The 2017 Season for the ``Butts Team`` is well under way!
Our second season began in March with practices on Tuesday evenings that often began as the sun was setting and ended after dark. It was not uncommon as well during those early season practices to have some rain coming down. One practice was cut short because of lightning in the distance; another was cancelled because of high winds. Safety first!
Meanwhile we got to try out paddling on different sides of the boat and in different positions. Some of us explored being the oarsman. This led to our team’s first (and hopefully only) “man overboard” incident when Les learned that the oar itself can be an adversary when the team is paddling backward. Though wet and cold, Les retained his enthusiasm for the sport. The team’s spirit as well has been bolstered by our confidence in our PFDs. (life preservers)
To assure that we had a winning team this year, Vince arranged for an experienced Dragonboat coach, Selena Wong, to work with us for a couple of months to work on the fundamentals of rotation, hinging and timing, before our first two big event of the season, The Survivor Challenge and the Concord Pacific regatta on June 23-25th.
Our first competition of the season was the “Survivor challenge” where our “Butts in a Boat” (BIAB) team took on the local “Abreast in the Boat” (AIAB) team on Friday evening, June 23rd. ‘Abreast in the Boat’ is the original breast-cancer team and they have been practicing together for over a quarter of a century. Last year, as part of the kick-off to the Vancouver International dragonboat festival (Concord Pacific) we had a friendly race between the Girls and the boys. And we did expected them to win given all of their years of experience. However we won a close race and we agreed to a rematch this year.
We had the rematch and we won another close one. This was immediately followed by a very touching ‘Flower ceremony’ honoring those that have lost their battle with cancer. We hope to make this an annual event and it is truly a pleasure working with the AIAB team as we all recognize that Dragon boating is good exercise for both breast and prostate cancer patients.The “Survivorship Challenge” was followed that evening by a “No Barriers” challenge where a variety of special population teams competed. This included not just our team and the Abreast team, but the “Eye of the Dragon” team (visual impaired paddlers), the O2P (patients in dialysis for kidney disease) plus several other teams with health issues and/or disabilities. In this event we took the silver metal, losing by less than a second to a team of young healthy individuals with no obvious health challenges, who somehow managed to get assigned a lane in the event. We think the organizers need to tighten-up the qualifications for next year’s event.The major races of the regatta took place on Saturday and Sunday. There we had a mixed team and were joined by some experienced female Dragon boaters from “Raise a little Swell” to round out our team. Although we did not win a metal, we participated in four races over both days improving our time evry time out. We recorded our best time ever and managed to come in with a time of 2:19.050 minutes on the 500m course in our last race.We are now continuing to practice weekly in anticipation that we will be so fit by August that we have a good chance of wining a metal in the Steveston regatta on August 26th. If you are a prostate cancer patient and want to try out dragon boating, just contact Vince at firstname.lastname@example.org – 604-551-7931 . We have plenty of room for more members of the team.Prostate Cancer Foundation – BC @ www.prostatecancerbc.ca