss. The beach start was a bit of a de-
                                                                                               Wanchai) we are well warmed up.

Just in case you were wondering how                                                            Training times are 5:15 am on Tues , Thurs
                                                molition derby. A bit like Hamilton start
we are coping! After arriving during                                                           and Sat for the ladies and for the men its
                                                really and we got tangled up early on. I
the coldest winter in living memory                                                            4:30 pm on Mondays and Weds and 5:15
                                                unfortunately have let the cat out of the
and having lived through the wettest                                                           am on Weds. There is an OC-1 practice
                                                bag so the club knows I can steer a bit
August since 1992 (including floods)                                                           on Mondays at 5:15am too. We struggled
                                                so I was signed up to steer this race. I
and already the wettest Sept for many a                                                        initially with these training times but are
                                                can appreciate Puss’s efforts even more
year the Sunshine Coast is still living up                                                     eventually getting used to them. Night
                                                at Hammo now.
to its name. It is now spring so nights are                                                    life around here tends to finish pret-
                                                Not long after the start, I T-boned one        ty early. (I wonder why?) Saturdays prac-
cool and days are warm.
                                                crew to send them flying off to the left       tice tends to run for about 2.5hrs in the
Our belongings took ages to arrive and          on to a sand bank and contacted a num-         open ocean and we usually encounter
when it did the canoes had been left            ber of other crews until finally we pulled     some good rolling swells which are great
behind in Brisbane but finally we have          away in third position and eventually          to train on.
all our stuff and distributed around our        ended up second. The crew were pret-
home in Tewantin. Our forest (back gar-                                                        We are also using our OC-1’s as much as
                                                ty happy with my efforts and the other
den) gave us a bit of a scare when a large                                                     we can in the ocean. We can launch from
                                                steersmen were not put out with the
bough of one of the trees split off and                                                        the beach when conditions are reason-
                                                collisions. Seems like outrigger Aussie
landed on our roof, but other than that                                                        able but even so this can be a little dif-
                                                style comes no holds barred. I must ad-
no real dramas although we did get a lit-                                                      ficult negotiating the surf on the way out
                                                mit I find it difficult to align with their
tle nervous when during the rain storm                                                         and coming back in. We have been swim-
                                                wayward treatment of their canoes but

ming a couple of times but the water isn’t   November 12, 2007                          that we can steer after a fashion) Wendy
too cold so no problem there. Our motor
                                                                                        competed in the senior masters crew
is fitted with canoe racks now and the ga-   Another OC-6 Regatta…                      which we believe came 4th and steered
rage has been attended to so all the ca-
                                             Northcliffe                                the open girls for a great race and coming
noes can be suspended from the ceiling.
                                                                                        in second to Mooloolaba. Des competed
Our house is only 8 mins away from the       Another weekend and another OC-6           in the senior masters crew (we didn’t have
club base but inland. It is not far from     regatta to attend with all the big guns    enough old gits to enter a golden mas-
the edge of a forest and there are some      out to test their mettle. Those who        ter team) and the team just got pipped
great trail runs there so we have no ex-     have paddled Hamilton will be famil-       on the line by Mooloolaba for 2nd.
cuses to stop running training. There are    iar with the names: Mooloolaba, River
                                             City(Brisbane), Brisbane, Outrigger Aus-   None the less this was a lung bursting
plenty of gyms to join and of course no
                                             tralia, Northcliffe,Coffs Coast, Panamu-   race not dissimilar to the Saipan race
end of other sporting activities to join
                                             na, Surfer’s Paradise etc.                 against Cairns many years ago ( ask Andy,
should the urge occur. I am becoming a
                                                                                        Lee or Dan!) Des also steered the mixed
bit of an expert at swimming pool main-      Northcliffe run their event on tidal wa-   open and they came in 3rd. An excel-
tenance and getting to grips once more       ter ways on a pursuit basis whereby        lent day of racing which was followed on
with gardening and decorating. Who           crews are paired and go off every min-     the Sunday by OC-1 races. Short course
says retirement life is a doddle?            ute. 3 laps of 4 km form a 12 km course    for Wendy over some 7km which rather
We keep up to date with the HKIPC news       with inevitable pile ups at each of the    uniquely involved some porterage over
(No website yet?), we miss you guys,         turning buoys. I thought AOCRA had         a sand bank and a longer course about
and are delighted to hear of the success-    rules on who gives way but apparently      12 km for Des with two porterages over
ful trip to Macau, the Round the Island      the turns are a free for all not unlike    sand banks.
Race and most recently the change race       the Guam sprints. So no big runners
                                             to catch although the downhill stretch     No results yet but we had a ball and al-
in Deep Water Bay. Good luck for Guam
                                             had the tide and wind with it so it was    though it was disappointing we couldn’t
and Palau. We had hoped that we could
                                             possible to gain some assistance. Un-      get into the ocean due to very rough seas,
get there easily and cheaply to join you
                                             like Hong Kong we also had to be aware     we are getting to grips with OC-1 Aussie
but it is not to be. Ah well. Some other
                                             of and avoid sand banks which added        style and making our mark. Good luck
time. Feels weird paddling in a white
                                             additional pressure on the steerers.       to HKIPC in the ATIR. We miss competing
                                                                                        with you guys and hope to join up again
Warm regards to all Des (and Wendy)          Wendy and I ended up paddling one race     sometime in the future.
                                             and steering another. (Unfortunately
                                             we have both let the cat out of the bag    Warm regards Des and Wendy
January 8, 2008                                                      through the surf to turn once around a can (Aussie for buoy)
                                                                     and back to shore. That could be fun but I hope the pound-
Rain on the Sunshine Coast                                           ing surf we have at the moment subsides a bit!
And to think Australia was suffering its worst ever drought. We      Not long after are the final OC-1 races of the season at Coff’s coast
are here on the Sunshine Coast and we haven’t seen the sun           just in New South Wales. These are the Nationals so we shall see
for 3 weeks and it hasn’t stopped raining. I know there is a sea-    how we do in those events. I am happy to announce that thanks
son of the WET further north at the “top end” but this year it       to the tutelage of Dan, James, Mark and Andy I managed to win
seems to have slipped too far south. Ah well at least we aren’t      the OC-1 Golden Master Series in SE Queensland and I wasn’t
getting an overdose of the UV and the dams are filling up.           too far behind the senior masters and master men.
Of course paddling continues but due to strong winds the             As mentioned in previous note the ladies OC-1 series is slowly
ocean is a bit wild so we can’t get out of the river. Still always   coming together but tend not to run in the Ocean much to
good to have a variety of training grounds. The river mouth          Wendy’s despair. She did well in the one event they held in the
was bumpy but fun on my OC-1 yesterday but I went swim-              ocean but finds it tough to compete in calm water against the
ming a couple of times so am still learning. Christmas seemed        big muscular ladies of Queensland. Becoming quite at ease with
a very muted affair but that was probably because we had our         the spiders now and so far no run in with browns or red bellied
Christmas earlier when Emily visited and when Wendy’s Dad            blacks (snakes) but expecting to see these at some time. We are
and Lucy were here too. Our unofficial Christmas Morning was         still on the HKIPC mailing list and love being there. Always good
spent on the beach (where else?) enjoying the antics of Em-          to hear all the news. Great to see significant efforts in promoting
ily and Lucy participating in a surfing lesson. I hope Emily can     HKIPC so hope you all do your bit. If each member recruits one
surf her canoe better than a board!                                  more that would be excellent. I am expecting a great showing
                                                                     from HKIPC in Penang this year. I recall that the CCWC in South
I had expected life to settle into some sort of routine but
                                                                     Africa was a great experience and was a great boost for the
it hasn’t been the case yet. Our next regatta in OC-6’s is at
                                                                     club. I hope the experience and spin off in 2008 will be equally
Mooloolaba hosted by Panamuna (a club based at Maroochy-
                                                                     as good. We may even come along and support as the budget
dore). Apparently this is a sprint regatta based on the Walter
                                                                     fares are really cheap.
J MacFarlane (?) sprints in Hawaii where the start is a beach
sprint for the steersmen and then the canoes are paddled out

                                 Race Statistics

Outrigger                                                                                                  Dragon
January 27 - 28: Four Peaks Race 2007
May 31 to June 3: Hamilton Cup – 16K Master Men: 12th. Master Women : 14th. King of the
                                                                                                           April 22: L 50: Festival of Sport – Mini-Dragon
Mountain Men, Des Mabbott: 5th, Women, Emily Mabbott: 5th. 42 K Open Men: 14th. Open Wom-
                                                                                                           Boat Competition, Shing Mun River, Shatin,
en: 10th. Golden Master Men 8KM OC1: 2nd place Des Mabbott . Golden Master Men OC1 250m: 5th
                                                                                                           Mixed, 2nd and 3rd Place, Women’s, 1st,
place Des Mabbot. Senior Master Women OC1 16KM marathon: 2nd place Messan Makino. Master
Men OC1 16KM marathon: 7th place Leon Rossbotham. Golden Master Men OC1 16KM marathon:                     April 26 - 28 : 1st Boracay International Drag-
4th place Des Mabbot. Open Men OC6 16KM marathon: 20th Place. Open Women OC6 16KM: 28th.                   on Boat Festival - 1st Place in Mixed 500m, 4th
                                                                                                           in Mixed 300m
July 28 : Hong Kong Outrigger Canoe Club (HKOCC) Invitational Regatta, Men’s, 1st, Women’s, 1st            May 13 : The 8th Deep Water Bay Regatta - 1st
August 18 -19 : 9th Hong Kong Macau Outrigger Canoe Expedition                                             in Men’s, 1st in Women’s and 1st in Mixed divi-
August 25 : HKOCC Around Beaufort Challenge - Men’s : 1st and 2nd. Women’s: 2nd.
                                                                                                           May 24: Stanley Fishermen’s Race – Men Only,
September 1 -2: Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races – Men’s OC-1, 4th Place (age
                                                                                                           2nd Place with Fei Foo (Flying Tigers) in the
40-49), Dan Fedoruk
                                                                                                           Grand and Grand Grand Finals
September 9 : Hong Kong Open Marathon Canoe Championships, Round the Island Race - 2 Mixed OC6’s,
                                                                                                           June 10 : First Lamma International Dragon
1st and 2nd
                                                                                                           Boat Festival
September 30 : Around Lamma Island Outrigger Race - 1st and 2nd in Men’s, 1st in Women’s
                                                                                                           June 19: Stanley International Dragon Boat
October 13 : Southside Challenge (Surf Ski and OC-1) - Men’s OC-1, Dan Fedoruk, 1st Place, Mark Pollard,   Championships, HKIPC Flying Dragons, 5th
2nd Place, Women’s OC-1, Jo Jones, 2d Place, Emily Mabbott, 3rd Place                                      Place (Mixed Juniors), Ladies Cup Final, 3rd
October 27 -28: Micronesia Cup, Palau – Men’s Long Distance: 3rd place. Mixed Long Distance: 2nd Place.    Place
Women’s Long Distance : 2nd Place. 4th Place Overall                                                       June 17: Mui Wo Dragon Boat - Women Only
November 3-4: Heineken Cup,Guam - Men’s Distance : 1st Place. Mixed Distance: 1st& 3rd Place. Wom-         June 17 : Chai Wan Fishermen’s Race – Men
en’s Distance: 2nd Place                                                                                   Only
September 30: Lamma Island Outrigger Race, 1st and 2nd in Men’s, Ist in Women’s                            June 23-24: Hong Kong International DB
November 18: Loro Piana Around the Island Race (ATIR) - Men’s in 2nd and 3rd, Women’s 2nd                  Races - Women’s result only/Only women
                                                                                                           raced/1st in national competition on Saturday,
November 28: Dragon Run (Surf Ski and OC-1) – Dan Fedoruk, No. 17, Andy Cummings, No. 19,                  2nd in international on Sunday, 4th in Interna-
Leon Rossbotham, No. 29, Emily Mabbott, No. 45                                                             tional Women’s Golden championships, time of
December 1- 2: Deep Water Bay to Pui O and Return Camping Trip                                             1:24.8 (1st – Nam Hoi; 2nd – Tianjin, 3rd- Bug-
                                                                                                           say Boracay)
December 8 : Three Peaks Race – Mixed, 1st and 2nd Place
December 15 : Lantau Island Outrigger Canoe Club Annual Fun Race
January 26-27, 2008 :Aedas Four Peaks Race 2008, Men’s Elapsed Time, 20:19:15, Women’s
Elapsed Time, 18:23:00. (Elapsed Time for Yachting Class 1st Place – 20:36:15)
November 28: Dragon Run (Surf Ski and OC-1) – Dan Fedoruk, No. 17, Andy Cummings, No. 19, Leon
Rossbotham, No. 29, Emily Mabbott, No. 45
December 1- 2: Deep Water Bay to Pui O and Return Camping Trip
December 8 : Three Peaks Race – Mixed, 1st and 2nd Place
December 15 : Lantau Island Outrigger Canoe Club Annual Fun Race
January 26-27: Aedas Four Peaks Race 2008, Men’s Elapsed Time, 20:19:15, Women’s Elapsed Time,
18:23:00. (Elapsed Time for Yachting Class 1st Place – 20:36:15)
Dr a g o n B o a t C alendar
 April 27             Shatin Festival of Sport
 May 11               Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival
 May 25               HKIPC Deep Water Bay Regatta
 June 7               Macau International Dragon Boat Festival - 2000m
 June 8               Aberdeen Fishermen’s Dragon Boat Festival
 June 14-15           Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Race
 Aug 1-3              6th Club Crew World Championships - Penang, Malaysia

A Year in Words
                                                                                           and running – and gave me a chance to
                                                                                           be with 10 other kindred spirits as we
                                                                                           embarked on our journey through the
                                                                                           night. For all the fantastic teams and

and Pictures
                                                                                           races that I have been involved in over
                                                                                           the past 6 years, the most memorable
                                                                                           have been where the feeling within the
                                                                                           crew was of a unity of purpose, being to-
                                                                                           gether to support each other no matter

Four Peaks Race
                                                                                           what the outcome.
                                             By Sharon Tudela                              This is what made the Four Peaks Race
January 27-28, 2007                          that final commitments were made by 11        the most memorable team endeavor for
                                             women -- Elizabeth Cooper, Julie Devine,      me – while I had raced Catalina, Kona,
The Aberdeen Boat Club’s Four Peaks          Cheryl Fender, Messan Makino, Jo Jones,       Micronesian Cup and numerous dragon
Race is a yacht race that involves boats     Martha Levin, Emily Mabbott, Wendy            boat races, there was never the same
sailing around Hong Kong waters to a         Mabbott, Sally Stevenson, Lara Wozniak        edge of apprehension as the 11 of us
landing point, two team members run-         and myself (along with our intrepid sup-      had embarking on the Four Peaks race.
ning up (and down) a peak, and the boat      port crew, Matt Brady, James Newton,          We were united by the unknown.
sailing off to another landing point. In     Darren Fender, Paul Stevenson and Grace       I felt that the enormity of the challenge
this race, the peaks that are conquered      Yu).                                          humbled us, and allowed us to fully trust
are Ma On Shan, Violet Hill, Mount Sten-                                                   each other…no egos, no politics. We
house, and Lantau.                           Athough there was a lot of paddling ex-
                                             perience within the crew, some of us did      were a team in the truest sense of the
In 2006, IPC men completed the slightly      not know each other, others have never        word.
cut-down version in an outrigger canoe,      even paddled together. We were also all       This race was a fantastic way to end 6
and involving three peaks: Ma On Shan        individually competitive, and most of us      years of great racing with IPC, and marks
(elevation 702 meters), Violet Hill (435     had strong personalities that bordered on     a new chapter in my life – I did not know
meters), and Mount Stenhouse (353 me-        stubbornness. I was honestly uncertain        it then, but it was my daughter’s first
ters). This year, the men decided to do      about how it would all come together.         race, in utero. I found out a week after
it again, and there was an inquiry on                                                      that I was pregnant.
whether the women wanted to field a          On January 27, the day of the event, with
crew.                                        winds forecast of force 5, and tempera-       I can only hope that perhaps through
                                             tures between 12 to 16 C, we raced… and       osmosis, my daughter had experienced
60 kms. of paddling in the coldest time      it all came together. We finished in 15       what being part a team is all about –
of the year, running up hills in the pitch   hours and 14 minutes, tired but happy.        hard work, unity in a common goal, trust
black of night, racing between 15 – 20                                                     and respect.
hours ….. Indeed, who among the wom-         For me, this event was the perfect culmina-
en would be interested?                      tion of 6 years of living, working and pad-
                                             dling in Hong Kong. It brought together
Only in the two weeks prior to the race      my two sporting passions – paddling
                                                                                                  Hong Kong
                                                 local teams and fantastic reception from
                                                 the local organizers. I couldn’t dream of
                                                 a better venue for racing. The crisp blue
                                                 skies, the clean clear ocean – it was a
                                                 most welcome change to squatting on
                                                 concrete sidewalks and paddling in wa-
                                                 ter that could possibly turn me into a
                                                 mutant back in Hong Kong!
                                                 Before long, the whole amazing scenery
                                                 was even lulling me into thinking that
                                                 all the pain of organizing the trip was
                                                                                                  Dragon Boat
Boracay!                                                                                          Races
                                                 (shudder) worth it. This state of denial
                                                 rose to full force after the mixed team
                                                 blew the competition away in the 300m
Postcards from the Edge                          race. In a momentary fit of delusion
                                                 spurred on by our win, I started think-          The View
April 26-28, 2007                                ing that I was having such a great time,         From the Drummers’ Seat
                                                 I actually wouldn’t mind volunteering
By Jet Tagasa-Benson                             for this task again! Imagine a giant hand        June 23-24, 2007
                                                 slapping me back to reality at this point,
When Andy Cummings asked me to do a bit          a sensation that felt somewhat similar           By Des Mabbott
of detective work while vacationing in Bo-       to the epic hangover I was nursing the
racay, little did I know that it would lead me   day after the final races!                       The ladies were the only representatives
to the wild and sanity-threatening world of
                                                 In the end, we all walked away a little          of HKIPC to feature at the HKIDBR this
group travel coordination. Maybe it was my
                                                 hung over, a little refreshed (for some at       year. Memories of the very poor organi-
innate passion for volunteering (ahem!).
                                                 least), a little bruised, a a little dehydrat-   zation the two previous years had turned
My loyalty and love for the club…maybe it
                                                 ed (ah, Dave) and our load a little heavy        a significant number of paddlers off the
was the brain numbing after effect of all the
                                                 with the weight of a gold medal. I look          event. Confidence in the HKDBA was not
rum and Cokes I guzzled while on vacation,
                                                 at it every now and then and remember            high and there was overall disappoint-
or maybe I’m a closet masochist or maybe it
                                                 all the amazing fun I had with IPC dur-          ment with the shortening of the event to
was just plain ignorance that made me ac-
                                                 ing that trip and think to myself, will I        a mere 300m.
cept the task.
                                                 do it again? Aaaahhh…Pass me the rum
In any case, it was an experience that led       and coke, please!
me to a life changing realization…hat
travel agents are super human. After weeks
of trying to make sense of itineraries, col-
lecting complete passport names, col-
lecting money, cancellations, additions,
subtractions, organizing flights, pick-ups,
drop-offs, hair-pulling and several valium
popping sessions later, I now bow down
in front of travel agents in praise of their
superior organizational skills and saint like
However, that said, the pain and agony of
organizing a group of people to be at the
same place at the same time all melted
under the glorious Boracay sun as soon as
we stepped in its pristine, powdery white
sands. Selective amnesia further kicked in
when I spotted the two massive pools in-
side our hotel resort. In an instant, thoughts
of strangling fellow paddlers were replaced
with thoughts of lounging poolside with
fellow “beloved” paddlers, fruity alcoholic
drinks in hand… bliss!
The next two days were an electric mix of
competition and celebration as we were
treated to some excellent racing from the

