Sunday, September 11, 2011

2011 Atlanta Dragon Boat Festival, Lanier Olympic Venue, Gainesville, GA

September 10, 2011

Wow, the new race boats that we used at the festival “are not your fathers Oldsmobile.” They are more like a Porsche. They are lighter, faster, narrower and much tippier than the boats we used last year. I personally saw 3 flip and swims and I’m sure there were several more. Heck had a couple of us not thrown in low braces, I figure we would have flipped the KSU boat on our first outing.

I’m delighted to say that I had a “boat load of fun” at the annual Atlanta Dragon Boat Festival. Evelyn Orenbuch did a nice job of fielding a team and a terrific job of pulling it together.

Also, many thanks go to Gerri Lumsden at Porsche for arranging sponsorship for us. Yes, you are reading this correctly, Porsche paid our entry fee and provided very cool looking Porsche hats and Patagonia capilene shirts. So I was delighted to get to race for the Porsche Dragons!!!

In some respects, this year was a real eye opener for me into the world of Dragon Boat Racing. Ev really knows her stuff when it comes to this sport, and since there were just a handful of use who had raced DB before, I figured that the best thing I could do was to play the role of a support person (along with her husband, Stuart).

Ultimately, that boiled down to me play the role of “stroke” in the right position for the KSU and Porsche Draggons. What a blast!!! Sure there was a little pressure not to daydream, and a couple times I felt myself getting a little self conscience about it, but after a couple heats I had it figured out. I also how to wedge myself in and get a solid push with my feet, and change up my stroke enough so I did not bump top hands.

What I figured out along the way (from getting to race in a real race boat) is that DB racing is a real sport and a huge sport worldwide. I had figured this out last year, but having a real drummer (i.e. someone who really understands the sport and can communicate with the “strokes”) makes a world of difference. Our drummer made a huge difference in our last two races.

The new race boats got me excited about racing in this sport. I even daydreamed that if we were to round up 20+ hard core racers, a dedicated drummer, train on a semi-regular basis, get a sponsor to help, we could have a darn good team.

OK, now that’s really dreaming.

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