gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for the ‘Dragonboats’

Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival – Race #1

June 19, 2010 @ 11:49 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats

The Algonquin College Singapore Slings took position at the start line in lane #6 and sped down the course to reclaim their challenge cup after a couple of years of letting other teams have it. 🙂

Our official time for the race was 2:13.18, which was more than 7 seconds faster than the next fastest team.

Our next race is sometime after 13:30.

Steering the Algonquin College Singapore Slings

June 10, 2010 @ 12:30 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats

Once again this year, I am steering a dragon boat in the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival for the Algonquin College Singapore Slings.  And like the other teams in the festival, we’re taking part in the pledge challenge raising money that will go to support the charities selected by the Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation. These charities do very important work in the Ottawa area and are worth supporting.

If you’d like to help my team reach its pledge target and thus help the various charities selected by the ODBF, please consider clicking here or on the link at the top of the right column, and sponsoring me.  All donations of $20 or more automatically receive a tax receipt and you can request one for donations of less than $20.

Many thanks for reading this and thinking about it.  And a special thank you if you do sponsor me. 🙂

First practice of the year

May 05, 2010 @ 20:00 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats

The Algonquin College Singapore Slings held their first practice of the year yesterday evening. The weather was great and from the first strokes leaving the dock to the last strokes coming back in an hour or so later it was as though we had been paddling through the winter instead of taking almost eight months off.

We’re a good 400m team, meaning that we usually do quite well in 200m sprints and the 400m races at the Fall 400 in Carleton Place, but when it comes to the 500m races in Ottawa we’re not as consistent. To rectify this, we’re stepping up the endurance training, which means they’re going to be doing more drills involving paddling for longer runs. (I say “they” because I’m the steersman, so my job is relatively unchanged. 🙂 )

Map picture

We actually made it to the railway bridge, which we haven’t done in quite some time. Getting to the bridge is a good target to aim for, so hopefully we’ll be back there often. From the Rideau Canoe Club to the bridge and back is about 6km, but I’m sure it felt even longer because the wind was in our faces most of the way back.

Our next practice is Saturday morning and I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Third race at the Fall 400

September 13, 2009 @ 11:03 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats

Our third race at the Fall 400 was the best race of the day for the Algonquin College Singapore Slings. Like our first race, we were piped in to the staging area by a world-class bagpiper who is the boyfriend of one our team members. Needless to say, this attracted a lot of attention (and looks of envy) from the other teams!

Racing in lane #4 again, we made our way to the top of the race course and lined up with the other teams. As an incentive to the team, I issued a challenge: If they better our best time of the day, I’d buy a round of beer for the team at the restaurant later.

I think that worked because we shaved 3 seconds off our time and finished in 01:52.43, a few tenths of a second behind the ORCC Dunrobin Dames, a very competitive team.

To say we were happy with the results is a bit of an understatement. We were ecstatic!What a high note to end the season on!

After watching the races for the  Community Challenge and top six teams we met up at Morphy’s Landing to celebrate a great day of racing. I was in the process of ordering pitchers of beer for the team when one of the team captains announced that she was letting me off the hook and that I didn’t have to buy the team beer. As an unexpected bonus, however, a local who was in the restaurant and talked to some people on the team arranged for three pitchers of beer to be sent to us after she left.  A tip o’ the hat to the mysterious Lady In Purple from the team!

So, from the weather to the organization to the races themselves, the Fall 400 was a great dragonboat festival! Congratulations to the organizers for putting on a great event!

Second race at the Fall 400

September 12, 2009 @ 14:06 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats

Our second race here at the Fall 400 saw the Algonquin College Singapore Slings finish first in our race with a time of 01:55.58. We were in lane #4 and had a bit more of a headwind.

Our next race is in an hour or so.

First race at the Fall 400

September 12, 2009 @ 11:30 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats

Well, the weather gods are smiling on us at the Fall 400 in Carleton Place today. The sun is out and there isn’t a lot of wind to contend with.

Our first race felt really good and we pulled ahead at the end to beat the next fastest team in our heat by 0.6 seconds, finishing with 01:55.06.

Our next race is in a couple of hours.

Getting ready for the Fall 400

September 10, 2009 @ 22:09 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats, Weather


At the risk of taunting the weather gods, it looks like the weather for the Fall 400 dragonboat festival in Carleton Place this weekend is going to be perfect. The text version of the forecast suggests there will be “a mix of sun and clouds” with a high of 25°C. No threat of rain there.

(Of course, now that I have posted this, the weather will probably consist of rain, wind and waterspouts that will suck the frogs up from the river and cause them to rain down on us, too. Weather gods are fickle.)

Anyways, the Fall 400 is the last race of the year my team, the Algonquin College Singapore Slings, takes part in. It’s held on the Mississippi River in Carleton Place at the Carleton Place Canoe Club every fall. Because the river is very narrow and there’s a bit of a bend, there are only four lanes and the races are 400m, as opposed to the usual 500m. Though the lanes are straight, the bend in the river can make it look like the lanes are actually curved, which can be a bit disconcerting when you’re on the start line.

Another thing I really like about the Fall 400 is the fact that you can stand on the shore anywhere along the entire length of the race course, mere metres from the boats as they race downstream. There’s nothing like racing down a course with people cheering just a few metres away!

So, here’s hoping that the weather gods play nice this weekend and everyone has good races at the Fall 400.