As it turned out the HKDBA turned out         Who was the champion? Arithmetic had            were about to experience an even more
a very respectable show and reminded          denied our girls a position at Stanley the      intense experience later that day.
us all of the great events the HKTA used      week before. Was it going to happen
                                                                                              The final was upon us before we knew it
to run at TST over the standard 640m          again? No!. The 2nd heat took priority
                                                                                              but we were ready. The simulations were
course.                                       and the ladies were HK champions yet
                                                                                              working so we did it again. The ladies sat
                                              again. Brilliant!.
The land space for paddlers and specta-                                                       quietly, as close to one another as pos-
tors was tight and uncomfortable but the      Everyone went home happy and with               sible so they could almost hear their col-
course was well laid and the starting ar-     high expectations of racing in the Inter-       lective heart beats.
rangements the best ever in the harbor.       national Category on Sunday.
                                                                                              This was an emotional time for Wendy
So it was up to the ladies to fly the HKIPC   Sunday arrived with the team was look-          and me since this was the last dragon
flag. With many of the regular lady pad-      ing a little different and a bit short so the   boat race for us as we were leaving Hong
dlers unavailable this was going to be        omens weren’t too promising. The girls          Kong shortly. I spoke about the club, its
some challenge.                               needed to get into the top two places           development, the people, the teams
                                              in their heat to advance directly to the        (the ladies in particular) and how much
Day1 was all about the local races al-
                                              final. We were drawn against Nam Hoi            it had meant to both of us being part of
though the girls from Lamma and
                                              and Bugsay Blades. 2nd was a distinct           such a great crew and making history
Stormies weren’t competing which was
                                              possibility but we needed an exceptional        with HKIPC. I felt such pride each time I
a pity. Martha the ladies captain had had
                                              run. The girls paddled their hearts out,        sat as drummer in the women’s crew. The
extreme difficulty in mustering 18 ladies
                                              and were improving each race, and did           women were caught up in the moment
but somehow with Miraculous Martha’s
                                              exceptionally well but were pipped by           and in the emotion but a race still had to
Magic, HKIPC lined up in each race with
                                              Bugsay by about one second. However,            be won
18 ladies in the boat together with Ah
                                              they were not crestfallen as they knew
(Power) Fat as helm and Des as drummer                                                        The simulation started and it was evident
                                              the repechage offered them a good shot
boy. The first race on Saturday was heat                                                      then that this group of girls were one of
                                              for the final.
1 of the local championships where posi-                                                      the most focused I had ever had the op-
tion was critical for the overall champion    During assembly under the flyover be-           portunity to work with. The simulation
was determined on a points basis aver-        fore the repechage the girls underwent a        was incredibly realistic and heart beats
aged over the two heats. The race was a       simulation again. This time the focus was       rose on the anticipation of the race to
good one but not quite on the money as        highly evident. The team was one dragon:        come. The team had withdrawn from all
HKIPC came in 3rd, a smidgeon behind          the first three rows the brains and feroc-      the noise, heat, and distractions around
the HK Team (just O.36 sec) and Chai Wan      ity of the dragon’s jaws, the middle rows       and were in a world of their own making.
our nemesis.                                  the heart and lungs of the beast and the        The intensity was electrifying and you
                                              last three rows the serpents tail which is      could almost feel the crackle of the static.
With that result heads were down a lit-
                                              both powerful and adds balance to the
tle and we knew nothing less than first                                                       On the start line the focus as we lined up
                                              beast. We didn’t want just to come first.
place in the next round would be good                                                         along side the likes of Nam Hoi, Bugsay
                                              We wanted to show Hong Kong that the
enough.                                                                                       and the other Chinese team. We didn’t
                                              results the previous day weren’t merely a
The one place where the team could get                                                        write off the local teams but today was all
                                              fluke but wholly justified.
away from the crowds for pre-race pep                                                         about competing against these big guns
                                              The silence and concentration on the            from overseas.
talks was beyond the start and in the
                                              start line was intense. We went with the
shade of the flyover. Well before the sec-                                                    As the boat bobbed about at the start
                                              smoke once again and in an instant the
ond heat (which was, in effect, the final)                                                    line there was a calmness rarely experi-
                                              months of training on the starts came
the team assembled and ran through the                                                        enced by our crews at the beginning of
                                              together. HKIPC catapulted out of the
race in a simulation. This had not been                                                       a big race. We were in total control of our
                                              start and were well ahead after twenty
used for some years and with all the                                                          boat with Ah Fat at the rear keeping the
                                              strokes. They blitzed the opposition,
noise, heat and excitement this strategy                                                      boat on line. We heard none of the oth-
                                              again led by Chai Wan, by over 4 seconds.
was worth utilizing.                                                                          er teams, and what noise we heard was
                                              A truly remarkable feat.The start was so
Our starts this year were different to pre-                                                   faint and in the distance. All energies and
                                              impressive it was marveled by many of
vious years too and we were getting out                                                       thoughts were inner most. I had one eye
                                              the other competitors on the shore and
of the blocks pretty well so we lined up                                                      on the cannon and one on Ah Fat for di-
                                              we were stopped by several paddlers af-
with high hopes. The gun went off, we                                                         rectional instructions for our strokes.
                                              ter the race asking how the girls did it.
went on the smoke from the cannon and                                                         We didn’t hear the gun. We didn’t have
                                              Now and again dragon boat racing one
from then on the result from where I was                                                      to. We again went on the puff of smoke
                                              can go through a most exceptional ex-
sitting, on the drum, was never in doubt.                                                     from the cannon ( the veritable “b” of the
                                              perience. This doesn’t happen regularly
We came in first by 0.5 sec to HK Auxiliary                                                   bang) and once again showed what an
                                              and sometimes it doesn’t happen for a
Police who knocked the HK Team into                                                           impressive start HKIPC had developed.
                                              number of years but this race produced
3rd position. We had demolished the HK                                                        The girls gave their all with power, preci-
                                              that same feeling. It was as if truly the
Team by 1.45 secs and Chai Wan by al-                                                         sion and exquisite timing but the might
                                              paddlers were one organism with one
most 2 secs.                                                                                  of the Chinese teams was too great to
                                              mindset and feeling. Little did I know we

overcome. We pushed so hard with Ah           off included our support boat Rising           sore muscle in my body. The boat was very
Fat going hoarse with his cries of “Pow       Tide and its three-member crew, sev-           quiet as we paddled through the light dizzle
ah!” and came across the line fourth with     eral outriggers full of well-wishers from      back into One Degree 15 Marine. Everyone
Bugsay less than a second in front.           the Singapore Paddle Club, and a flo-          was a bit melancholic that the trip was over.
The girls knew that they could have done      tilla of jet skis and boats from One De-       It had only been eight days since we left, but
no more. They had paddled one of the          gree 15 Marina.                                it seemed as if we’d been gone forever. We
races of their lives. They had proved again                                                  really bonded as a crew, had some good ad-
                                              After that high, it was down to just pad-
that they were worthy HK Champions                                                           ventures with the people in the fishing vil-
                                              dling. The first day was the easiest of all
and were not disappointed with their re-                                                     lage at the equator, and helped build aware-
                                              – we were all fresh and excited, and we
sult. They didn’t need to be. The weekend                                                    ness and raise funds for Care and Eco 4 The
                                              had only about four hours of paddling
had thrown up exceptional challenges                                                         World.
                                              to get to Nongsa, Indonesia, where he
this year with expectations on Saturday       had to spend the night to clear Indone- I spent the next few days after the trip re-
morning rather downbeat. To overcome          sian immigration.                           covering. I did not realize how much it took
these challenges and to perform so mar-                                                   out of me, and I found myself falling asleep
velously especially on Sunday was a pin-      From that first evening, we fell into at 9 pm for the rest of the week. I’m glad and
nacle of success rarely achieved by HKIPC     what would soon become a pattern. proud that we managed to raise $17,000 for
and was an experience that will remain        After cleaning up at the end of each the charities. All the expedition members
with me for the rest of my life. Well done    day, we’d gather around the open-air share a common interest and bond, and
ladies for upholding the honour of HKIPC      dinner table and have a great meal pre- I’m certain that we will have more paddling
and thank you for allowing me to be part      pared by our chef Calvin. Then, the ex- adventures together in future. I’m definitely
                                              pedition leader Rod would announce

The                                                                                          To Macau
                                              the crews and strategy for the follow-
                                              ing day. After that, we’d sit around and
                                              chat for a bit before hitting the sack.

Equator                                       Our crew was divided into two teams
                                              of six, and we rotated members each
                                              day so we all got to paddle with each
                                                                                             and Back
Run                                           other. We did about 60 km, or six to
                                              eight hours of paddling, a day. We’re a
                                              competitive lot, so each team also tried
                                                                                             August 18-19, 2007
                                              to outdo the other in speed – we were          By Michael Connell
July 21-29, 2007                              going at full race speeds even though          For those who don’t know me, I recently
                                              we were supposed to take the long-             moved to Hong Kong for work. It did not
By Martha Levin                               haul paddling at a steady, easy pace.          take me long to track down an outrigger
How many people would be crazy                The days kind of rolled together: Wake         club, the Hong Kong Island Paddle Club
enough to paddle a canoe 400 km over          up, eat, paddle, eat, nap, paddle, pad-        (HKIPC). I made it down to their open day to
rough seas and through shark-infested         dle, paddle, sleep. By the end of the          find out more about the club and overheard
waters from Singapore to the equator,         second day, I could feel my body ach-          that they were paddling to Macau again this
and back again? A dozen, if you count         ing all over. After the third day, my fin-     year, the ninth in succession. For those who
me! On July 21, we set off in an ocean-       gers had kind of shriveled up. When            are geographically disabled like me, Macau
going, six-person outrigger canoe on the      the trip was nearing an end, my hair           is 75 kms from Hong Kong to the west.
Paddle For Earth expedition. Our aim was      had turned into string. But it was all still   Thirty-two of us left on August 18 in three
to paddle from Singapore to Pulau Ling-       really fun! One of the teammates had           canoes and a support boat. We ran canoes
ga, Indonesia, on the equator, and back       his iPod hooked up to the boat’s stereo        on changes, the first on a two-hour rotation
in nine days. I was one of two women on       system, and we had endless debates             and the other two in twenty minute win-
the team. Although I live in Hong Kong,       about what constitutes good wake-up            dows. Hong Kong does not offer much in
I travel to Singapore frequently for work,    music.                                         terms of ocean excitement but it has hun-
so I often train with the Singapore Paddle
                                              It was amazing how much we ate –               dreds of islands and the busiest shipping
Club team. As we paddled, supporters
                                              we came in from every set ravenous,            lanes in the world (and sadly, some very pol-
would make donations via our website
                                              and always wanted seconds at dinner.           luted water and air). That aside, we pushed
in support of two charities – Care (Chil-
                                              It wasn’t until the third day that Chef        out at about 9 am and arrived at Macau that
dren-At-Risk Empowerment Association)
                                              Calvin understood what we meant by             afternoon at about 3:50 pm. Seven hours
Singapore Foundation and the Eco 4 The
                                              “Volume!” On the fifth day, I overheard        fifty is not a bad time, into the tides and a
World Foundation.
                                              him whispering to Rod in the kitchen,          slight head wind. The biggest challenge of
Off we go! After months of preparation        “I think we’re going to run out of food        the day was the heat. I managed to dehy-
and training, we finally set off at about     soon.” We didn’t of course, but we did         drate myself during a two-hour session and
mid-morning on a Saturday from One            manage to run out of beer!                     ended up with bad cramping. Thank good-
Degree 15 Marina at Sentosa. Our send                                                        ness for salt and the lovely ladies who came
                                              By the final day, I could feel every last
                                                                                             to my aid (I might try that one on again).
We stayed at Macau that night, and I was       the VRC. 35 OCs and skis started the race,         sprint kayaker, Kenny Wallace. There was
hoping to hit the casinos and nightlife.       including our largest ever women’s con-            also a healthy local contingent of both
About the only thing that I hit was my         tingent. In the OC1 divisions, Dan Fedoruk         surf skis and OC1 paddlers who were
bed… The heat had taken its toll on most       again took the line honours followed by            keen to mix it with the big guns.
of us. Still, we managed to get some food      Mark Pollard and Nick Barnes, and Anna         With a prize money purse of US$10,000
at a local restaurant, endure the biggest      Mathison again took the ladies prize, ahead    on offer, the field flew out of Clearwater
downpour of my life and experience mod-        of Jo Jones and Emily Mabbott. Lizzy Coo-      Bay Beach and into the almost perfect
ern Macau with a 30 minute black out. All      per and Wietske won the doubles division,      conditions – 10-15 kt. NE winds and a
being fair, Agnes (HKIPC) had worked out       edging Shell Price and Martha Levin.           sunny, clear day. When Hong Kong is like
the logistics beautifully and I was in bed,    No Oscar Chalupsky this year, but another this, there are few better paddling back-
out cold, very early.                          enormous South African, Jon Dingley, won drops on earth. The gods of paddling re-
Day Two and I seriously considered getting the surf ski division ahead of One Speed
                                                                                              ally turned it on, that’s for sure.
                                               Wall and an impressive Jason Henchman. The lead pack was a distant blur even by
the ferry back. Some of us decided to sleep
in (no names) but after customs clearance Thanks to sponsors: The Plateau Spa, the the time Dawid Mocke rounded the first
we were on the water by 9:30 am. We did Conrad Hotel , Three-Sixty, and Neil Pryde. turning buoy (which was also the Fenn
manage to lose a few paddlers overnight Their support is needed if local racing is to hotspot and earned Dawid a US$1,000
and were paddling back with only twenty- continue and grow.                                   special prize). Dawid excelled in the 15
eight. It was decided that we would only
run two canoes. This was my first introduc-    The Dragon Run:                                km downwind section, opening up a 1
                                                                                              min 15 sec lead over flat water specialist
tion to a bolt-together Mirage, you unbolt,                                                   Lewis Laughlin, Oscar and Dean Gardin-
you store, you bolt, you race. My body did
not hate me as much as I thought and I re-
                                               The Contest Begins                             er. Dawid hung on over the final 7km flat
                                                                                              section to take line honours and the title
ally found the paddle back fun. We man- November 28, 2007                                     of the first ever winner of “The Dragon
aged to get home an hour faster, at 6 hours                                                   Run”.
45. Not sure if it was the slight breeze be-
hind us, or that we had more paddlers per By Andrew Orr
                                                                                              This race would not have been possible
                                                                                              without the immense support and back-
boat (or that Leon was actually sober). All in
                                               Saturday November 28, 2007 was an his- ing of Jon Dingley, Rob Wall, Scott Cal-
all, it was a record for the year.
                                               toric day for Hong Kong paddling. For lender, Rene Appel and James Shortis.
I would like to thank HKIPC for the start the first time ever, the coastal waters of We owe you all a huge thank you for mak-
(and laughs and sore muscles), Agnes for a Hong Kong was the stage for a world ing happen what was a truly spectacular
great job organizing customs and logistics, class solo paddling event: the inaugural and historical day in our sport. Races like
Andy for coaching, Martha for the salts and staging of The Dragon Run.                        this can’t happen without sponsorship
the rest of the club for carrying my tired @                                                  support. Thank you TTG (HK) Limited,
                                               Forming part of the World
rse to Macau and Back.                                                                        JEB, Avila Capital, Transact 24, Schenker
                                               Series, the race attracted a truly elite field
                                                                                              Logistics, Kaenon and BonActive. And
                                               of surf ski paddlers, including the sports
                                                                                              a special thanks to Epic and Fenn who
                                               two legends – Oscar Chalupsky and Dean
                                                                                              made sure the visiting paddlers had skis
                                               Gardiner – current Molokai champion
Southside Challenge                            Lewis Laughlin, and Australian Olympic
                                                                                              to race on.
                                                                        The Dragon Run 2007 – Final Standings
October 13, 2007                               Surf Ski
By Andrew Orr                                  1          Dawid Mocke       Sth Africa Fenn Mako6           1:46:30
                                               2          Lewis Laughlin    Tahiti     Fenn Mako6           1:47:25
Local paddling seemed to take a bit of a
backwards step in 2007 at least as far as sin- 3   Oscar Chalupsky          Sth Africa Epic V10 Elite       1:48:25

