|Black||Mixed A Championship||2nd (2:18.3)|
|Red||250M Championship||4th (1:13.0)|
|Pink||Breast Cancer Survivor Cup||3rd (3:07.4)|
|Nationals Mixed||Open Championship||2nd (2:14.7)|
As usual, this team continues to amaze me. As we pointed out over this past weekend, our goal was not to win these races but to find the best competition the Tempe Tournament had to offer in order to prepare for our future target races.
We had our Red mixed team race some of the best the tournament had to offer and intentionally placed our Black mixed team in the Open Division where all other teams were comprised entirely of men.
Red was absolutely amazing. Some of you have been paddling for less than a year - some of you for only a few months. Your progress is absolutely remarkable. Anyone that has been around the paddling community realizes that paddling, although it looks relatively simple, is a very hard discipline to master. You can't do it in a few months. Hell, you can't even do it in a year. That being said, the Red boat looked amazing. Your timing was flawless and the stroke rate was that of a high-caliber team. The LARD veterans that lead and powered Red are the reason our team as a whole is so successful. You are the epitome of team player. We all should take note of your team first mentality. Red's race pieces were absolutely amazing. You should be proud of yourselves. As Vi (my wife) sometimes tells me, "You didn't shame me." Keep up the good work.
As for our Black mixed team, you are well on track to represent the best we can when Nationals comes around in July. You showed no fear going up against all mens teams pulling out a 2nd place in that division. You also took a second in the Mixed A Final. You surpassed my expectations going into this race. Although, I think anyone on that Mixed Final boat will agree, we could have ran a better piece in that mixed final.
Both teams battled some very windy conditions against some great competition. You made us proud and the paddling community outside of LARD is truly noting your progress. However, our work is not finished. It has only started. In the coming months, we will be racing stronger and faster teams and we will get faster and stronger.
I hope to see you all this weekend.
Go *that* way! Aiiiieeee. Oh NO!
I wanted to shoot out a quick note to congratulate all of you on your performance and representation out in Tempe this year. In a year where the weather couldn't have been any better (aside from the electrified tents), you all shined. What a fantastic way to kick off our new season!
The team did exceptionally well. Every boat that went out to paddle improved in the manner that we discussed. Don't believe me? Well, Phil's surely got it on film! We talked about our own expectations for this event in the context of our team goals; you all worked hard to meet and exceed these expectations. It showed in the results. Our results demonstrated the overall strength of our organization, through and through, to the entire dragonboat community. I am sure they all took notice, and many gracious comments I have personally heard have only reinforced that. You should all be proud. Our team is recognized not only for our performance on the water, but the support we have for one another off the water.
"I called a blend and the next thing I know, LARD was just gone,"
-Steve Yan from Bay Area Dragons
A quick recognition to Meghan P. for a courageous effort steering in her first race. As with many things, it always gets better. Thanks to her teammates and to her for the outstanding attitude.
I am sure this message finds you having arrived home safe, fully rested, enjoyed some pictures to stir your memories of the event, ready for the rest of the season. Now is a great time to bring out new paddlers, and the directors and coaches will look to possibly put together an event (BBQ or such) to facilitate the introduction of new paddlers to the sport.
Hope you all had a great week, thanks for Tempe, and see you all out on the water!
LeonBAD's perspective of the 2008 Tempe races.