2016 CDBC Wrap Up Party

Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday to celebrate another successful CDBC season. 
For those that did not make it; we're sorry we missed you!

Here are links to all the videos: 

25th Anniversary Slide Show:

*The videos are best viewed on a desktop or an Android; some may not work on iPhone*
And the winner is...

Most Improved Paddler: There were many 1st year paddlers who could be considered for the award, Albert was the coaches' choice; for always listening and trying to take in coaches' feedback and suggestions with his thoughtful head nod and then working hard to apply that information to his dragon boat technique - the practice paid off!!  

Hardest Working Paddlers: (a.k.a our 'hammers'): Tomi and Alla; between outrigger and dragon boat practice this pair were probably on the water 6-7 times a week (sometimes going out in the OC before or after practice).  They attended more dragon boat practices than other members and they "put it in" for every practice and race - no question.     

Most Valuable Paddler: Grace; contributed to the success of the club by playing multiple roles both on and off the water.  Her attitude and enthusiasm were infectious. She helps make our little dragon boat club such a special organization!


This year's CDBC production was brought to you by...(a.k.a THANK-YOU) 

Festival Planners and Supporting Roles: Jennifer, Shannon, Leslie, Karen, Laura, Tara, Charles and Grace

Paddle Camp Coordinator and Supporting Roles: Stephen, Anita, Rachel and James

Equipment managers (a.k.a schleppers and other stuff): Tomi, Grace, James and Jake

Practice Steers: James, Carol, Grace and Brent

Fitness and care team (a.k.a fun warm-ups and post-race massage): Ashley, Anna and Grace
*Special shout-out to the makers of: Advil, KT Tape and anything else people used to get through the season ;) 

Coaches: Jeremy, Kevin and Kelvin

Behind the scenes (a.k.a all the other stuff): Jennifer, Karen, Shannon and Lindsay

Year-end Video and Anniversary slide show: Tomi, Kevin and Rachel 
*Special shout-out to John Birk for capturing CDBC's growth and maturity from early days until present! 

Don't forget to thank your personal supports - spouses, family, friends etc. that might have helped make your season possible. 

Without our members, CDBC would not be the club it is today.  

To all our paddlers: for your commitment and dedication; no matter the weather; drill after drill; week after week; race after race - you keep coming back for more!  Thank-you!!!

...and that's a wrap; folks!  See you next season!  


2016 Montreal Festival Recap

Hey team,

It’s hard to believe that our last festival of the 2016 season is behind us! Twenty-nine of us headed to Montreal for the Quebec Cup (Sept 17-18) held at the Olympic Basin. For the local teams, this was the 3rd and final event of a circuit called the “Triple Crown”. A lot of the registered teams compete at the national level so the competition was fierce to say the least!  CDBC entered two teams in the festival. Our mixed team was part of Mixed Division 1 which had a total of 20 teams. Our open team, which included Jerwin and 5 local paddlers from the 22Dragons host Club, was part of Men’s Division 1 that had a total of 9 teams. There were over 80 teams in total at the festival. All the races were filmed and can be found here if you are interested (search by race number per summary below):

Day 1 Summary:

500 m D1 Mixed (races #9 and #25) : CDBC Crew Yahoo was in the fourth and final 500 m D1 qualifier race. To the awe of the crowd, the Calgary boat edged a victory by one hundredth of a second with a time of 2:10.54. A very close and exciting race to start the festival with 3.5 seconds between first and fifth place. To add to the good news, as the winner of this heat, the team was awarded a flat of local beer! From here, the 500 m finals were decided with the qualifier times. Even though Yahoo won their heat, their time was 10th best which landed them in the B Final. They went on to obtain a hard fought 5th place in that B Final with a time of 2:11.18. No beer, but 10th place in the presence of such fierce competition was more than respectable!

500 m D1 Open (races #17 and #34): After a very eventful journey to the start line which included hitting the dock and a parked boat as well as losing the dragon head, 22 Yahoos managed to claim 3rd place in their first heat with a time of 2:07.38 - good enough for a berth in the Open A final. We tried an all-male line-up for the A final (and changed the steers person for some reason...) Despite these changes, 22 Yahoos finished last (5th) in the A final with an impressive time of 2:06.90; one tenth of a second behind the 4th place finishers!

2000 m D1 Open (race #37): A rainy, 9-boat, 7-turn, gutsy 2000 m race in increasingly violent waters capped the day. The starting position was 5th based on the 500 m results and a 7th place finish was obtained with a time of 11:05.95. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the prettiest race for 22 Yahoos with a few boats overtaking them and a LOT of water collected in the boat during the multiple turns. Most paddlers did have fun however...