gle man craft were concerned. After a prom-     4  Dean Gardner             Aust       Fenn Mako6           1:48:59
ising 2006 season, which saw a an excellent 5      Ken Wallace              Aust       Fenn Mako6           1:49:45
series of races organized by James Shortis 6       Bevan Manson             Sth Africa Epic V10 Ultra       1:51:24
as well as the Eastside Challenge, the South- 7    Michael Baker            Aust       Honcho Oceans Pro 1:51:30
side Challenge – in its fourth year – ended 8      David Provan             Aust       Fenn Mako6           1:57:43
up being the only single man race on the lo- 9     Ken Collins              Sth Africa Epic V10L Ultra      2:01:50
cal racing calendar (at least in terms of races 10 Rene Appel               Hong Kong             Epic V10 Ultra      2:04:28
we are welcome at!). Much of this I am sure
had to do with the inaugural staging of the OC1 – Men’s
Dragon Run international race, but all the 1       Dan Fedoruk              Hong Kong             Hurricane OC1       2:17:44
same it is disappointing to see the interest 2     Byron Ho Hawaii          Outrigger Connection Zephyr     2:18:25
in local racing slipping.                       3  Andrew Cummings          Hong Kong             Hurricane OC1       2:20:00

The course was again 12.5km out and back OC1 – Women’s
to the Murray Building pier in Stanley from
                                               1          Anna Mathisen     Hong Kong             Hurricane OC1       2:41:20
The Dragon Run

Aedas 4 Peaks 2008:                                                                           up Mount Stenhouse. The last leg is back
                                                                                              to Deepwater Bay and the finish line off of

The Outrigger Version
                                                                                              Middle Island.
                                                                                              The key issues we had to address before
                                                                                              the race started related to contingency
                                                                                              planning and how to handle the “what
January 26-27, 2008                                          By Mark Pollard                  ifs?” because they do happen. We had suc-
                                                                                              cessfully beaten our short course time in
                                                                                              2007 however based upon the significant
Ingredients required: one canoe, twelve       the major exception being that we do            increase in the paddling mileage, from
men, good and strong, a support boat          not round the port and starboard sailing        around 65km to around 125km, as well
and skipper willing to follow us around       marks. If we were to abide by them we           as the need to rest people because of
the seas of Hong Kong, day or night, rain     would have to travel significantly further      both the distances paddle, the risk of cold
or shine, come hell or high water (in this    and would get in the way of the yachts;         weather, and the running effort, we were
case ably provided by Garry and Saffron       we just follow the rum line. The other ob-      concerned that we would run out of gas
Cruises), a logistics and contingency plan    vious exception being that we paddle our        and interest..
of military proportions, a handful of good    craft rather than sail it. All other elements   We had to stay dry and warm, and there-
luck, a bigger handful of determination,      of the race are more or less even however       fore happy, even whilst paddling. Chang-
and probably an even bigger handful of        it’s not really a race for the outrigger ca-    ing paddlers into a canoe usually involves
madness, which is probably the reason         noes it’s more about surviving and com-         a refreshing swim however with tempera-
we did it in the first place.                 pleting the event. The goal is always to        tures nearly in single digits and Force 5
                                              better the previous time, or as this year       northerly winds forecast the idea of go-
Instructions: mix together, do not freeze,
                                              for the men, to make it and set the bench-      ing for a swim every thirty minutes was
just paddle then run, and repeat three
                                              mark time for doing all 4 Peaks.                not too appealing. Enter the rubber din-
more times.
                                              The race starts at 11am in Stanley Bay and      ghy. Every time we changed paddlers we
IPC first participated in the short course                                                    would slow the support boat down and
                                              heads upwind to Sai Kung with a run up
of the 4 Peaks in 2006 with a team of nine.                                                   tow the dinghy with three relief paddlers
                                              Ma On Shan. Then back to Repulse Bay
It wasn’t about forming a new division,                                                       alongside the canoe and then swap them
                                              with a run up Violet Hill, before heading
more about officially joining an event, al-                                                   in with everyone hopefully staying dry.
                                              westward to Cheung Sha beach and a run
beit in a new slightly unofficial category.                                                   This works reasonably well in daylight,
                                              up the daunting Lantau Peak at night be-
We typically follow the race rules with                                                       add a 6ft swell and darkness, and things
                                              fore returning to Lamma and the final run
get interesting. Our support boat was essential
to our wellbeing and thanks to Saffron Cruises
we had a fully equipped junk that kept us shel-
tered and supplied with hot drinks and bowls
of chili. Important for crew morale particularly
when bobbing around off Lantau at 2am for the
runners to return. This was no ordinary junk trip.
As a sailing race the regular entries in the Aedas
4 Peaks pray for wind. For paddlers this is a dou-
ble edged sword – upwind is not much fun but
downwind, providing the wind has been blow-
ing, means we get the chance to ride the open
ocean wind swell. Paddling across the wind in a
canoe is also not much fun as the canoe is slowed
as it is pulled upwind, and as the outrigger only
has a “float” (the ama) on one side when the ama
is upwind the risk of capsize (huli) increases sig-
nificantly. Coming down from Sai Kung we were
still fresh and surfed well. However with a north-
erly wind this made the crossing from Repulse
Bay to Lantau and back to Lamma, at night, par-
ticularly hard work.
This was the second half of the race and was new
territory: from the south end of Lamma to Ch-
eung Chau and onto Lantau is empty. There are
a few boats out there but that’s it. It’s pitch dark,
you sort of know where you’re going but you’re
not quite sure, there’s a 6 ft swell over your left
shoulder, and there’s 4 ft of wind chop coming
at you from 2 o’clock and all you see is a glow
in the distance which you hope is Cheung Chau.
We make it to Lantau and then we had to paddle
back the other way across the same stuff, this
time with the ama upwind and after 17 hours of
paddling and running.
Completing the Aedas 4 Peaks in an outrigger
canoe was epic, just epic. It took 20 hours and 19
minutes and it was physically and emotionally
draining. We came fourth overall and on correct-
ed time first (but what correction factor do you
give a canoe - with 6 paddlers hammering way?
- thereby making the point slightly noteworthy,
as we don’t have a sail, but essentially moot).
HKIPC are not new to epic adventures: six of us
spent 24 hours in relay on a paddle adaptor to
see how far we could go for fun, we paddle to
Macau and back annually, with six paddlers hav-
ing paddled the whole way without a break on
more than one occasion, we have done the short
course of the 4 Peaks twice before, so The Aedas
4 Peaks was an obvious and considered next
step.If someone asked you on the Monday after
the 4 Peaks what did you do over the weekend
and you actually told them they would look at
you as if you were mad. Maybe we are, but in
reality, all HKIPC are taking are small considered
steps whilst also pushing the boundaries of our
collective experience.

               Sha Tin Festival of Sports                                     Lamma International
                               April 14, 2008                                             May 11, 2008

                                                                                                              By Leon Rossbotham
Sneaking in before this year’s magazine launch and our very own Deep Water Bay races       young, not too old? I couldn’t even get
were the mini boat races at Sha Tin and the full monty at Lamma Do. Well, I can only say   into this exclusive set, even though some
the gauntlet has been thrown. Women and children first, boys next, then the old men        swear I only needed to show my weath-
please.                                                                                    ered looks to the administrators and they
Women’s teams at IPC this year could view themselves as having an All Blacks style re- wouldn’t dare ask for my ID!
building year after a particularly heavy World Cup year. Err.. hang on. The World Cup is Lamma was an early season test of our
this year! Oh, damn, timing is something so important in dragon boat. We do have the full twenty man boats. I’m sure every-
World Cup in Penang this August. And with many women’s members headed off at the one on the Sunday would concur that it
end of last year with lucrative dragonboating contracts in Italy, France, Singapore, Aus- was a superbly organized affair and there
tralia and Great Britain we have hadv the opportunity to conscript the quick, the dead was more than the religious saying a few
and the duped. Yes, our web site offers multi-level changing rooms and complimentary quiet prayers for an improvement from
spa facilities. Yes, the web site offers personal one on one training and state of the art the weather we endured last year. Prayers
VO2 elite athlete analysis, and yes regular cocktail evenings and reciprocal rights to the coupled with offerings to the Goddess
worlds greatest resorts. Ha ha! Well, you can check in any time you like but you can never Tin Hau on Saturday produced perfect
leave!                                                                                     weather and calm seas and a good time
A tough winter of training pre-season (was it the coldest winter on record for some time?) was had by all -- particularly the Stormy
and an accelerated learning programme was brought on by Andy (Come Over Here and Women’s team, our mixed team and our
I’ll Beat You with A Big Paddle) Cummings our coach, whom for the record was turning men’s team.
into a bit of a softie until he took a PE teaching role at Hong Kong Island School and now      The Deep Water Bay races are going to be
takes out his frustrations, stresses and anxiety that children produce in old dogs like Andy    interesting indeed. Lamma Ladies, tradi-
on the water each Tuesday and Thursday nights on us poor souls. Whew! Then he hands             tional slow starters in the season look su-
the poor girls over to Clare, our venerable Women’s Coach, on Saturdays. Frying pan into        per strong as do the Smugs girls. X Women
the fire? There is simply no respite for our poor new conscripts.                               and Tai Tam Tigers were hoping for better
Saying that, we have had two successful pre-season race meets; Sha Tin Mini Boats and           results but it’s more a case of ironing wrin-
Lamma Island 500. Its ‘dawned’ upon us, particularly the ladies’ crews that there has been      kles than buying new shirts. China Light
some extreme dedication from competitors in the preceding months and Stormies, Lam-             & Power showed they are up for the count
ma and Smugs in particular have taken up the challenge to best any competitor this year.        with a massive comeback to almost take
The ladies’ season is declared Open!                                                            2nd place in the Men’s Championship. We
                                                                                                wanted to give arm wrestling a go with
We took away some real positives at the Sha Tin races. Our girls have depth in their crews,     those Stormy Girls but they hoofed it onto
fielding teams based on attendance. Their concern though may be that we are hurting             a fat junk boat of all things. Till next time.
with experience being depleted in the boat this year and a heavy responsibility on newer        Now to the next chapter of 2008 racing. I,
paddlers.                                                                                       for one, am looking forward to old foes,
The Juniors performed beyond expectations and it was a particularly proud moment for            and new, in Deepwater Bay today.
Clare Anderson who has fought and coached their cause. They took up the challenge of
an aggressive start piece and fierce rating and blew away most of the adult mixed com-
petition narrowly missing out on a finals’ berth.
The boys didn’t start well in their final, strong-arming one side of the mini boat which re-
sulted in a starboard to port roll, but finished strongly almost pipping all at the post, and
beating the old fellas’ race time.
The old fellas (each one having enjoyed a 40th birthday at least once) showed that this
club will prove a major threat in goldie oldie tournaments around the world in a short
time. How many clubs have people feeling like they missed out because they are too
The Paddling Community
                                                                                           now had to walk using my poles. In order
                                                                                           to ease my feet (and later in the race my
                                                                                           right knee), I used my arms and back mus-
                                                                                           cles to push up with every step so that my
                                                                                           toes would not carry all my body weight,
                                                                                           while using my shoulders and abs to help
                                                                                           me carry my 10 kilo backpack. This turned
                                                                                           out to give me sufficient strength to en-
                                                                                           able me to finish the race at the Pyramids.
                                                                                           The long distance Outrigger races also
                                                                                           helped me mentally as I know that pain
                                                                                           can somehow be better managed by
                                                                                           breathing well and focusing on finishing
                                                                                           the race, something we all learn to do at

                                                                                           Ah Fat
                                                                                           I have been dragon boating for more than
                                                                                           30 years. I started outrigging last season
                                                                                           and it was quite an experience for me.
                                                                                           The physical and mental requirements
                                                                                           between these two sports to start with,
Alex Malandain                               the Egyptian desert! Having worked on         are totally different. Dragon boats require
                                             my abs, back, shoulders and arms for so       more power, speed and teamwork while
Walk like an Egyptian…..                     long, I gradually modified my training        out rigging on the other hand, demands
2007 is my seventh season with HKIPC.        program to strengthen thigh and calve         more endurance and perseverance. Tech-
Over the years, Dragon Boat and Outrig-      muscles and by walking from 10 to 30 km       nique wise, outrigging is much more de-
ger training has been grueling and al-       per day while continuing paddling with        manding. However, I feel that the tech-
though our 6 hour a week regime is often     HKIPC. On 27 October, I was ready both        nique and form of these two sports are
criticized by our competitors, we have       physically and mentally to take on the        quite different and should not be used
been well rewarded with numerous med-        challenge. This is a self supported race      interchangeably.
als won locally and also in Hawaii, Micro-   (you have to carry your own food, sleep-      I enjoyed outrigging. It is a great oppor-
nesia and in Malaysia. It is wonderful to    ing bag, clothes, medical kit, etc…) for 7    tunity for me to train up my strength and
be part of a winning team and together       days. Each stage (day) consists of running    stamina during the dragon boat off sea-
with my team mates, we form a little fam-    or walking approx 40 km, with a special       son. I started off with OC6 last year and
ily.                                         challenge of 93 km on day 5.                  started paddling OC1 this season. I still
After years of upper body work out, I de-    My first day went smoothly and I fin-         remember my first outrigging session. It
cided it was time to concentrate on my       ished in the top 20. But when I took my       was quite a scary experience as the bal-
lower body and to experience adven-          shoes off, I discovered 8 blisters, some of   ance of an outrigger is not as stable as a
ture racing. I joined races such as Action   which were under my nails. Now that my        dragon boat. I was afraid the boat may
Asia, Outward Bound, Lantau Mountain         feet were cold, the pain was excruciating     capsize. This fear kept running through
Express and finally, in October, took part   and I wondered how I was going to fin-        my mind throughout the session. It was
in one of the RacingThePlanet’s event,       ish the remaining 210 km. This is when I      such a relief when we finally ended that
the Sahara Race, a 250 km trek across        really benefited from HKIPC training as I

