Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another successful season

The Killarney Dragon Boat Racing Club (KDBRC), racing as the Clarkdale Jetta Dragons for 2012, had a terrifically successful season. Though the season started late because of the on-going labour dispute which saw teachers unable to coach high school teams, this lost time was more than made up by the support of our sponsor Clarkdale Motors of Vancouver and our coaches. Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to change our coach part way through the season, but both coaches proved to be knowledgeable and committed members of our team.

We participated in three regattas. The Junior Regatta on May 5, the Dragon Zone 500 on June 3 and the Rio Tinto Alcan International Dragon Boat Festival on the weekend of June 18/19. At the Junior regatta, which features only local teams, we placed 5th in the ‘B’ final, while at the Dragon Zone 500, a mixed adult/youth regatta, we placed 2nd in the ‘D’ final.

The Rio Tinto Alcan is a premier world-class event featuring approximately 180 Vancouver and international teams. Youth teams are placed in separate heats and feature some of the best youth teams in the world. We were proud to paddle into the ‘B’ division final, where we placed 8th, a mere six seconds behind the 1st place team. This was one of the closest youth finals I have ever seen and showed how well the Jetta Dragons did as a team—more than half of whom had never paddled before this year.

The season finished with a terrific team dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown.

I am incredibly grateful to Clarkdale Motors of Vancouver for their sponsorship and support. Also thanks to our coaches Precidia Tom and Michelle Ta for their time, care, and expertise in getting us to an elite level in such a short time. But mostly I want to thank the students of Killarney for their commitment and their passion. It is an honour and privilege to work with such wonderful young people.

This season could not have happened without the generous support of our community sponsor Clarkdale Volkswagen on Main St. in Vancouver. I hope that this partnership can continue and that it has proven to be as fruitful to Clarkdale as it has been for the KDBRC.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the 2012 season such a success.

Paddles Up!
Stuart Mackinnon
Killarney Dragon Boat Racing Club

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Heartbreak Finish at Alcan

In Dragon Boat racing six seconds can be the difference between triumph and heartbreak. Six seconds. That was the difference between first and eighth place in the Junior "B" division final. The Clarkdale Jetta Dragons paddled their hearts out and accomplished so much, but at the end of the day six seconds divided us from the leaders. Here is the result of the final:

1st –L5/2:19.680/ PW Hornets
Strathcona Youth Dragons
3rd-L2/2:20.800/ Lotus Juniors
4th-L3/2:21.360/ FCRCC Eternal Griffins
5th-L4/2:21.590/ West Ender Water Benders
6th-L6/2:22.910/ Mission VT
7th-L7/2:23.570/ Kitsilano Water Dragons
8th-L8/2:25.840/ Clarkdale Jetta Dragons

Congratulations to a fine team: Alan Zheng; Alvin Wu; Andrew Tsia (Captain); Annie Lee; Annie Lei; Colin Omagari; Eric Lam; Jason Ip; Jasper Nidoy; Julia Zhou; Kavita Padhiar; Keith Kitagawa; Mandy Wan (drummer); Matteo Smith (steers); Natalie Lim; Peter Nguyen; Pretty Phung; Rachel Cheung; Ralph Soriano; Ryan Zhou; Samantha Wong (Captain); Tim Mo (drummer); Vivian Wong; Winsey Chui

You are all heroes! Paddles up!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

It’s a water sport–enjoy it!

June 16, 2012 via
It’s a water sport–enjoy it!
The Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival brings paddlers on False Creek

Why not enjoy the 24th Annual Dragon Boat Festival in all this wet weather?

The 24th Annual Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival has begun under grey skies and intermittent rain showers down at False Creek near Science World. One hundred and eighty teams from Canada, the USA, and far away countries are here to enjoy Vancouver' hospitality and some fine competition. Youth, women’s, men’s and mixed teams compete for medals and bragging right. There are cancer survivor teams, teams with vision impairments, teams with mental health issues, recreational teams and the best competitive teams in the world. Mostly they compete for the camaraderie and the pure joy of an amazing water sport.

This year because of the on-going labour dispute my high school team is racing under new colours and with a corporate sponsor. Clarkdale Volkswagen (Main & 29th) stepped up to sponsor us as the Jetta Dragons. It is great that local companies like Clarkdale Motors help kids stay safe and learn new skills.

There is something for everyone at the Dragon Boat Festival with live music, food and a variety of specialty vendors. For adults there is also a beer garden.  So come on down and join the fun. Public transit is easy. Take the Millennium or Expo lines to Main st./Science world and walk across the street.

Some might complain about the weather here in Vancouver but it won’t be a dragon boat racer. Dragon Boat racing is a wet wild and wonderful workout. As the teams come off the water soaked and smiling you can always hear someone say: Hey it's a water sport!
- post by Stuart Mackinnon

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Silver Finish in the Dragon Zone 500

 Congratulations to the Clarkdale Jetta Dragons for a 2nd place finish in the Dragon Zone 500 'D' division final! The team has really come together this year. Hard practices under our terrific Coach Michelle are paying off. A real team effort today and a solid performance has payed off. Well done Jetta Dragons!

On to Alcan on the 16th and 17th of June. Hope to see you there!