Day 2 Summary:

200 m D1 Mixed (races #7 and #25): No sleeping in for Crew Yahoo! First race time was 0:50.77. An excellent time but we missed the A final by one tenth of a second! Something odd happened in the 200 m mixed B final. Crew Yahoo appeared to have finished third with a time of 0:51.91, but the team was awarded a hefty 1 second penalty for not being in the center of the lane! Even after an inconclusive video review, the end result was fifth place in the B finals with a “time” of 0:52.91.

500 m D1 Open (races #17 and #33): 22 Yahoos' first race was one of two 200 m qualifier races. With a time of 0:50.55 and a 5th place finish, 22 Yahoos were not able to qualify for the Open A final. This led to an exciting Open B final in which 22 Yahoos dominated from the start and crossed the finish line with a very respectable time of 0:50.06. A famous video of this race is available on Youtube ( - the best part was when the boat was greeted at the dock with not one but two flats of beer for the victory!

2000 m D1 Mixed B Final (race #37):  To cap off this intense weekend of racing, CDBC Crew Yahoo was seeded in the mixed B final for the 2000 m race based on previous race results. Starting 9th out of 10 boats, Crew Yahoo maintained their place throughout the race for a second place finish with a very good time of 10:39.44 - somehow we avoided all penalties!

Overall Results:

Officials use a fancy points system that cumulates through all the events (200m, 500m and 2000m) Crew Yahoo got 11th overall out of 20 mixed D1 teams and 22 Yahoos got 6th overall out of 9 open D1 teams.


As you know, what happens in Montreal stays in Montreal. Although it has to be mentioned that for the first time in team dinner history, someone installed a stripper pole in the middle of the dining room. What happened after that is pretty unbelievable… Might have to come to the wrap-up party to see some photos?

Until next time, your planners, Charles and Lindsay!


2016 Lethbridge Festival Recap

Hey Crew

Hope everyone had an excellent long weekend and a good start to Stampede!  It was admittedly nice after two big weekends of paddling to take a break from practice and meet up with a bunch of you at Aussie Rules.  Thanks to everyone who came out and to Shannon for organizing...

On to Lethbridge recap.  Where to start?!  In my roughly 8 years of paddling with CDBC I've never encountered bad weather in Lethbridge (to be fair, I missed the one year it poured) so you can imagine my chagrin when we pulled in Friday to lots of wind and rain.  Not the best way to start a weekend. In addition to the poor weather, it seemed like many paddlers were either just coming down with or getting over colds.  Yuck! 

Despite the double dose of cold(s) we persevered... 

Yahoo Angels paired up with Catch 22 to form C22 Angels.  It was a match made in heaven!  Despite never having paddled together, the ladies hit together and came out strong right from the very first race.  The boat felt really great and comments from the shoreline were that we "looked awesome" and "timing was excellent"!  C22 Angels efforts earned them a Gold in the Women's A Division with a time of 2:19.22.  The next closest time was 2:27.39 - so quite an impressive lead.   

Crew Yahoo was a bit shakier out of the gate.  At first, we had some trouble nailing our starts.  We were still fast enough to be 3rd after the first day of racing and get into in the A Division semi finals.  We maintained that 3rd place position moving into the A Division Final but it was a real dog fight to secure a silver medal! Got Gainz edged us out of gold by roughly a second (Gainz 2:08.41; Yahoo 2:09.38).  Catch 22 was also hot on our tail in the final (2:10.21) followed very closely by Top Made Black (2:10.51).  Only 2 seconds between the 1st and 4th place team...congratulations to everyone on a well-fought battle!

...I forgot to mention that the sun came out intermittently on Race Day 2 but really shone in time for us to convene for a post-racing beverage and to enjoy the medal presentation.  

Hopefully everyone that attended enjoyed the festival. 

Stay healthy - a little over a month to go before Calgary!  




2016 Vancouver Festival Recap

Hello team!
It's hard to believe our first two festivals of the season have already come and gone! The team headed off to Vancouver from June 18-19 to race against the top teams in Western Canada and the US at the Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival. The competition there is always tough and it was a great opportunity for members of the competitive crew and some of the club's newer paddlers to experience racing against these top teams.
The team did well, paddling through the rain and cold to bring home two medals: a bronze in the Visiting Championship (a nice reward for an 8AM race) and a silver in the Competitive B final, for a 10th place finish overall out of 95 Mixed Division teams. Pretty impressive! Our fastest time of the weekend was 2:05:61, with a crew of 10 women and 10 men. We capped off the weekend with a 10th place finish in the always exciting 2000m Guts & Glory race.
In addition to the tough competition, we had an equally tough time deciding which of the many delicious Vancouver restaurants to eat at! Good thing we had all that racing to work it off!
All in all, this was a great festival and an awesome way to start off the season; thanks to everyone who helped make it possible. Now that we've gotten a taste of competition (and motivation to beat a certain team from Edmonton), I'm looking forward to what the rest of the season has in store.
Paddles up!