                  Photos of IPC People

training session. Thereafter, I felt more com- ing or ‘unknown body dysfunction’. Never-       it was a great start and we took the opportunity
fortable with out riggers.                     theless, the rules and categories are strict,   to make a lot of new friends and get well-known
                                               the time counting very ‘swissy’, every team     to everybody. Jo, you made our day!
My attitude towards outrigging is similar
                                               extremely competitive and impressively
to dragonboating, which is to train to be                                                      Claudius – yes, the spelling is correct! – is al-
                                               dressed up, and everyone wants to win the
the best. My personal goal in out rigging                                                      ready experienced in dragon boating, and pad-
                                               big piece of ham and the annually newly
is to be amongst the top 10 OC1 paddlers                                                       dled at the Stanley race this year and is used to
                                               designed t-shirt: PPP - proud proof of par-
in Hong Kong. However, an injury to my tri-                                                    a variety of sports. Compared with my husband,
ceps on September was a huge blow for me                                                       I spend more time sitting behind the drum,
to achieve my goal.                            However, the majority of the teams (fun         counting and cheerleading than paddling,
                                               open: boys, girls or mixed) are created         both rather spontaneously in Switzerland and
In my opinion, out rigging is not as excit-
                                               only weeks before the race, most come           also Hong Kong. Besides my strong belief that
ing as dragon boating. Dragon boat races
                                               out of the clubbing scene and are lucky if      sport is dangerous, I feel like a paddling tourist
have a better, merrier atmosphere and
                                               they have experience. Some of them look         in the club due to my bad physical condition.
draw more crowds. Outrigging is a good
                                               certainly gorgeous, but have never sat in a     Especially after the turbulent paddling to the
seasonal sport for endurance and strength
                                               boat before. And not forgetting about the       VRC the day after the Lamma race, I needed
training during the dragon boat off season.
                                               delicious party music of worshipped DJs         some holidays to recover from being at point,
I hope that paddlers from the outrigging
                                                                                               the big waves, air-paddling and heavy bumps
season can continue their hard work during
                                                                                               with one single thought: Don’t lose the damn
the dragon boat season, giving 100% com-
                                                                                               paddle! Thank God, Lizzy & Lee we didn’t hoo-
mitment to the dragon boat training and
                                                                                               lie. And speaking out of a shy rookie soul: It was
                                                                                               freaking scary!
Our achievement during the 2007 dragon
                                                                                               But it couldn’t have been too bad though and
boat season was quite disappointing. With
                                                                                               Mr. Pennicott received our quarterly fees again.
the outrigging season coming to a close
and the start of the dragon boat season, I                                                     Although the sessions are pretty demanding
hope that paddlers will be more committed                                                      and I usually have aching muscles afterwards,
and responsible towards the team. Don’t                                                        the paddling itself is nice amusement, good
let our time, sweat and pain go to waste.                                                      for the back and building up strong muscles
Let’s prove that HKIPC is still one of the best                                                for daily life and its struggles. And especially
dragon boat team in Hong Kong.                                                                 the calm atmosphere during the last evening
                                                                                               sessions were worth leaving the office earlier
                                                                                               and dealing with the bad conscience later. Of
                                                                                               course, there is another major reason why we
Claudius and Elke                             from daytime till dawn, which keeps every-       are here: You, the companionship! A club is the
Yes, Claudius and I are new to the HKIPC, to body dancing, paddling, dancing… This is          mirror of its people. Don’t worry, you are cool,
outrigger canoeing, and to Hong Kong (we what gives the event that unforgettable               funny, ambitious, motivating and nice to spend
survived the first year), but not to dragon touch. (                     time to have a drink or two! Not offending any-
boating.                                                                                       body, but the mix of freaks, ordinary and wired
                                              One thing we learned about the HKIPC im-
                                                                                               people makes the HKIPC special, interesting
There are nowadays a handful of small mediately: Concerning paddling, it is going
                                                                                               and worth joining.
dragonboat clubs and races in Switzerland. to be a serious party with loud, shouted,
The oldest one is in Eglisau on the Rhein music like “Accelerate!” and ”Punch! Punch!          So, paddling gave us a positive weekly focus
river near Zurich. Over the last decade, this Punch!”. And 100% means a lot more than          so far and we hope this lasts. And after the ac-
two-day-race has become very famous not just showingup for the practise session on             quaintanceship with outrigger canoeing, we are
only for the sake of sport but also for the Saturday!                                          now looking forward to the dragonboat season
gathering of party celebrities and the at-                                                     in cooler water! Grrrr!
                                              Right in the beginning, we successfully
tached parties from Thursday to Sunday;
                                              showed our deep commitment by over-
sometimes keeping paddlers from pad-
                                              sleeping on the day we paddled to Macau;
dling the very next day due to oversleep-

                                                                                                  by frame replay we may have had to give
                                                                                                  our perceived edge away due to being a
Kirsty Boazman                                                                                    good host.
Dragon boating is the most outrageously painful thing you can do in a boat. More pun-             Thankfully all officials agreed we won fair
ishing than propelling surf boats through cyclonic waves off the Queensland coast.                and square (we still have trouble cheating
More agony than the many blisters which come with a place in the Australian (flatwa-              off the start line). What a way to end Des’
ter) rowing team.                                                                                 duties as organiser for this especially well
But there’s something addictive about the rough wooden boats, even rougher paddles,               regarded event in Hong Kong. Maybe the
the colour and energy of the short, noisy races. You will keep coming back – for the per-         lack of beef helped with lightening the
sonal adrenalin shot, the synergy of a 20 person crew, the spectacle of racing and the            load?.. We did well in a number of other
excuse to visit some of the prettiest beaches in Asia.                                            races but that was my recalled highlight
                                                                                                  of this years dragon boat season.
It’s the water sport of Asia and you know you’ve made the right sporting choice when
you can sit on the Boracay sand between races, listening to a drumming frenzy as boats            We have now firmly established Hammo
glide through azure waters. Of course a medal and beer, cheaper than water, at the                as an event for our Club which is an out-
day’s end make it even more rewarding.                                                            rigger racing weekend in Queensland,
                                                                                                  Oz. I was late to confirm my attendence
Before that come many hours of sore bodies, occasionally grumpy coaches, bad weath-               as I can’t always knock work out of the
er and slimy water. But that is what makes the final race so sweet. There are no heroes in        equation. But attend I did and ended up
a team of 20 plus people as your boat can only be as strong as the individual paddlers            paddling the 16 km with HKOCC and the
and it relies on rhythm more than almost any water sport I’ve competed in.                        42 km with our club. In both runs we did
Just when you get used to the pain the season is over and you can switch to the relative          exceptionally well. Both clubs keep get-
relief of outrigger canoeing. Ironically it wasn’t until I left the crystal waters of Australia   ting better and better. But a huli early on
last year that I discovered dragon boating then outrigging. I have happily spent more             in the 42 km saw us placed further behind
time on beaches over 1 year in Hong Kong than during the last 5 in Australia. And I               than we would have liked but did give us
won’t be trading my paddle for an oar any time soon. (1st season novice to both DB                the thrill of paddling our brains out pass-
and outrigger)                                                                                    ing a couple of dozen boats at least. If we
                                                                                                  paddle in that sprint fashion next year for
                                                                                                  42 km the sky’s the limit where we will
Leon Rossbotham                                                                                   end up in the placings so all very promis-
                                                                                                  ing for the future.
My 2007 and HKIPC: I was a bit lucky at the start of this year, although it’s said you can
make your own luck. In any case, I spent a fair amount of time in New Zealand and                 I notice the benefit of experience and
Australia in the first couple of months of this year. The upshot of this is that I avoided all    year on year paddling. Each year myself
those cold and voluminous days at the beginning of season dragon boat practice ses-               and others get stronger and faster and
sions. Very naughty and I paid the price by being sidelined out of the first choice team          it’s simply more time paddling hard that
on some earlier races but I did avoid those cold evenings and long Saturday afternoons            does it. In my humble opinion getting
in Deepwater Bay!                                                                                 in the boat is far preferable to gym, row-
                                                                                                  ing machines, running etc etc. It refines
We lost a lot of our usual beef in the mens dragon boat this year with Sean, Darryl and a         technique, lengthens muscles, gives one
few others with family committments taking precedence. Throw in the pot a few keen                a greater feel of the water, toughens one
but new paddlers and we were thinking this is going to be a long dragon boat sea-                 up mentally. So I encourage our paddlers
son defending a very good track record from last year. However, our suspicions were               to get in the water as much as possible.
put to bed at our Deepwater Bay regatta where we in fact won by less than a whisker
and had it not been for Des’ investment in computer video software showing a frame                There’s plenty to do; just go for a fun pad-
                                                                                                  dle, do some sprint training with mates,

                                   Photos of Paddling Com-
paddle to Lamma and Po Toi for a yum          ing with competitions in dragon boat           perspective: Time was up, we were on the
lunch. Some of the guys take their OC1s       racing and outrigger canoeing. A proper        plane and the Connell family was on their
to Sai Kung and come down the swells          set up with an executive committee and         way to live in Hong Kong. It had been a
when they run.                                awesome coaching staff. They even have         hectic last couple of months packing to
Hong Kong is full of interesting paddling     paddling simulators! They are very seri-       get out of Australia but here we were,
options. I like the trend that’s develop-     ous! The HKIPC can well be the overall         the kids terrorising the hosties and mum
                                              top paddling club in Hong Kong. The            and dad oblivious to their antics with stiff
ing where we are using outriggers most
                                              club has consistently in top places in         drink in hand.
of the year round now. I think it keeps
                                              both OC and DB races.
our weight down and really helps our                                                         I had already made some brief enquiries
dragon boating simply because we get          The HKIPC also gave me the opportunity         on the web about Hong Kong outrigger
stronger and we are in a boat more often.     to travel the world through various inter-     clubs and the HKIPC (Hong Kong Island
And I encourage even first time paddlers      national races in Asia, Australia, Africa,     Paddle Club) was where I wanted to pad-
to jump in the club OC1s. They are fast       South America, Micronesia and America.         dle. This was mostly driven by the close
and will considerably accelerate the new      Soon after a couple years of paddling, my      proximity to where we were going to live
paddlers proficiency in the water. So, if     involvement with the club also branched        and the fact that my wife liked the purple
anyone has time for lunch at Lamma by         out to coaching the novice outrigger           club colours.
canoe call me!                                members along with training several of
                                                                                             My perceived expectation was that I
                                              the local corporate dragon boat teams
                                                                                             would be racing in the tropics, how ex-
                                              since 2002.
                                                                                             otic. I guess I missed the fine print about
                                              With my thirteen year paddling experi-         the pollution. Not that it is the end of the
Lister Woo                                    ence, I currently run Typhoon8, one of         world but it has been a big surprise to see
                                              the first Asian paddling brands dedicat-       the likes of hard hats and pallets. What
Dear Uncle Yoda, Sorry, I know it has been    ed to dragon boat apparel and equip-           you cannot see scares me the most!
light years since our last chat through       ment. When it comes to paddling equip-
the inter-galactic web. Living on Earth                                                      The upside so far is the experiences that
                                              ment, the people here are just as serious
is much different than your Galaxy, far,                                                     I could never have had at home. I was
                                              as us getting a lightsaber back home.
far away. The conventional emails here                                                       keen on something completely different
                                              The paddle, as the primary equipment
would take forever to reach you but                                                          and not one month into being with the
                                              for the sport, requires a good weight to
that’s the fastest they go. Anyways, I                                                       club, it was announced that we were go-
                                              flex ratio... (editor has deleted 3 pages of
should better get started on my report.                                                      ing to paddle to Macau. (And back again)
                                              technical documents).
In search of the FORCE here on Earth,                                                        This is some 70 odd km’s of hot and long
I turned to paddling because I heard          Aside from having the first certified drag-    sessions. The highlight though has been
they use the word FORCE a lot! Well, in       on boat paddle approved by the Interna-        paddling on the harbour, lots of big boats
a different form. The word POWAAA!! is a      tional Dragon Boat Federation, the brand       and lots of ferries. The container ships are
common use word on water.                     has branched out to over eighty different      much bigger than you expect when you
                                              types of paddling equipment and gear.          are a few hundred metres away. You can
My first encounter with paddling came in      Typhoon8 also carries a wide range of          guess who gets right of way… more im-
1994 with a group of friends (yeah I need     paddling products from apparel to boats!       portantly if they even care that you are
friend coz there aren’t any hi-tech 70’s      It is a great feeling that I am able to meet   in the way.
robots here) at the popular Stanley races.    people with the same passion on a daily
Of course, without any proper training                                                       I am looking forward to other creative
                                              basis! Typhoon8 is also the sponsor of
and technique, we were destroyed early                                                       races like the three peaks, a tortuous
                                              both local teams and international crews
on. As a Jedi knight that pummeled the                                                       combination of running up and down
                                              from Team Devil’s Advocate, winner of
Death Star, I felt like the biggest wimp in                                                  Hong Kong’s hills while paddling in be-
                                              the Stanley Race (Yippee!) to the Philip-
all galaxies!                                                                                tween each leg. I am also keen on trying
                                              pine National team, the Asian Champi-
                                                                                             my first season of dragon boat racing.
From there, my passion for paddling con-      ons and the German juniors squad, who
                                                                                             Given our location to the rest of Asia, I am
tinued to grow by joining the Hong Kong       won 5 gold medals at the 2007 World
                                                                                             sure that there will be some more inter-
auxiliary police team. I got my first taste   Cup Dragon Boat Races.
                                                                                             national travel.
of long distance paddling in Sai Kung         Yeah, I think this is it for now. I hope
when they lured me with fresh seafood.                                                       What has surprised me the most is that
                                              everything is good back there in Tatoo-
Like most good friends, they never told                                                      the love of outrigger does not seem
                                              ine and say hi to my friends and family
me the distance. I had to paddle 2 hours                                                     to change! I can see that my new team
                                              please! Oh, one last thing Uncle Yoda,
to get to the restaurant! However, that                                                      members’ love getting out on the water,
                                              can you learn to speak English properly?
didn’t stop my strong desire to improve                                                      as do I as there is something very addic-
                                              Yours truly, Lister ObiWoo
on technique and strength.                                                                   tive about being on the ocean.
In 2000, I joined the PURPLE SIDE, a.k.a.                                                    HKIPC, thank you for welcoming me into
the Hong Kong Island Paddle Club. I was       Mike Connell                                   your club.
excited about joining the established
                                              Outrigger Paddling in HK – an Aussie
HKIPC. The club provides all year train-

Petra                                           body out until there in no other thought     steersman and our drummer and crew.
                                                left than: I want to learn the technique,    This was followed by lots and lots of races
Outrigger Canoeing? Why not!                    I want to paddle to Macao one day and        – Deepwater Bay, Cheung Chau, Stanley,
I have been connected to water sports for       especially in Micronesia…wherever that       Mui Wo.
quite a long time. Growing up in Cologne/       is! Petra, German, in HK since 3/2006,       But my absolute highlight of the season
Germany at the river Rhine, I started early     paddling since September ‘07                 had to be the Internationals. We ladies
-- escaping the boring Sunday afternoon                                                      stepped out like gladiators and showed
family walks -- and joined the rowing club                                                   the other crews from around the world
right in front of my house. Not long after,     Fiona McManus, Rookie of                     what it means to wear purple. The most
my brother followed me, leaving our par-
ents walking alone….
                                                the Year, 2007                               disconcerting moment was when we
                                                                                             ripped down the course and I couldn’t
                                                I decided to up my personal challenge        hear ‘Powerrrrrrr!’ from Ah Fat. Then we
Rowing is a very gratifying sport. It com-
                                                in paddling and dragon boat with IPC in      realised it was because we had had such
bines exercising the whole body without
                                                2007. What a year!!                          an incredible race, leading from the start
exaggerating on any part and being in
company, as the boats accommodate al-           Braving the cold in January was a major      and holding it strongly all the way. That
most every number of people, from 1-9.          feat, and there were times when I was sit-   was a race, and then some.
And rowing on a river with many ships           ting with freezing feet that I questioned    I don’t think I can ever repeat my experi-
and ever changing water level also poses        my sanity – but, I kept going. I had lots    ences of this year, I can only add to them.
a few interesting challenges. I never did       to un-do and lots to learn, and got great    My first purple shirt was earned and to
any competitions, but liked to do tours         help from many people with working out       be voted as Rookie of the Year was such a
on the quickly flowing river Rhine, on the      technique issues. It was good to paddle      surprise – my thanks to all.
romantic Mosel. I visited Hamburg while         both sides and meant for the first time in
rowing on the river Elbe and enjoyed Ber-       many years, I seemed to have had far less
lin from the water as well.                     back and elbow problems than previous-       Sarah Metcalfe
                                                ly when paddling. This, along with swim-
And then I was seconded to HK. Right                                                         “So, who introduced you to the
                                                ming and indoor rowing training, made
from the beginning I was attracted to                                                        no one actually” : The story of a rookie
                                                for a busy beginning to 2007.
dragon boating. It looked so exotic that                                                     paddler.
it drew my attention immediately. I pad-        Indoor rowing came and went, and then
                                                came …. learning to stand. I had mo-         A single girl, new to Hong Kong, need to
dled two seasons and really liked it very
                                                ments of sliding down the inside of the      make new friends out of the work circle,
much. And when it was all over on June
                                                boat (still not sure how I managed that),    whatcha gonna do? I know, what about
19th, though still celebrating our good
                                                not making it up, getting up too soon –      joining a ‘paddle boat’ team, that’s what
race, I was already sad and looking for an
                                                and occasionally getting up at the right     everyone does in Hong Kong don’t they?
alternative, when all of a sudden someone
                                                time and managing to paddle. With the        Hang on.... I’ve never paddled before,
came along the beach with a flyer: are you
                                                weather heating up, so was the intensity.    never even been in a canoe,and I don’t
looking for some deep water experience?
                                                Three times a week in the boat meant         know anyone and I am probably not fit
Paddling in Micronesia? Going to Macau
                                                good friendships, lots of effort and the     enough and what if I capsize and aren’t
in an outrigger canoe?
                                                feeling of coming together in the boat to    there sharks out there?
I was on fire, wanted to start immediately.
                                                truly paddle as a team.                      With all these questions and more, my
And now here I am…. Trying my best ….al-
                                                Races began and I had my first taste of      first night was filled with excitement and
though I am not yet getting the change at
                                                sprints at the Shing Mun – I can truly say   anticipation. Erm, well , I should have
the hoot right, although I am swinging my
                                                I had never raced like it before. It was     been attending my first Saturday session
arms too much, although I am suffering
                                                the focus and utter concentration, along     for beginners, however after being totally
from pain in my lower back at every single
                                                with 100% confidence in our coach, our       led astray on the Friday night (which I now
session -- I love it!
 I love to be on the water at night, in an OC
6 with other boats chasing us or vice versa;
I love the exercise although my muscles
are not strong enough to save me from
the embarrassment of not being able to
jump into the boat directly from the sea
when we do the sea changes…. I love the
ambition of the paddlers in the team al-
though I am not really looking forward to
my first race and enjoy rather the training
than the competition…. I am so tired af-
ter the trainings and at the same time so
happy that I again made it and worked my
realise this is par for the course in HK, and   Luckily another more experienced rookie
have experienced a few too many times           was able to give me the rudiments of pad-
already), I had to postpone my virgin pad-      dling technique, and thank goodness he
dle to the next rookie session.                 did. Getting the boat into the water was
Even navigating to Deep Water Bay in-           yet another challenge, when you have no
creased my Adrenalin levels. Clare at           idea what you are supposed to be doing
the club kindly replied to what probably        and hang on...there are six in a boat, and
seemed like my 50th email, as I kept think-     each seat has a job to do, and you have to
ing of more questions, with bus numbers,        get the right sized paddle, and find ‘rub-
but only being in Honkers a few weeks I         ber ties’ for the lights and ‘bailers’, (‘bail-
thought it best not to try as had no idea       ers’?) And it’s got a thing called an ‘amour’
of where to catch the 6X or 260 from Cen-       and you have to be the right side of it, no
                                                the left, no my left, oh heck I dunno, just       out there on my own. 3 weeks later I was
tral. So in my taxi, I didn’t help myself by
                                                get it in the water and get in the boat and       in an OC1, losing myself in the moment
asking the driver to take me to ‘Big Wave
                                                go for it!                                        (stayed out a bit too long for a rookie and
Bay’. I recognised and hopped out at Re-
                                                                                                  they nearly launched a search party appar-
pulse Bay, catching another taxi back to        Almost instantly we were gliding (well I          ently!).
DWB just in time for the 18.50 sign up          was plonking and sploshing around, but
deadline phew, (you need to leave Cen-          you get my drift) through the calm wa-            My biggest challenge to date has been
tral at 6pm to get there in time and if you     ter and being coached on technique and            paddling back from Lamma on the OC6
need to know where the bus stop is then         spurred on to dig deep for 2 whole hours.         where it felt sometimes we just weren’t
ask me!)                                        I am so glad it was dark, the sweat was           moving. Mother nature was throwing most
                                                pouring off me and several times I didn’t         things at us apart from the rain, but the
Then WOW, there I was at the VRC, with
                                                think I had any strength left in me. But          sense of achievement when we arrived
all these boats around, it was 28 degrees
                                                from that first collective stoke in the OC6 it    back at the VRC was so good for the soul. I
and almost dark and there were men...
                                                got me hooked. The sea, the warmth, the           still have so much to learn and have to earn
big, strong, burly,, I just re-
                                                inner challenge, the strength required, the       my paddling spurs, but I can now paddle.
member thinking, my god I am gonna
                                                competition,the commerarderie. I couldn’t         I have made new friends, I have a reason
enjoy this- who cares about paddling!
                                                wait to get into OC1 and thought it would         not to drink on a Fri night (well in modera-
How wrong I was...only about the pad-
                                                be ages before I got to experience being          tion anyway), I am getting fitter ( I am sure
dling obviously.

