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Dragon boat racing

Dragon boat racing

Posted by mycrazyjourney on Feb 15, 2019 7:37 pm

I am trying to decide if I want to try dragon boat racing, for newbies... such a big decision since I am not that athletic and not a fan of canoes. It sounds like so much fun my only hesitation is that it requires everyone to set aside 3 days a week. Anyone who has any great insight in this I would love some information. Thanks Therese

Re: Dragon boat racing

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Feb 15, 2019 9:00 pm

Hello mycrazyjourney‍ Therese

Great question. I am sure you will get some good responses but I will say I have a couple of friends who joined Abreast in a boat after their treatment. One of them had never really done anything like that and now loves it! I took dragon boat lessons and really enjoyed it myself but as you say, I have a lot of interests and didn't want to dedicate 3 days a week to one thing. I think the season is about 4 months so might be worth trying one season.

Let us know what you decide to do


Re: Dragon boat racing

Posted by Kims1961 on Feb 15, 2019 11:27 pm

mycrazyjourney‍ ....I've never tried it but have heard so many wonderful stories of women who have done this....from beginners to advanced "oars person".   ashcon‍ is an avid dragon boater, so I've tagged her for her awesome insight.

Let us know what you decide🚣


Re: Dragon boat racing

Posted by Brighty on Feb 16, 2019 12:00 am

mycrazyjourney‍  hi!! I believe  hkjudy‍  is also an avid dragon boat racer too.   

Re: Dragon boat racing

Posted by hkjudy on Feb 16, 2019 1:35 am

mycrazyjourney‍ I absolutely love dragon boat racing.  I, too, was never really sport-minded and I was worried that I’d be terrible at it and/or  dislike it.  But after just a few practices and most especially after the first race - I was hooked.  The best thing about it is the amazing closeness of the team.  My team has been going for 20 years and I just joined last year but I was welcomed with open arms.  We have many women in their 70s and 80s (the oldest is 89) and I’d say the youngest is probably late 40s but it doesn’t matter...everyone pulls their weight and we have great fun.  The races (“festivals”) are a blast and the “carnation ceremonies” for breast cancer survivors held at most festivals are incredibly moving.

We practice twice a week from April till the end of Sept on Vancouver Island - probably a shorter season elsewhere.  If we can’t make practices or festivals we just give the team captain a heads up - everyone has other things going on in their lives. Cancer survivor teams aren’t doing it specifically to win, we do it for the comraderie, exercise, and fun.

I recommend you just go along to a few practices to check it out.  I bet you’ll be hooked :)
Judy (Nanoose Bay, BC)

Re: Dragon boat racing

Posted by mycrazyjourney on Feb 16, 2019 10:01 am

Judy, thank you for the great information I love that all ages are doing this, make me smile. I just finished chemo (yesterday) when is a good time to go for a practice ride. Our city has a festival in June which I am going to watch, should I inquire then or shoud l I wait until next season. What is the appropriate time to wait after chemo, I still have treatment for herceptine until November should I wait until next year??? Thanks Therese

Re: Dragon boat racing

Posted by ashcon on Feb 16, 2019 10:07 am

Hi Therese mycrazyjourney‍ 

Like hkjudy‍ I just joined my BC dragon boat team last year and don't regret it one bit.  It had only been 2 months since finishing radiation and only 5 months since my bilateral mastectomy when I stepped into the boat last June, so needless to say I was not in 'strong' form.
That didn't matter, though, as my teammates welcomed me with open arms, the coach was great, and I think my recovery from treatment was much better and quicker as a result of dragon boating. 

My team practices 2x/week and takes part in 3 regattas in the 5-month season of May to September. My team also offers two "try it" sessions at the start of each season for newbies who are not sure they want to commit.  Find out if your team offers such a thing.

Last year, my team, and 120 other teams from 18 countries around, took part in the International Breast Cancer Paddling Commission's Festival in Florence, Italy.
If you want a sneak peak of the comradery, exercise, fun, and what it means to be a part of a BC dragon boat team, check out this video.  I cry every time I watch it.
2018 IBCPC Dragon Boat Festival - Florence Italy

I think it's very cool that this whole thing about dragon boating for breast cancer survivors started in Canada in 1996 as a result of a physician in BC who challenged the idea of rigorous upper body exercise being bad for breast cancer survivors.  He proved everyone wrong, and it's now a worldwide movement.
The next Festival will be in 2022 somewhere else in the world. (Like the Olympics!) Rumour has it that New Zealand has put a bid in to host the next one :)  Perhaps this is an opportunity for you to do some travelling?!?!
I missed going to Italy because I joined the team too late, but I fully intend to catch the next festival. Maybe I'll see you there! 

Re: Dragon boat racing

Posted by hkjudy on Feb 16, 2019 5:29 pm

Hi ashcon‍ - it’s too bad you couldn’t go to Florence, I was too much of a newbie too.  Did your team go to Penticton?  That was a fun weekend!  I love the various team names - mine’s Abreast of Life - what’s yours?
Judy (Nanoose Bay, BC)

Re: Dragon boat racing

Posted by ashcon on Feb 16, 2019 5:41 pm

Hi Judy, hkjudy‍ 

I'm in Ontario, so no, we didn't go to Penticton ☹ -  but I would love to! I love your team's name!  My team is called the Dragon Flyers.