2015 Season Recap

You may have noticed we did not send out any festival recaps this season, which is usually part of our process.  I don’t know how many people read the summaries but some have mentioned it’s a nice way of keeping our teammates in the loop about how we did and also fun to re-live some of those intense racing moments!


I’ve sat at my computer a couple of times this week with the intention of writing a summary of the season and admittedly I’m finding it overwhelming. 


This was a season of firsts for the Calgary Dragon Boat Club and I am hopefully not alone in my thinking that our few short months of paddling seemed to go by very quickly - likely attributable to the large volume of paddling we did in the early months. 


April saw 17 of our members travel down to Florida for the Bow Wave Dragon Boat Camp.  It was a rigid schedule – yoga at sunrise, a team paddling session followed by one-on-ones, stretching, a coaches talk and then an afternoon team paddling session.  I think everyone that attended found at least one aspect of technique to focus on, based on the video reviews.  This is also where “two feet forward” and some of those coaching terms we’ve heard so frequently this season came from – “more hang” “find the glide” and “press”.   (They don’t just make things up on the fly, well, except maybe Kevin…JK)


We were lucky with the weather this year and we got on the reservoir at the beginning of May. This set us up for a 2-day training camp in Edmonton and a 1-day regatta in Calgary.  Based on the feedback, both of these events were extremely well received by our club (and other clubs) and I anticipate it could turn into something that occurs annually.  It was also great to practice in side-by-sides with two CDBC crews on Tuesday nights in those first couple of months.  Having a boat right beside you in practice makes it much easier in those neck and neck race situations – and we did find ourselves in some tight heats this year! 


Vancouver was our first festival this season and the first (only) opportunity for the crew heading to Nationals to try and put our race together against some very tough competition.  I think we did very well at meeting our race targets and we were rewarded with our first sub-2 minute time of the season in the Competitive A Final (1:56.745).   We also won the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office Visiting Cup and finished a grueling Guts and Glory race (10:31.197) without any major mishaps.


It’s a shame Nationals had to follow so quickly on Vancouver’s heels but a few short days later we were off!  Our first appearance on such a competitive stage – it felt pretty surreal to be there after months of planning and hard work.  We were very consistently “not last” and it was a humbling experience to race against so many incredibly strong teams.  I’d like to highlight that we did set some CDBC records at Nationals – we raced our best time ever in 200m (00:47.56) and although sub-2 remained elusive for 500m we did have our fastest time ever on a true 500m course, in freshwater, with 10 women and 10 men (2:00.35).   Finally, we had a club best for the 2k (9:56. 83)! This earned us a round of celebratory shots later that night from the coaches!  In all, Nationals was a great experience for CDBC – with a little more hard racing experience and a longer pre-race season, I think we might have found ourselves in the middle of the pack instead of in the bottom half (14 out of 18).  I look forward to seeing what our team can do when we go back in 2017. 


After Nationals, I think a few people were “paddled out” but it was a great opportunity to re-group, welcome some new paddlers to the club/sport and start ramping up for the final weeks of the season.  Before we knew it, Calgary Festival was upon us…


This year our rosters for Calgary were the tightest I can recall ever being for paddlers and it took some real magic on the part of the planners and the coaches to make sure we had paddlers in all the seats.  We did not have any spares and there was some creative boat hopping between our drummers/steers and paddlers.  I am so proud of Yahoo Evolution for getting into the A-Division (and they did it with 2-fewer guys than Crew Yahoo) and predict it will only be a matter of time before our two mixed crews end up meeting in the A-final!  Crew Yahoo came up just short of gold for the 3rd straight year – but it was some very close racing against EDBRC Molasses (2:03.85 vs. 2.03:48).  Yahoo Angels scored some gold (2:19.98) and a bigger target to replace their wings ;)


And then – Penticton.  What can I say?! The September festival always ends up being my favorite, partially because we are performing so well but also because the season is winding down and we can let loose a little bit.  This festival was no exception – both teams had some of their fastest times of the season (Yahoo – 1:57.33 and Angels – 2:14.96; nevermind that the course was only 470m long and thanks to the coaches for so quickly pointing that out…).  We raced hard and Yahoo walked away with gold and Red Angels with silver!  The rest of the festival highlights cannot be reported here but if you ever want to know what happens on a Sunday after an out-of-town race you’ll have to sign-up…


That’s all for now - the season highlights as I recall them!   

Hopefully enough sunshine and memories to hold you over until next May.

Until then, 

Paddles up!