                                                    After the dragon boat season is finished, what else to do especially when you are
                                                    not able to go for a summer holiday anywhere else besides Hong Kong? I live and
                                                    work in Sai Kung and there is lots of water around Sai Kung. By luck I met Martha
                                                    Levin who paddles in Sai Kung too. I was introduced to the outrigger canoeing in
                                                    no time, and managed to get onto the team that first season and went to Saipan
                                                    last year for the Micro Cup. The South China Outrigger Club came in on a long-
                                                    distance mixed race a good 3rd Place.
                                                    What I can say about outrigger canoeing is I just love it!! I love it because it pushes
                                                    me to my limit in terms of stamina and endurance, I love the training program espe-
                                                    cially the one that IPC does, although I hate not being able to come to practice on
                                                    Saturday, because I have to work most of weekends. If I’m lucky for Saturday prac-
                                                    tice, I will drag my whole family to come with me (it being the norm now with my
                                                    girls that Mamma goes to paddle every Tuesday and Thursday night and sometime
                                                    on Saturday that they get a chance to come with me whether they like it or not.
                                                     Most of the time it’s fun for them playing at the beach while Mamma goes to pad-
                                                    dle for few hours. If I’m lucky too, some nice people from the club also babysit them
                                                    (thanks, Lee, Andy, Leon and others). Then I rush back to work to Appetito for cater-
                                                    ing and work till the morning.
                                                    Before going to practice on weekdays, I have to do a lot of multi-tasking first! Like
                                                    bring the kids to school, pick them up after school or after any after-school activi-
I will grow to like the female shot-putter arm      ties and then go to work at Appetito, answer all incoming mail and at the same time
look!) I still haven’t capsized or ‘houlied’ yet,   manage people, tell them what to do, go back home to check again with the kids,
and I have yet to encounter a shark....and I        give them their baths, dinner, check if there is any homework and rush to Deep
was right about one thing....I sure am enjoy-       Water Bay (VRC) for practice. Then I can relax! What I call my ME TIME, PADDLING! I
ing this....and it’s all about the paddling (al-    had lots of fun doing the Hong Kong Macau Expedition this year with my husband
though I have been told I seem to loose a bit       Gianandrea, andam trying hard to get him to outrigger too.
of rhythm when the boys paddle past!)....
                                                    I did manage to leave my kids (Grazie Mille to my Amore, my wonderful husband,
Thelma Pesci                                        Gian, who has always supported me in my love of outrigger canoeing) and my busi-
                                                    ness for a while for the Micronesia Cup. We did not do any Sprints racing due to
I’m Thelma Pesci, and my life has just begun.       the flight schedule of Continental Airline to Palau (sucks). I did the women’s long-
When you ask me my age, OK, I’m 44 and              distance and followed with a mixed team long-distance too. After that race I was
counting, a wife, mother of 2 girls (Francesca      totally tired and useless until a few bottles of beer brought back my energy and I’m
7 and Giulia 41/2 years old) and owner/man-         ready to party!! I got a chance to do lots of scuba diving (I recommend to anyone
ager of the justly famous Appetito delicates-       who loves scuba diving, go to Palau). Since I was already there I managed to go to
sen and catering business. I skydive, scuba         Guam as well for the famous Heineken Cup, but I was not really happy with it. There
dive, and have just started running (when I         were too many people not enough boats to accommodate paddlers. The race rules
want to).
I was introduced to the paddling world by
one of my treasured best friends, Patty Lee.
I started kayaking with her and her husband
3 years ago at Stanley. It was like a beach trip
for me and my 2 young girls at that time.
Then I got involved with DBoat with the AWA
(American Women’s Association Dragon
Boat team called Blazing Paddles). I liked the
competition, the company, meeting lots of
people and being part of a team and work-
ing as a team with a goal to win.
The following year I joined a better, more
competitive, stronger and lots of fun team,
the Stormy Dragons. I got a chance to pad-
dle in the Penang (Malaysia) Dragon Boat
Race with a joint team from Stormies and
IPC. I went to Boracay (Philippines) as well
and it was great fun! did lots of back-to-back
racing and pushed myself a little bit when it
came to stamina and endurance.
                   Paddle Babies
Watch out, because IPC will field a strong    up and down the ramp.”
team of off-spring in about 2018.
                                              It’s safe to say just about every other IPC-
Over the past few years, at least a half-     visiting child feels the same way.
dozen former and current IPC women
                                              Just ask them – there are plenty around.
have put down their paddles to pick up
                                              Next in the line up are the Pollards’ chil-
diapers and Gina Ford’s handbook to get
                                              dren. Mark was captain for several years
more sleep, err raise children. Not to be
                                              and then was elected coach for the 2001-
left out, IPC men have taken up the cause
                                              2002 season – that was the year his wife,
                                              Jen, was captain of the women’s team.
Consider the line up. Leading the pack        Jen gave birth to Kale’a on August 25,
will be Lister Woo’s daughter Tanya Woo       2006 and followed up with a perfect ten:
who was born on July 10, 2003. Just about     Noelani. She was born on October 10,
two years later former chairman Dan Fe-       2007. If you don’t find the Shortis and
doruk and his wife Agnes, who for years       Pollard families on the water at the VRC,
has been a seat-one dragonboater, gave        you’ll spy them building elaborate sand
birth to Zoe on February 27, 2005.            castles on the Shek O beach.
Former coach James Shortis and his            A day after Kale’a was born, another for-
super-strong wife and former women’s          mer IPC women’s team captain, Sarah
team captain Michelle (she’s quiet about      Wilson, gave birth to Charlie Bear Volav-
this, but even pregnant she’s faster than     ka. Two weeks later former IPC paddlers
many paddlers) have produced two po-          John Violett and his wife Lara Wozniak
tential paddlers: Sofia Leilani who was       gave birth to Samuel Michael Violett on
born on Dec 22, 2005 and Jack Kalani,         September 9, 2006.
born on Nov 13, 2007.
                                              A year and a few weeks later, former IPC
A few weeks after Sofia was born, Harry       chairman and Ironman Derek Sands and
and Anja DePree, triathletes and pre-ba-      his wife Sharon who is another top pad-
by IPC outriggers, gave birth to Nicole on    dler (even when pregnant – she paddled
January 6, 2006. They’ve since followed       in Four Peaks in 2007), gave birth to
up with Natasha. Anja sums up Nicole’s        Isabel Katarina Sands on September 28,
views of IPC’s home turf, the Victoria Rec-   2007. Keeping with the trend of paddling
reation Club, this way: “Things she loves:    women being pregnant at about the
the fish in the tank, going up and down       same time, on November 5, 2007, outrig-
the stairs repeatedly all alone, the veggie   ger Sally Stevenson gave birth to William
fried rice, taking a shower, playing with     Owen Stevenson.
the hose when we wash down our OC1,
                                              It’s been a busy few years for paddlers -
throwing stones in the ocean, and going
                                              outside the boat - as well as paddling!

Ideas for Training : Cross Training for Outrigger Canoes
                                                                                                     By James Shortis

Couple of guidelines we all must adhere          it is you are doing when you grab a pad-        body exercises sitting or laying on the ball:
to – do not try to fit your lifestyle or com-    dle. Swimming has to be one of the most         curls, bench press, tricep curls, shoulder
mitments around your paddling and                efficient ways to train – full stop! Not only   shrugs, fly’s, etc.
training, it will not work. You need to fit      that, you are using the same mechanism
                                                                                                 All these exercises can be done at home
your paddling into your lifestyle. There         you use when you try to propel yourself
                                                                                                 at minimal cost and minimal time (half an
are only so many hours in the day, you           forward when holding a paddle and sit-
                                                                                                 hour will do). It will also save travel time
cannot sleep less – you will burn out, get       ting on a canoe. This applies to all swim-
                                                                                                 to gyms and other venues. If you are disci-
sick or injure yourself. You cannot work         ming strokes (freestyle, butterfly, breast
                                                                                                 plined and motivated it WILL work!
less as you will probably get fired. You         stroke, and backstroke). They all require
therefore have to adapt your training ac-        the same ‘mechanics’ of pulling the wa-         By far the best cross training for paddling is
cordingly.                                       ter similar to a paddle stroke (i.e. catch,     paddling! - in a surf ski or kayak that is. Pad-
                                                 plant, pull – constant pressure on the          dling a surf ski has a lot of benefits, not only
Also, we need to grasp the difference be-
                                                 hand/paddle as you pull back through            are you effectively mimicking the stroke
tween training and practicing. If we do
                                                 the water). Obviously some swimming             when paddling a canoe (plant, catch, pull,
the same thing week in week out, there
                                                 strokes are more ‘technical’ than others,       release, etc.) but it also helps train the back
is no way to improve particularly when it
                                                 but fundamentally, the “stroke” concept         and core muscles without unnecessar-
comes to racing as the body will not be
                                                 is the same.                                    ily putting too much strain on your lower
able to deal with the increase in effort
                                                                                                 back. The surf ski (or kayak) stroke is sym-
required.                                        Certain gym exercises are also an excel-
                                                                                                 metrical and rhythmical which allows you
Let’s split these two up so during the           lent way to strengthen the necessary
                                                                                                 to engage both sides of your body (arms,
week we TRAIN (to make the engine big-           muscles needed to make a canoe go
                                                                                                 shoulders, back, abs) simultaneously in or-
ger – and faster!). It is easier to train dur-   faster – but be careful! A common mis-
                                                                                                 der to achieve an efficient stroke.
ing the week as we can fit in 1-1.5 hour         take made is overdoing weight train-
                                                 ing, which can increase the possibility         Other benefits of jumping in a surf ski as a
sessions around our busy schedules.
                                                 of injury, and doing the right exercises        way to cross train for OC paddling is there
Other elements of training include cross-
                                                 needed to make those paddling muscles           is less equipment required – no ama, no
training such as gym, running and swim-
                                                 stronger.                                       iakos etc. All you need to do is grab your
                                                                                                 ski and paddle and you can launch and be
On the weekends, this is where we can            Running is also a good way to get fit, aer-
                                                                                                 on your way in a matter of seconds. You are
PRACTICE other aspects of racing such            obically fit. There are not too many simi-
                                                                                                 also closer to the water – particularly with
as distance, time and condition assimi-          larities between paddling and running
                                                                                                 the newer designs enabling you to sit low-
lation. You need to condition yourself           but, other than swimming, it is an easy
                                                                                                 er in the ski and by doing so getting a bet-
to sitting in a canoe for 2-2.5 hours and        way to train for 30-40 mins and get the
                                                                                                 ter ‘feel’ for the water. It also teaches you
having to deal with the ocean conditions.        most out of the time put in. In addition,
                                                                                                 good leg drive by making sure you have
These practice sessions do not have to be        it is a good way to shed any unwanted
                                                                                                 to push off each foot every time you plant
intense or flat out. Work out your drink-        ‘extra’ kgs (or lbs for you colonial types
                                                                                                 your paddle in the water – a skill which not
ing and eating patterns, what cap you            out there!).
                                                                                                 a lot of canoe paddlers use.
want to wear, what shirt doesn’t rub you         Gradually start out and be careful not to
                                                                                                 A good paddler will be able to adapt his
the wrong way.                                   push too hard too early and slowly build
                                                                                                 (or her) stroke depending on the craft they
The theme should be train hard, smart,           up. As your muscles get familiar with any
                                                                                                 are sitting in – whether it is an OC1, OC6 or
not too often. Do not start sessions when        activity you should then learn to try and
                                                                                                 surf ski. Take a look at Lewis Laughlin – the
you are tired. Try, if you can to give your-     push yourself harder to build up your
                                                                                                 current Molokai ski champion (and US Surf
self one day off completely, and then do         aerobic capacity. This will benefit your
                                                                                                 Ski Champion) and the current Super Aito
some sort of extra training every other          time trials when paddling and better still,
                                                                                                 V1 champion. He has also won the Molokai
day.                                             condition your body for racing.
                                                                                                 Hoe paddling with Rai (team from Tahiti).
With most of us it’s all about getting time      Also, try to incorporate an abdominal           Remember – the most important paddling
to fit in some training in and around            workout either at the end of your activ-        muscle is your butt! Get it in the boat and
our busy daily lives. Whether it is for 30       ity, or find 5/10 mins a day for abs. This is   get it in there often. Nothing beats time on
mins or 1hour, use your time effectively.        going to develop core stability.                the water and by using a surf ski as cross
REMEMBER: Change only takes place                Some other exercises that you can do at         training, it increases the time you spend
through action!                                  home that don’t require a lot of time are:      which will in turn help develop your other
                                                                                                 skills to assist in your paddling.
What kind of training is best for OC pad-        Purchase a Swiss ball - Using a set of
dling? Well, the kind that assimilates what      dumb-bells, you can do many upper
      Train Hard,                                    REMEMBER to think of the little things          cycling, swimming, pilates, yoga, gym, JUST
                                                     during your time trial, breathing, using        DO IT! Start out gradually, and be careful not
      Train Often                                    your legs, etc. Also, if you have other pad-
                                                     dlers to train with you can start at differ-
                                                                                                     to push too hard too early and slowly build
                     By Chris Maynard                ent intervals and try to catch the paddler
                                                                                                     As your muscles get familiar with any activ-
                                                     in front or better still extend your distance
Training for OC1 Racing: NEW to OC1 racing?                                                          ity you should then try and push yourself
                                                     on the paddler behind.
Well you need not fear, here are some useful                                                         harder to build up your aerobic capacity.
training tips to help get started for the com-       ALWAYS record your time in a diary, with        This will benefit your time trials when pad-
ing season or race series.                           other info such as low or high tide, outgo-     dling and better still condition your body
                                                     ing or incoming tide and wind direction.        for racing.
First we need to look at how many sessions
                                                     This will help justify time differences and
we can get in on the water. Let’s look at three                                                      Incorporate an abdominal work out either
                                                     enable you to compare your better times.
times a week to start off, any more and it’s a                                                       at the end of your activity or find 5 to 10
                                                     You can of course decrease distance or
bonus.                                                                                               mins a day. This is going to develop core
                                                     repeat the same course twice in one ses-
                                                                                                     stability. A good one is called the Bench. As-
Day 1: 15mins easy, then slowly build-               sion ,or if you like increase the distance to
                                                                                                     sume a push up position, feet together, rest-
ing intensity for another 15mins. Work on            10 to 12 km (50mins to 1hr ).
                                                                                                     ing on your forearms, not your hands. Brace
technique focusing on body rotation and
                                                     Day 3: Change intensity – 10 mins easy, 4       the muscle in your belt region and hold this
length of stroke, keep head and eyes looking
                                                     huts on 8 huts off for 10 mins, 4 huts on 6     position for as long as possible. Stop when
straight ahead concentrating on breathing.
                                                     huts off for 10mins, easy 5 mins, 4 huts on     you feel back pain. Now this, over time, will
We must learn to BREATHE properly when
                                                     4 huts off 10 mins, 6 huts on 12 huts off       help strengthen your lower back as well
paddling and focusing on this will enhance
                                                     twice, finish 10 easy.                          your abs, which again will benefit your pad-
performance in training and racing.
                                                     The object of this type of training is to       dling. It doesn’t matter if you get to 10 sec
Follow this with 20 mins steady and firm.                                                            or 30 sec, you will improve each week and
                                                     slowly develop some change of speed
Now work at an intensity that’s comfortable                                                          if you get past 2 mins to 3 mins, you are do-
                                                     throughout the duration of the session,
for you and try and feel the canoe run on the                                                        ing well. If you get to 7 or 8 mins that’s very
                                                     and teach our body to react or change
recovery stroke (when the paddle has left                                                            impressive.
                                                     pace, in order to improve our racing skills
the water). Focus on leg drive pushing with
                                                     during competition. It will help us in get-     Some other exercises that you can do at
your heel on the power phase of the stroke
                                                     ting a good start, chasing someone in           home that don’t require a lot of time are:
(Pulling, or levering the paddle through the
                                                     front, keeping in front of your competi-        Punching bag: Awesome for paddling and
water). Finish off with 10 mins easy, thinking
                                                     tion, or going with someone who has             gets some aggression out as well. Slowly
of how good you were today and what you
                                                     paddled up next to you. All make sense?         increase sets of 3 X 1 min, 3 X 2 mins so
could work on for the next session.
                                                     What can we do to complement our OC1            on. Paddling erg. The Concept II rowing ma-
Day 2: TIME TRIAL – 10 mins easy. Select a                                                           chine is awesome. If you have some loot get
                                                     sessions to further enhance our physical
course or distance of around 6 to 8 km or                                                            one. They are great all-round machines that
                                                     fitness for paddling? With most of us, it’s
30 to 40 mins in length. Now we are going                                                            give you a complete workout.
                                                     all about getting time to fit in some train-
to paddle this course at a race pace. This will
                                                     ing in and around our busy lives. Try if you    All these exercises can be done at home at
prepare us for racing and also improve our
                                                     can to give yourself one day off complete-      minimal cost and minimal time – a half hour
cardiovascular fitness. The object of the time
                                                     ly and then do some sort of extra training      will d. It will also save travel time to gyms
trial is to record your time from start to finish.
                                                     every other day. Whether it is for 30 mins      and other venues. If you are disciplined and
Each week we have a goal of trying to better
                                                     or 1 hour, use your time effectively.           motivated, it’ll work, If not and you’ve got
that time. Of course, sometimes that may not
                                                     REMEMBER: Change only takes place               some extra time and enjoy training with
be achievable due to weather and tidal con-
                                                     through action. Any form of cross train-        others, organize a group of friends and get
ditions, but we want to see some improve-
                                                     ing is good, if you enjoy running, walking,     into it. Have fun and until next time.
ment throughout the season.
Have Paddle, Will Travel
                                                                                        By Steve West
One of many factors making participation in outrigger canoeing so enticing, addictive and alluring is the uniquely beautiful loca-
tions where it is practiced. In so many ways, the sport allows you to combine overseas travel, vacation time and sport all in the one
package in a way that few others can emulate. Additionally, the strong cultural affinity the va`a commands in many areas of the
Pacific makes the experience educational and culturally enlightening.
Fundamentally, travel to new venues to compete provides a uniquely profound prism of experiences, which opens your mind up
to the world, new friendships and greater affinity with the sport as a whole, taking your participation beyond the physical to a very
much higher level of awareness.
Possibly the most confusing issue is in choosing which event to go to, made all the more difficult when many of the most appealing
events all seem to fall one after the other (or even on the same day) at around the same time of year, notably September and Octo-
ber. California’s Al Ching reinforces this issue, “This drains the attendances to all the races. Races have become so popular that clubs
have to make choices to conserve their energy and flow with their training schedule. Of course there is the small matter of finance
we have to contend with. Before the explosion of the sport, we had fewer choices and attendance was huge.”
This has been a growing problem for some time as the sport has grown and expanded. By some perverse failure to see this an issue,
associations and race organizers seem happy to keep compounding the problem, unwittingly but ultimately creating an atmo-
sphere where one event is now having to compete against another, especially in view of attracting overseas crews.
Mere mortals’ bank accounts are limited and finite and therefore selecting which event to invest in is a critical issue. If it weren’t,

           the advice would be, pack up and hit the road from September to the end of November and enjoy the premier events of
           Hawaii, Tahiti, Micronesia and end it with a flurry in the Cook Islands. The best advice I can give is ‘don’t get tunnel-vision’.
           Make sure you try them all rather than becoming locked into returning to the same event year in and year out as many
           paddlers do.
           When traveling to more remote areas, do so in the company of low maintenance individuals content just to be in the mo-
           ment, happy to experience new sights and cultures without judgment. Don’t expect the best equipment and do expect
           inconveniences all of which will add to your ‘Road Trip’ experience. To quote Tom Conner from a paddlers’ perspective, “It’s
           how you deal with the obstacles (in life) and how you react to them which counts the most.”
           When in the Marquesas on one occasion, the va`a supplied to the Australian crew was so woeful, that it took an entire day
           to repair the seats and make a new splash guard from wood scraps and this va`a was in good shape compared to the one
           they were supposed to use (the New Zealanders ended up that one). The ama and `iako arrived late in the day on a ferry
           from a nearby island, while in the meantime, all other (local) crews were rigged and sorted and home relaxing. Sabotage?
           No, not at all, because at the end of the day the locals were doing all that they could with what they had. Circumstances
           ‘in the islands’ often take an odd direction and rarely resolve themselves quickly, directly or as you would like them, but
           amazingly ultimately seem to fall into place, even if on ‘island time’.
           Since 1993, I have dedicated my time, energies and resources to the Kanuculture publications and on two occasions, re-
           linquished them to companies on account of being overwhelmed with the demands of running the business, traveling,
           competing, hosting clinics and having any semblance of a ‘normal’ life in-between.
           I look forward to a new start in 2008 and in continuing my work in studying and sharing the va`a sport with you all. All
           the best for the New Year. Steve & Mandy West 0412533181 + 61 7 5452 6438 PO Box 506 Maroochydore Australia Qld
           4558 Web:
           Steve West is the author of books including The Paddler’s Guide to Outrigger Canoeing and The Art and Skill of Steer-
           ing Moloka’i to Oahu Through the Years. -

       Erg It On
Rowing Your Way to Fitness

By Fiona McManus

Why?? A question I ask myself every
year, a couple of weeks before the Hong
Kong Indoor Champs.
I was introduced to the delights of rowing
at university, when I was fooled into think-
ing rowing consisted of Pims, Henley, Ly-
cra … No one mentioned the agony of the
erg, the torture of rowing circuits, or row-
ing in water with ice in it.
But there is a perverse pleasure to be had
from beating the erg. Not only is it the de-
finitive way to see who is really pulling wa-
ter in a boat as opposed to simply looking
nice, it has to be one of the best workouts     Learn the correct technique and you’ll race better, as well as be less likely to get
for cross-training during dragon boat sea-      back injuries.
                                                ‘Hands-body-slide’ is a rower’s mantra - learn it and work it.
I’ve entered a few indoor races over the
years and the Hong Kong Champs is a fun         Control the slide and your breathing – watch some of the greatest indoor rowers on
one – it is not often you get to march to       the erg (check out the Concept II website for this, at – and see
your erg in Olympian style, or get to see       how they exhale forcibly as they take the stroke.
international rowers make 2 k look effort-      Control your hand height – in a boat your hands determine how level the boat is; on
less.                                           an erg there isn’t a boat to ‘sit’ but if your hands are ‘rowing’ massive loops up and
I’ve been lucky enough to have had some         down as you take a stroke, you’re not efficient.
great coaching on the erg, and have re-         Work your splits. If you know you are out-powered, use psychology. 99.9% of racers
ceived some good tips over the years. Let       set out at a hard pace, steady it, sit it, build it – and take it home. Check out “The Art
me share some of them with you:                 of Sculling” for how to race using reverse splits – it worked for me in my last race.
Get a rowing coach to watch you on the          Go to the Concept II website and download indoor races so you can check the splits
erg. If you are ripping up and down the         and stroke rate for the whole piece. This is a great way of learning how to race 2k
slide with the flywheel at 10 and rating at     well from the masters.
35-40, you’ll go nowhere fast after the first
750 m of the race.                              Check out “Tel’s Tales” on the Concept II website for help on technique and to read
                                                                                          his tips. He is the guru of indoor rowing
                                                                                          and technique and this is the man to ask.
                                                                                          He’ll tell you what will work, and you can
                                                                                          also get a great training schedule from the
                                                                                          And when you are wondering, two weeks
                                                                                          before the HK Champs, “Why am I doing
                                                                                          this,” recite after me: Because it is a level-
                                                                                          ler, a test of where you are in your training,
                                                                                          team building (ever tried an indoor race by
                                                                                          yourself – trust me, you need your team
                                                                                          there!!), and a satisfying race.
                                          A Paddle Maker’s Story:
                                          Tino Faatuale By Lister Woo

Tino Faatuuala used his medical school book savings to buy           of outrigger paddles throughout the world jointly with Typhoon8
tools to create his first hand crafted paddle in 1993. As the cur-   ( Tino’s paddles will be branded under the
rent national coach for both men’s and ladies’ Palau national        name “Kua Paddles” with Kua meaning “Outside” (as in the next
team, Tino continues to produce paddles by hand, from natural        wave coming). The smaller size 5-degree bend steering paddle is
Palau Island wood.                                                   named Trigger Fish from the shape.
In asking whatis different about his paddles, Tino replied, “The     The larger face steering blade is called the Manta Ray. It has thin
key elements in making a good paddle are its functionality, du-      blade edges and a spine that is significantly more robust than the
rability and of course overall looks. With my 20 plus years of       other blades in the line. It has a winged look like a manta ray with
paddling experience, I have developed a feel of what makes a         a strong spine that will compensate the load. The shaft does not
good paddle. I select the natural wood provided on Palau Is-         flex even when pulled hard and it adds extra power especially for
land and air dry material for over 3 months before starting the      sprint races.
production. Each paddle is hand made with the finest detail
                                                                     Tino is currently working on a modern version of his paddle incor-
while grinding and sanding. The 2007 model is a great make
                                                                     porating features he sees from Hawaiian, Tahitian and Australian
and I am happy to provide them to paddlers beyond the nearby
                                                                     made paddles.
Among the unique features of Tino’s paddles are that the spine
remains in the construction with more beef in between the
blade and handle. A single 10-degree bend and Tino’s favorite
steering blade are currently available.
Raised in and around the water, and with his father’s skills as
a carpenter, Tino has been a natural success in a variety of wa-
ter sports. The highlights include four gold medals in the 2002
Micronesia Games in Phonpei representing Palau, a gold in the
1500 m category in the Guam Micronesia cup in 2002, and two
gold medals in the 2001 Micronesian Cup in Palau-Obubuu. He
has been to nine world Sprints out of 11 and many other races
around the world. His coaching began at age 19 and he has
been well respected in the paddling community since then.
Currently, Tino resides in Palau Islands although he was born
and raised in the Samoa capital, Apia. Tino finished his medical
studies in 1994 graduating from Fiji School of Medicine as a di-
etitian. His hobbies outside of canoeing include body building,
surfing and spear fishing.
Tino Faatuuala is proud to continue his high quality production
                                                                                               adding in a few weekends of sea-based

Paddle the Planet
                                                                                               training by way of a reality check and do-
                                                                                               ing visualisation exercises to (theoretical-
                                                                                               ly) help calm our nerves and strengthen

From the English Channel to the Equator                                                        our resolve on race day!
                                                                                               Arriving at the beach on the morning of
                                                                                               the race in blazing sunshine, we didn’t
Britain: The Sisterhood                       awful to you, but we knew no different           even have time to notice that Neptune
                                              and so watching the sun rise through the         had benignly provided us with a calm
By Amanda Cherry                              Thames mist became something to look             sea. We were too busy checking our kit,
                                              forward to on a cold winter’s morn.              making last minute tweaks to the boat
There comes a time in life when adding
something interesting to relieve the daily    I don’t know if you remember what it was         and stopping for a photograph or 200. In
grind becomes something of a necessity        like when you first picked up a paddle           what felt like minutes, we were all aboard,
(some might call it a mid-life crisis, but    but I recall it being distinctly alien and ex-   paddling to the start line and waiting
how does one define mid-life?). For 19        hausting – 30 minutes of fighting against        calmly for the start.
women of varying ages, it seemed to hap-      the water was more than enough to wear           3 hours 41 minutes later, and a mere
pen simultaneously last November when,        me out ahead of a full day’s work. Howev-        12 minutes behind the boys, we were
fortuitously, we were presented with the      er with time, patience (especially on our        collapsing ecstatically on the beach in
opportunity to do something unique,           coach’s part) and a whole lot of practice,       France. The journey you will all be famil-
worthwhile, physically demanding and          we slowly but surely came to understand          iar with – settling into the rhythm, keep-
mentally challenging: to race a Chinese       what “good” technique felt like and our          ing the pace steady, the frustration when
dragon-boat across the English Channel        fitness and stamina began to improve.            tiredness starts creeping in, the highs and
against a group of boys in order to raise     Our first real test was the Vogalonga – a        lows of any race – all of it was there. But
money for two children’s charities.           32km paddle round the canals of Venice           finishing that race and realising that all
I would imagine that many paddlers sen-       which gave us confidence that at least           the hard work you have done has net-
sibly learn and practice their art in warm    the distance across the Channel was do-          ted you a group of amazing friends with
and sunny climes. The attire for our first    able. After that, our training intensified       whom you share a common bond and a
five months of training was approximate-      over the summer months (shorts and               unique and memorable achievement is a
ly two pairs of socks, Wellington boots,      t-shirts are definitely easier to paddle in      feeling that will stay with us all forever.
scarves, hats and fleece-lined waterproof     than ski-jackets!) and in July and August        Definitely better than your average mid-
gloves, coats and trousers. Some morn-        we went into overdrive in anticipation of        life crisis!
ings we had to scrape snow or ice off the     the impending crossing by increasing the
boat before we started. This might sound      number and duration of training sessions,

Canada: Dragonboating, eh?
By Matt Browne and Summie Tam
It’s a warm January day and I’m stepping into a dragon boat.
For long-term residents in Hong Kong, this is not completely strange. For Summie and I, who recently arrived from the ice and snow
of Canada, this was quite an exciting occasion. It was the start of a new dragon boat season for us different from the many seasons
we experienced back in Canada.
Dragonboating is still maturing as a sport in the major cities in Canada. The major festivals in Canada have been running for around
20 years now. Compare this to the over 2,000 years of history in China, and the Canadians are still in their infancy. Nonetheless, the
tradition of the Native American canoe and the voyageur has inspired many Canadians to take up a new kind of paddle and com-
pete internationally. Summie and I are two of those paddle junkies who took it up several years ago.
So, is the sport universal? Have the Chinese traditions been translated to Canada? Canadian dragonboating certainly has some local
flavour injected into it.
Dry Land Training – This is a necessity in Canada. You can’t use the excuse that just because the water is frozen solid, you can’t keep
in paddle shape. Hours in the gym, on the erg, or even sitting by the indoor paddle pool are needed if you expect to be competitive
in the coming summer.

Cold Weather Gear – About one month after the ice cracks and the water warms up to double digits, it’s time to crack out your
neoprene. It should be late April at that point. Find your rubber pants, shirt, toques, gloves, and boots, hit the water and try not to
complain too much if it happens to snow a few flakes here or there.
Safety First – The dreaded PFD is required if you want to get in a boat in Canada. On the bright side of things, it does help keep you
Sit Down Please - Standing finish? Forget it. It looks ludicrously dangerous to those who need to provide insurance for the races.
The largest difference is the atmosphere. Canadian dragonboating is a fantastic summer sport that gets you on the water with all the
kicks that you can get out of racing. However, there is something missing when you compare it to Hong Kong.
Dragonboating in Hong Kong is to participate in an ancient traditional festival. The festival spirit that is especially present at the
fishermen’s races simply can’t translate to North America. The ceremonial processional race, fishermen’s teams with their decorated
junks, fireworks, streamers, roast pork, and confetti give the event much more meaning than a simple race. It’s fun to be part of the
sport of dragonboating in Canada. It’s amazing to be part of the tradition here and WE LOVE IT!

Switzerland: Paddle and Ice
By Felix Meier
Elke and Claudius Grete, two new members of
your club and good friends of ours, asked to
write about the dragon boat scene in Switzer-
Switzerland is a beautiful country in the mid-
dle of Europe with dozens of lakes and rivers
predestined for dragon boat racing. Although
dragon boat racing was launched over 15 years
ago in our country, it is still quite a small scene
compared to other countries. There are only 6
dragon boat clubs situated in Switzerland, most
of them around Zürich.
The most famous race takes place in Eglisau, at
the end of June. In 2008, we are planning the
                                                               Singapore : A Growing Obsession By Chris Box,
17th edition. There are 52 Teams racing over
                                                      hThe Singapore Paddle Club (SPC) was formed in October 2004 by a number
                                                         of experienced dragon boat and outrigger paddlers, keen to set up a new
two days against each other in four different
                                                       paddling club in Singapore. What differentiates SPC from other local clubs is
categories. Most of the participants are new to
                                                        that we paddle dragon boats as well as outrigger canoes, together with the
the sport or only race once a year. All races in
                                                       fact that we are not affiliated with any chamber of commerce, community or
Switzerland are Festival Races due to the fact
                                                      school group as most local clubs are. SPC is an independent, non-profit sports
that there are not enough dragon boat clubs to
                                                        club dedicated to the establishment of competitive outrigger canoeing and
run a race only for club crews.
                                                       the furtherance of competitive dragon boating in Singapore. We also have a
Dragonboating became my profession some                charity angle, whereby we endeavor to support local and international chari-
years ago, when Daniel Schmid and I were                       ties raising money or doing water sports to the extent we can.
founding an event company specialised on
                                                      SPC competes in dragon boat and outrigger canoe races both locally and in-
corporate dragon boat events (www.dragon-
                                                      ternationally including Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Micronesia, Australia and Customers such as UBS, Swatch
                                                      Hawaii. The club currently has over 80 members and is growing fast, and this
Group or Nestlé have paddled with us. It is mar-
                                                      includes a diverse cohort of Singaporean and international paddlers from over
vellous when you are in the privileged situation
                                                      10 countries. SPC currently has 2 International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF)
to make your hobby into your profession.
                                                      dragon boats, stored at Kallang, near the city. In addition, we are lucky to have
Nowadays, I wish I had more time for paddling         two sheds and some land on Tanjong Beach, on the island of Sentosa. One
instead of organising dragon boat races and           of these sheds houses equipment and the other houses personal/club boats,
dragon boat events – even if it gets cold here        including club members’ OC1s, OC2s, surf skis and paddleboards, all on a spe-
in winter time when the temperatures go below         cially designed rack. We also have six OC6s within the club asset base.
0 degree Celsius and the water starts to freeze
                                                      SPC welcomes new paddlers, from beginners to the most experienced, who
on your paddle…If you ever get the chance to
                                                      share our ethos of good sportsmanship and competition. In 2008, SPC is ex-
visit Switzerland do not hesitate to contact me
                                                      pecting to hold Singapore’s first International outrigger race, the Singapore
for a dragon boat or outrigger session in Swit-
                                                      Sentosa Cup. It will start off relatively low key, but we’re hoping over a few
                                                      years to build it into a competitive race. We’ll field teams from Singapore, and
                                                      hopefully Hong Kong, Japan, Micronesia and Australia. We already re Sentosa
                                                      Cup from June 28-29. It will start off relatively low key, but we’re hopihave
have interest from the Micronesian teams. Format will be a 22km iron race and sprints.
Races in which we expect to compete in 2008: the Gold Coast Cup; MR500, Sava Sprints, SDBA June Race, SDBA River Regatta (lo-
cal Sing DB races); Hamilton Island Cup; Penang World; Champs (if we make it!); Micronesia Cup; Heineken Cup; Singapore Cup; HK
Round the Island Race and other Hong Kong races.
Last year, in order to raise funds for charity as well as do something different, SPC organized the Paddle to the Equator. A combined
SPC, HKIPC and Hong Kong Outrigger Canoe Club team of 12 men and women set off from Sentosa here in Singapore on an epic
journey to the Equator and back. The crew paddled for 3 tough days, through the Riau Archipelago in Indonesia, reaching the Equa-
tor near a small fishing village. We spent a wonderful day at the village, mixing with the locals and exploring the area, then heading
back at a more leisurely pace to arrive back in 4 days, an overall trip of 8 days and the first ever OC6 unaided paddle from Singapore
to the Equator. We hope to do a similar expedition every year to raise money for charity and chart new courses!


                                                                     Ticket to Paradise
                                                                     A Fast Surf Ski By Mark Bata

                                                                     I’m 33 years old and happily married with one boy, Nathan. I start-
                                                                     ed paddling started way back in 1995 through dragon boating. I
                                                                     didn’t want to attend military training at the University and accord-
                                                                     ing to friends, this would exempt us. They gave me 2 weeks before
                                                                     I would quit. Little did I know at that time that it would be the start
                                                                     of my paddling career or whatever it is that you call it nowadays. I
                                                                     had to contend with a bad back having been operated on a slipped
                                                                     disc just 2 years before.
By Judith Hakim
                                                                     I eventually competed with the De La Salle University (DLSU) Drag-
In 2007, various club teams from the Philippines, all affiliated     on Boat team and eventually with Drago Pilipinas. From ‘95 to ‘96,
member of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF),              we won tournaments locally and abroad. Former Philippine Presi-
went to the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races and            dent Fidel Ramos even sent our team a congratulatory letter.
won in various categories, including the Philippine National
Police, Bugsay Boracay, PYROS and the University of Santo            In ‘96, Czanto Csaba of the International Canoe Federation came to
Tomas.                                                               the Philippines and introduced the sports of canoeing and kayak-
                                                                     ing. I was fortunate enough to be able to join the training pool and
Racing in Hong Kong is considered a pilgrimage to the place          eventually qualified to be part of the first national team for flatwa-
where modern dragon boat racing began way back in 1986.              ter kayaking. I was part of the K-4 team and participated in the
And significantly, it is also the place where the International      ‘96 Sea Games and 13th Asian games. I suffered a dislocated right
Dragon Boat Federation, the world governing body of the              shoulder a few months before the Asian games and that was the
sport, was founded in 1991.                                          signal for my retirement after the meet.
One of the best things about the HK Races is that it recognizes       I got married to my lovely wife Jocelyn in 2003 and our child Na-
various sectors of the community and society that makes the          than was born in 2005. At that point, I thought paddling was al-
sport truly for everyone, serious racers as well as recreational,    ready part of my past. My mentor was about to migrate to Canada
corporate, and civic paddlers. In 2008, we look forward to the       and he asked me to paddle dragon boat during his last few days
opportunity for our national athletes, both men and women,           in the country. Unfortunately, I got hooked again after he left and
to be able to join HK International Races once again.                I was back to dragon boating. In 2006, my wife gave me an ocean
Our Federation has won several gold medals in the Men’s              sit on top kayak. She knows how much I wanted to kayak again.
Open, Women’s Open and Mixed Open.                                   Soon after, I just had to have a faster craft. That made me remember
                                                                     the time I met an Australian expat back in ‘96 who paddled to our
 On a personal note, the first time I went to the HK races was       beach. He came from a nearby island and he was on a surf ski. In
in 2001, with my team the PDRT Fireblades Women’s Crew               February of 2007, I refurbished a 94 Burton Ultimate Wedge from
as a returning winner along with another HK Races winning            Australia.
men’s team, the Drago Pilipinas. Races at that time in Hong
Kong attracted teams from various parts of the world such as         Surf skiing is unlike any other sport. Competitively, Guys like Barton
Canada, Germany and Australia.                                       and Chalupsky inspire us older men that age is just a number. I
                                                                     learned everything about the sport over at The
 Yet with the popularity of the sport and the numerous races         forum members are one of the best as well and they’re very gen-
being held in Asia during June and July, I think Hong Kong           erous in sharing info with the group. Yahoo Groups has also been
should come up with innovations to keep teams coming                 instrumental in getting the inside info and some personal tips on
back for more. As it is, in my personal view, it is an inspiration   how to do this and that.
to see that dragon boat racing in Hong Kong is not just for
competition but a way of life.                                       As a recreational sport, I’m hooked! Paddling in the ocean, hearing
                                                                     the water and just feeling the speed is priceless. Hopefully I can
                                                                     stash away enough cash to upgrade to an Evo or V10 in the near
                                       Social Collage

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Enter The Dragon
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Outriggers:           Return To Your Seat:   This Issue includes:                  E-Mail:

View of Another Sport IDBF Explains Ruling                                         Date:                                    Signature:
                                             IDBF - Newsletter
& HKIPC Makes 4 Peaks on Stand Up Paddling   Spring 2008 as Insert
                                                                                       For any questions just drop us a line to:
Fun in the Sun (and Rain)
Now That You’ve Done Boracay, Why Not Lantau?
By Sarah Metcalfe

HKIPC maybe serious when it comes to           This was followed by several rounds of          due to hangovers) we made it back to the
paddling...                                    ‘Twister’ where you could see who were          beach, for what came to be known ‘as the
But we know how to have fun too....            Yoga experts. Again, a doctor would have        long paddle home’.
                                               been handy as some people are quite
Date : 2 Dec 2007, 8am                                                                         With 6 paddlers out of 12 paddling the
                                               clearly not yoga experts. Finally well past
                                                                                               day before, and a late, but fun, night it
Event : Paddle to Lantau, camp over night,     midnight when all energy was spent, it
                                                                                               was pretty tough going, the wind was
paddle back to Deep Water Bay                  was the drinking game ‘I have never...’,
                                                                                               now against us and the swell was bigger
                                               Let’s just say friendships were formed
Attendees: 12 paddlers & several guests                                                        than the day before. Sometimes it felt like
                                               that night that will last a lifetime - we all
So the plan was to take a gentle leisurely                                                     every muscle was seizing up, but a cou-
                                               got to know each other probably a little
paddle to Lantau, leave the boats at Pui                                                       ple of power bars, water and a few breaks
                                               better than we ought to!
O beach, and have a spot of lunch. Make                                                        later we were back home in Deep Water
                                               Anyway, it was time to get to bed for the       Bay. Plans are already afoot for another
our way to the ‘campsite’, enjoy a bar-
                                               paddle home in the morning, which also          weekend trip, hopefully over 3 days to al-
beque and a few drinks, then get an early
                                               made for some interesting sleeping ar-          low for hangover recovery or maybe just
night ready for the paddle back to Deep
                                               rangements -- the villa slept 9, there were     more fun time – only will have to be early
Water Bay.
                                               16 of us, I’ll leave it to your imagination.    on in the year as we just can’t wait until
The reality, as ever with HKIPC, was that      After what can only be described as a           December 2008 to play Twister again!
even though we were taking two IPC             restless, but fun, night not helped by the
boats and crews across to Lantau, the          resident mozzies, it was 7 am and Chef
friendly rivalry meant that the idea of a      Roughbottom was cooking again for the
leisurely paddle admiring the sights of        troops. Finally by 11 am after several crew
Lamma, Cheung Chau and Lantau was              changes (not sure if they were planned or
just not an option.
Two hours later we were approaching
what I thought was the equivalent of rush
hour in Central, trying to pick our way
through the Lantau fast ferries/hydro-
foils and anything else that looked scar-
ily fast. We reached Pui O in just under 3
hours and what a sight, clear sea and air, a
beautiful beach and a bar, not unsurpris-

                                                                  Social Photosm
ingly, stocked with beer. Several of us did
our best to increase the bar’s daily takings
and reduce inventory, eventually making
our way to the ‘campsite’ around 5 pm.
The campsite was actually a fabulous villa
nestled into the hills over looking a mon-
astery, not far from the Big Buddha. It was
a place of calm serenity, until we got there
and had to consume the large amounts
of alcohol purchased. The catering team
ably led by Chefs Roughbottom and So
Mei did an amazing job with the bar-
beque, veggies and afters. The evening
may have become a little rowdy with 80’s
music and break dancing. In retrospect
we probably should have had a doctor in
the paddling crew as it looked more like
seizures than dancing.

                                          HONG KONG TEAMS
Buzz: Club Report for 2007
As an amateur sport club dedicated to training and compet-
ing in dragonboat, Buzz Dragonboating Society, like all other
clubs at this level, experienced a high turnover of paddlers in
2007. With the loss of 8 seasoned veterans, we had to actively
recruit new, fit and committed rookies who are willing to take
this sport seriously. And every year we opened the season with
a large pool of paddlers and after a month or so of practices, it
naturally filtered down to about 4 worthy ones.
In 2007, we also stepped up on our social front by introducing
a Social Secretary position. However, our definition of fun has
always been “drinking out of trophies”.
All in all, Buzz had a successful and fun 2007 season and real-
ized that turnover will be a constant and that the club is com-
mitted to build upon what we already have as well as what our
rookies bring to the team.
We have purchased a new 50ft wooden race boat custom made
to our size and weight. It is being made in Shunde, China and
we expect to take delivery in January 2008. This is a huge invest-   Devil’s Advocates
ment for the club and represents our biggest move towards a
                                                                     The idea of the Devils team came about in late 2005 when a
long-term racing club. In addition, the new race boat will place
                                                                     couple of guys who couldn’t commit to club training times
us in a great position to compete in more local Fisherman races
                                                                     decided to get some mates together for the Stanley Dragon
(all requires BYO boat) as well as becoming more competitive.
                                                                     Boat Race… Actually, the idea came somewhere around the
Races: In addition to all the Open and Fisherman races, we           time we switched from beers to bourbons!
like to go abroad for an international race, depending on our
                                                                     So, with the 2006 Stanley Race upon us, we made a few calls
                                                                     and ended up with a crew consisting of dragon boat and out-
I think as a seven years old club, we have transformed from a        rigger paddlers, surf ski fellas, rugby and aussie rules players
“one-race-per-season” expat team to a full sport club with a         and a couple of rowers for good measure.
clear direction, structure, and core executive group. The inter-
                                                                     With our approach of go hard, have a laugh, try and bring
national composition of the club remains intact but with our
                                                                     home some silverware and drink a lot we walked away hap-
affiliation with the Chaiwan Fisherman Recreation Club, we
                                                                     pily with overall third place.
are constantly brought to new circumstances and encounters.
The condition in Hong Kong is not always perfect for engaging        Thinking that was that, the boys went back to their various
in water-related sport. But what our paddlers seem to enjoy          forms of paddling and normal life.
most are the unique experiences of cultural diversity exposed        However, in 2007 it was decided to come together once again
through different individuals, races and communities. And that       (must stop drinking that bourbon…!). Keeping the same at-
is what we like most about paddling in Hong Kong.                    titude in mind and with a few minor adjustments to the crew
                                                                     due to the transient nature of Hong Kong, we entered Stanley
                                                                     once again.
                                                                     This time around, after some tough races, we were thrilled to
                                                                     walk away with the fastest time of the day, the Expat Cup and
                                                                     the overall Champions Cup – which proudly sits in our spon-
                                                                     sors bar!
                                                                     Our goal for 2008? We’ll let you know when we know. And
                                                                     that could well be after the next big night out… With the
                                                                     boys already having raced outrigger and surf ski in Molokai,
                                                                     Kona, Micronesia and Rio amongst other places, I’m sure our
                                                                     calendar will be pretty full.
                                                                     Thanks again to our sponsor – Devil’s Advocate Bar, Wanchai.
                                         HONG KONG TEAMS
Hong Kong Outriggers                                     Lamma Dragons
Formed in 2002, Hong Kong Outrigger Canoe Club           The Lamma Dragons have a special place in the history of dragon boat-
(HKOCC) is a thriving community of paddlers based        ing in Hong Kong.
on the Southside of Hong Kong Island. We are the         In the mid-1980s, a group of curious women noticed the local fishermen
original Hong Kong club dedicated purely to out-         practicing the traditional sport of dragon boat racing in the Yung Shue
rigging, although many of our members also take          Wan Harbour. Plucking up their courage, they inquired if the fishermen
part in dragonboating and many (too many!) other         would teach them how to dragon boat so that they might enter local
sports.                                                  races and test their skills against the local competition. In this way, the
Our base is the Stanley Sea School, and we are eter-     Lamma Ladies Dragons became one of the first Western teams to com-
nally grateful to the school for allowing us precious    pete against the local fishermen and women’s teams.
access to the sea! Our club size has nearly doubled      In the years that followed, a strong team of Western men followed suit,
in the past 2 years and we now boast close to 80 ac-     and also began dragon boating under the watchful eyes of the local fish-
tive paddlers representing 20+ nationalities!            ermen.
We pride ourselves on being a fun club with a seri-      The generosity of our early tutors was not wasted. The Lamma Dragons
ous edge, and are pleased to see outrigging grow-        have won numerous cups and medals over the years, at home in the
ing so vigorously in Hong Kong and hope it contin-       Hong Kong races, and internationally in China, Japan, Malaysia and the
ues to develop as a community. We organize and           Philippines. The Lamma Ladies Dragons (known abroad as the “Pink La-
attend many local regattas as well as train for at       dies”) in particular have consistently proven themselves to be powerful
least 2 International tournaments every year, and        competitors, capturing the gold cup at Stanley in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003
of course the RHKYC ‘Around The Island Race’.            and 2006.
In addition, we have individual members who have         For approximately 20 years, the Lamma Dragons have practiced their
raced for and have affiliation with outrigger clubs in   sport on the waters of Yung Shue Wan Harbour. The crews today are a
Canada, California, Hawaii, Guam and Australia. In       diverse group of Europeans, North and South Americans, Asians, Austra-
an International hub like Hong Kong we are proud         lians and New Zealanders and Africans. The years have brought many
to offer both the serious and the recreational water     changes to Hong Kong, but one thing has always remained the same for
sports enthusiast something unique and challeng-         the Lamma Dragons: we remember and honour our roots.
ing to take part in!
                                                         Today, the fishermen of Yung Shue Wan still guide the helms of our boats.
Please visit our web site at www.hongkongoutrri-         They remain our strongest supporters and our greatest allies in a sport or contact Jane Edwards, membership sec-         we have grown to love. We would not be here today without their con-
retary for more details at:         stant help and kindness.

                                          HONG KONG TEAMS
Sea School
The Hong Kong Sea School is a boarding school for boys from ages
12 to 20. For some sixty years now, the school has been providing a
vocationally oriented education for underprivileged boys from across
Hong Kong and the New Territories; and it has been promoting water
Although one of the smallest schools in Hong Kong, the Sea School
boasts one of the strongest sailing and canoeing teams and in recent
years has begun to produce competitive windsurfers for the local
windsurfing circuit. It also has an impressive record in dragon boat-
ing with wins in the Chinese Mens’ Division in Stanley on numerous
occasions and regular wins in junior categories in the Hong Kong
The School provides support for sporting groups in the community
including the Hong Kong Outrigger Canoe Club, AIA, Dragons Abreast
and the Australian Association dragon boat teams and, of course, the
organisers of the Dragon Run surfski race to be held on 24 November
2007. One of the visiting stars of the surfski world, Oscar Chalupsky,
held a canoe clinic for the school’s canoeing team on November 23,

Seagods are more of a “team” than a club and as such we don’t pro-
duce an annual report. Other than social activities, we don’t do any
paddling off season and re-activate in January/February to see who is
still around and who wants to continue paddling in 2008. Our focus
is Stanley and trying to regain the Mixed Cup (having won it in 2005
and come third in 2006 and 2007)!

Smugs: Southside Massive Urban Gorrilaz
The Southside Massive Urban Gorrilaz (SMUGs) Dragon Boat Team prides itself on balancing competitiveness and will to win with a
strong sense of fun and goodwill to the communities in which we live. It is fair to say that, even in such a difficult niche to occupy,
our men’s and ladies’ crews have delivered to both of these objectives in 2007.
The season was an important one for us in increasing the depth of experience in our men’s crew and firmly establishing our ladies’
crew, only in its second season, on the dragon boat circuit. With four trophies for the men, and two for the ladies over four competi-
tions, the SMUGs crews continue to prove to be a force to be reckoned
with in both Chinese and Expat competition.
Altogether in 2007 we raised HK$204,000 for the Hong Kong Sea
School and the AIA Foundation, our sponsor’s charitable trust, through
both the Pool Party and a charity golf day we hosted in June. We’d like
to thank everybody who contributed to that achievement with spe-
cial mention to generous donations from the GFI Tai Tam Tigers and
ING Buzz.
The entire team is already looking forward to the 2008 season which
promises serious competition and serious fun building on past glo-
ries – hopefully! Recruitment is now open and we’ll be back on the
water in December. For more information go to www.southsidemas-
                                           HONG KONG TEAMS
South China
South China Sea Outrigger Club has been paddling
through Sai Kung waters since the mid-90s, when its OC-6
was shipped over from Mooloolaba, Australia. The Club’s
location in Pak Sha Wan (Hebe Haven), along the road to
Sai Kung, gives South China’s paddlers access to great wa-
ter, scenery and numerous island and beach destinations.
Recent races for South China include the 2003 Hamilton
Island Cup (Australia), 2005 Howe Sound International
(Canada), and 2006 Micronesian Cup in Saipan.
2007 saw a continuation of the club’s weekend recreation-
al programme, providing regular intro sessions for novice
paddlers as well as more challenging distance pieces for
experienced paddlers.
Plans for 2008 include training for local races, the ATIR and
Micro Cup, plus spring and fall junk trips and the Hebe-
Haven-to-Dai-Long-Wan hike/paddle relay. All paddlers,
whether brand new or well seasoned, are welcome to join in any of these activities.
Contact information: To join us for a regular weekend session or find out about upcoming events, get in touch with Lyesin Wong or
Jeremy Woodall at or visit the Club’s website at .

Stormy Dragons
Welcome to bgc Stormy Dragons! We are a newly formed          striving to improve our technique and stamina as Dragon Boat pad-
competitive Dragon Boat Team founded in 2006. We              dlers with the objective of ensuring we can compete in both national
started out as an all female team made up of experi-          and international Dragon Boat events.
enced paddlers, with some ‘never-seen-a– paddle-be-
fore’ friends and some extra keen enthusiasts we picked       As a club we are certainly very dedicated to our mission and strive to
up along the way. Our mission was to build a team of fun      maximize our “TITS” Time In The Seat. Not forgetting our amazing abil-
people, keen to push themselves physically, mentally          ity to just get down and party!
and perhaps most importantly, socially!! Our “new” am-        Who knows what will be in store for Stormy Dragons in 2008......
bitious team had a fantastic first season, finishing on top
                                                              For further information please have a look at our website www.stormy-
by winning the Women’s category in the Stanley Short
Course. Onwards and upwards!
2007 brought us new paddlers, as an expat team we had
to recruit about 70% of the team. Most of them rookie’s
but willing to train hard. The most exciting prospect was
that now we had also enticed our husbands and friends
to join and make a mixed crew.
Our second season was even more thrilling and reward-
ing, with all our hard work and determination paying off.
We finished the season by wining the Mixed Race in the
Stanley Short course. Throughout this exciting season
we took home a total of 7 trophies.
With so many dedicated members we were also able to
experience our first International Race in Boracay and are
already making plans to return in 2008.
Our goal was finally achieved as now we are no longer
just a team but a club of mixed nationalities who enjoy
the thrill, the exhilaration and fun of Dragon Boat Racing.
We welcome anyone who wishes to experience this great
traditional water sport. We are sports minded individuals

                                            HONG KONG TEAMS
Tai Tam Tigers                                                           Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club X-Men and
The ‘Tai Tam Tigers’ were formed in 1999 by Michael Lamb, when
a group of residents from the Tai Tam area of Hong Kong Island           Dragonboat Season 2007 – A Practical
decided to enter a team in the Stanley Dragon Boat Festival. The
team ethos combines a competitive spirit and strong sense of             Guide
fun. I believe that this ethos survives today. The ‘Tigers’ now enter    Step One – Recruitment
4 race days each season with ever improving results, but always
with an eye on our local race, the Stanley Expat mens trophy.            First recruit your victims (sorry, paddlers). Anyone who has
                                                                         paddled with the Royal X-Team in previous seasons will already
Under the leadership of Tim Chillington, successive years pro-           have spent the past year quietly evangelising for the team with
vided ever better results. In 2007 the Tigers’ had their best result;    what could almost be described as religious fervour: sowing
with a 3rd place in the Stanley Expat Cup. The Tai Tam Tigers have       the seeds amongst unsuspecting friends and acquaintances
entered ladies and mixed teams. In 2007 the mixed team did ex-           (“it’s a fun team really”, “but we do quite well”) and then mov-
ceptionally well with a spot in the Mixed Plate Final. With the help     ing in for the kill (“we don’t practice that often”). Time to call in
of our sponsors, 2008 will again see the ‘Tigers’ enter the Sha Tin      favours, stop people in the street, and pressgang the unwary
short course race, Deep Water Bay 500m, Stanley Short course             – it’s dragonboat season again!
and our local race, the Stanley international Championships. Our
thanks go to GFI, The Henley Group, Wildfire and the Boathouse.          This year the recruiters did such a good job that we almost had
                                                                         too many paddlers to fit in the boat at practices. There was a
An added accolade in the 2007 Stanley International Champion-            particularly encouraging turnout for the X-Men, who in the
ships was winning the ‘Best Team Spirit Of The Year’ award. We are       past have struggled to make up the numbers. Plenty of new
particularly proud of this award and feel that it reflects our efforts   recruits, and quite a few well-muscled bodies on display – this
with family days throughout the paddling season, great sports-           was clearly going to be a dragonboat season with a differ-
manship and friendly rivalry with other expat and local teams,           ence!
and a very satisfying charitable contribution to the Hong Kong
Sea School at Stanley.                                                   Step Two – Training

The 2008 tigers squad is the usual mix of experienced paddlers,          An essential part of our training, which takes place every
and people new to Hong Kong and Dragon Boating. The train-               Saturday afternoon for the duration of the season, is the use
ing (and socializing) is well under way, and the Tigers are looking      of the large wooden antique, AKA “the barge”, which lives in
forward to another great year of fun, friendship and ever larger         the channel at Middle Island during the season. It’s surely the
trophies.                                                                heaviest dragon boat in Hong Kong and the theory goes that
                                                                         if we practice in the equivalent of the old wooden slave ships,
Oh yeah and the fu@#ing water is filthy!                                 hauling ourselves and our ten tonne boat around Deep Water
                                                                         Bay, by the time we gvet to the races we’ll fly along in the light-
                                                                         weight boats provided. That’s the theory anyway. Will it hold
                                                                         water? Not necessarily, but we did manage to test whether
                                                                         the dragonboat would hold water with a spectacular sinking
                                                                         round the back of Middle Island. The ensuing rescue attempt
                                                                         involved at least eight boats and took a record-breaking two
                                                                         hours, during which time all 20 hardy paddlers could easily
                                                                         have swum home.
                                                                         Charlie Nixon (team captain) and John Pache (coach) took the
                                                                         X-Men in hand and introduced the wildly popular land training
                                                                         on Wednesday nights. In contrast to previous years, this did ac-
                                               HONG KONG TEAMS
tually involve training, not boozing, and in an unprecedented
                                                                        cation can provide, Room to Read strives to break the cycle of
turn of events, an attempt to turn the Wednesday night session
                                                                        poverty, one child at a time. Room to Read’s work in Asia began
into a traditional “land training” session at Kellett Island bar met
                                                                        with rural communities in Nepal and the charity now works in
with howls of protest from the super-keen X-men who would
                                                                        Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka and Laos.
actually have preferred to lift weights in a sweaty circle round
the back of the club. Changed days indeed!                              We are delighted to announce that with the help of our sponsors
                                                                        and the enthusiastic support of the X-Team at various events
Yan Yan Li once again led the X-Women’s training, with able as-
                                                                        throughout the season (see below under “Step Five – Party!”)
sistance from Teena Goulet and, stepping in at various points in
                                                                        we have raised over US$12,000 which is enough to build four
the season, Jo Orgill, Lindsay Robertson and Charlotte Pache.
The X-Women training follows the tried and tested methodol-
ogy: paddle hard, stop for a chat, and paddle hard again, what-         Step Five – Racing
ever the weather. The changeable weather this year saw us               The Royal X-Team participated in five major regattas during the
fight our way through rain and wind, as well as the wake from           season. The first test of our newfound skills was on May 13 – the
rogue wakeboarders in Deep Water Bay and, at one session,               Deep Water Bay regatta organised by the Island Paddle Club.
the notorious red tide – huge swathes of viscous algae which            Traditionally this is a tough race for the X-Team at 500 metres
forced the closure of Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay beaches            – as we like to think, and statistics show, we are short course
while the indomitable X-Women battled on.                               specialists – but nonetheless we put up a fight against tough
Step Three – Sponsors                                                   competition and the X-Women won the Ladies’ Plate Final while
                                                                        the X-Men finished with a creditable showing in the Men’s Bowl.
This season we were fortunate enough to have an excellent and
                                                                        Our X-Mixed team also placed respectably with a win in the
supportive list of sponsors without whom our season would
                                                                        Plate Final. But sadly the roast pig prizes for first overall were not
not have been possible. Our principal sponsor was Deutsche
                                                                        to be ours this time!
Bank, and our other sponsors were Ambition, Asian-vacation- and Powerbar.                                               Our second race was the Stanley Warm-Ups, held in thunder-
                                                                        storm conditions at Stanley Main Beach on May 27. As the title
Best of all, the generous support of our sponsors meant that
                                                                        suggests, this is a warm-up race for the big event at Stanley and
we were able, for the first time, to paddle on behalf of the truly
                                                                        for the X-Women it was a triumph as despite a close run race we
worthwhile charity Room To Read (
                                                                        won the Ladies’ Cup. The X-men put on a strong performance to
Room to Read partners with local communities throughout the
                                                                        come second to their long-time rivals SMUGS.
developing world to establish schools, libraries, and other edu-
cational infrastructure. The charity seeks to intervene early in        Our third race was a brand-new event organised by Lamma
the lives of children in the belief that education is a lifelong gift   Dragons, the Lamma International Dragonboat festival. The
that empowers people to ultimately improve socioeconomic                signs were not auspicious that morning with torrential rain and
conditions for their families, communities, countries, and fu-          thunderstorm warnings, and conditions did not improve as the
ture generations. Through the opportunities that only an edu-           day wore on, leading to the eventual cancellation of the event.

We got a few races in, against the dramatic backdrop of the           third. With consolatory beers on the beach the unquenchable X-
power station sea wall, and the excellent potential of our X-         Team spirit showed though and we celebrated the closing day of
Mixed team was clear with a boat-length win in our first race.        our season in style on Stanley Main Street.
Clearly, had the event continued, more cups would have been           Step Four – Party with a Purpose!
held aloft, but the dream was over after one race apiece and we
trudged home in the rain.                                             Throughout the season we held a series of events to raise money
                                                                      for our charity Room to Read, kicking off with a junk trip and
Our fourth race was a favourite for many, the Mui Wo Dragon-          including a barbeque at Middle Island and a hugely success-
boat races on June 17. Set in the picturesque surroundings of         ful fundraising party at The Dublin Jack with prizes donated by
Silvermine Bay, the races involve a mixture of local and expat        The Dublin Jack (special mention to Noel Smyth), Movers and
teams. Again the X-Women showed their class, taking first             Shapers, Elemis (Paua Spas Ltd), Merrill Legal Solutions, Indigo
place in the Ladies’ Division and retaining their crown for the       and Body Balance.
second year running; and the X-Men won the Gold Bowl in a
fine performance.                                                     The culmination of the season, however, was the inimitable Pool
                                                                      Party at the Yacht Club. This year’s theme was “Jungle Boogie”
The final race of the season, and the one we’d been training for,     which allowed plenty of scope for imaginations to run wild, and
was at Stanley on the day of the Tuen Ng Festival, June 19. It was    the merchants of The Lanes and Pottinger Street clearly did a
a blazing hot day and we were extremely grateful to X-Woman           roaring trade in leopardskin fabric, monkey masks, grass skirts
extraordinaire Teena Goulet, who generously made the pool             and plastic snakes in the days leading up to the event. On the
in her apartment block available all day to both X-Women and          night, volunteers sold jello shots, raffle tickets were sold (with
X-Men. This was an essential retreat from the noise, confusion        a long list of excellent prizes donated by Deutsche Bank (who
and sheer volume of people (reputedly 25,000 spectators) who          paid for the DJ), the Yacht Club, Dublin Jack’s, Wagyu, Powerbar
descend on Stanley to watch the races. There were also three          and Indigo as well as the Grand Prize of a holiday in Koh Samui
X-Team/Deutsche Bank junks moored alongside the course.               donated by Profmil Residential), games were run, and we auc-
The races themselves were, as can often be the case at Stan-          tioned 6 specially-designed Room to Read “Heatseeker” rashies
ley, partly a matter of luck as much as effort, and the X-Women       kindly donated by Neil Pryde.
faced extremely tough competition to finish sixth overall in the
Ladies’ Final. The X-Men had a superb start, placing second in        Our season ended as enthusiastically as it began, with a sense of
their first race, but fate intervened in the form of their Stanley-   achievement for races won, of camaraderie for working together
appointed steersman in the second race, who lost control of the       as a team, and of pride at having raised so much money for our
boat (that’s how strong the X-Men are these days!) and crashed        charity.
it, resulting in demotion to the Plate Final where they finished      Step Five – Thank You!
Paddling Products from the Heart of Asia

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