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News Archive 2010
End of Season Ceilidh for Paddlers for Life

The ceilidh, organised by Barbara and Roger, was wonderful fun and a great success. Everyone enjoyed the beer available in this ideal venue at the Hawkshead Brewery Beer Hall and the music and dancing provided lively exercise to raise a thirst! What a fantastic selection of raffle prizes as well.

See more photos here in the gallery.

First IBCPC Skype conference.

Louisa and Sue prepare for their first IBCPC committee meeting over a Skype conference call to Canada, Australia and other places across the world. The new committee have issued the first news bulletin and are working on the criteria for the next International Dragon Boat Festival in 2014.

Visit to Pool of Life, Liverpool, 5th. December, 2010.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous, in fact we had sunshine as we were paddling down the docks (that's after battling down the M62 in thick fog) and we stopped off for coffee at Albert Docks. We had a good session, much like one of ours, before heading back to the centre about 12.15am. Lunch was very nice at the Marina Restaurant. We hit on their Christmas Do!! which I didn't realise until we got there. Pool of Life are keen for Paddlers for Life to join them once a month for a paddling session which will be one way of keeping us active during the winter months. Pool of Life have asked if they could join us early in the season up at Windermere.
Obviously we said that's not a problem!
Ann Johnson, Paddlers for Life
. (Photos by Dave Holt)

'Wear It Pink Day' race.
On October 29th, English Lakes Hotels organised a race between local media and a Paddlers for Life team
The wind was from the south but picked up from time to time to make conditions interesting.
The novice media crew picked up the skills quickly which made for an interesting second race!
See the total money raised for the Breast Cancer campaign here.
See the North West Evening Mail report.
See the Westmorland Gazette report.

Our First Paddlers Wedding.

Support Boat Training
More Paddlers for Life members took two days out last week to do the power boat training.
This Level 2 training is to get some experience in the basics of power boat handling.
Such an enjoyable experience. Eunice and Barbara couldn't wait to get extra experience on sunday.
The next step will be safety boat training.

Getting used to the controls and manoeuvering the boat. Fine control to touch the green buoy gently.
Use an anchor to control the boat. Proud paddlers show off their qualifications.

More photos of the power boat training.

It is late October and today Windermere was like a mill pond.

Paddlers took a trip down to the Wateredge Inn for coffees with David helming and putting us through a few familiar exercises.
Eunice and Helen took the opportunity of calm water and an uncrowded lake to try out helming though there were moored boats and a few buoys to keep them alert.

Paddlers for Life Scotland SE held a ‘Dragon Boat Fun Event’ to publicise the formation of their club,
on Sunday 3rd October at Port Edgar, South Queensferry.
Three River Serpents provided boats, support and training and some
Paddlers for Life, Windermere paddlers went along to give additional support.

What a venue for Paddlers for Life Scotland SE to use for their paddling.
And lots of local help to make the launch day a success with marina facilities, support boats, barbecue food, tombola and raffle.

Andrina Gordon dotted the eyes of the Dragon Boats to launch the event.

Ready smiles from Runners Up and Winners on the day.

Some familiar faces helped the novice crews.

More photos of the Paddlers for Life Scotland SE day.

Paddlers show of their new Crewsaver Buoyancy Aids complete with our name!

Who would be a drummer on a Dragon Boat?

Filming at Low Wood
Helen is one of a team of artists, engineers and health professionals who are working on a project to create a Dragon Boat simulator.
The project will use technology to allow people to try out Dragon Boat paddling.
Film footage is needed to create that 'authentic' on the water feel.

Two crews were out on the last sunday in September to be filmed by a crew from Sheffield Hallam. They were collecting footage to be used in a Dragon Boat simulator project to give a taste of Dragon Boat Paddling to people.

So who is in charge of the paddling?

Drummer or... helm?

Scott Dulson on camera and Mark Bull, sound and camera, collect sound and film footage.
They were directed by Virginia Heath.

Paddlers were put through their paces for a couple of hours or more. We paddled a range of drills, race starts and showed off our beautiful boats in the sunshine of this wonderful Windermere setting.

Kendal Torchlight

Paddlers for Life were brilliant, lively and glittery at the Kendal Torchlight Event on friday.
Lots of hard work by many members and supporters culminated in a wonderful
float featuring Artemis Diana with a colourful and enthusiastic crew.

Paddlers for Life won best charity float in Kendal Torchlight Carnival last Friday. Thanks to Suzanne and Muku working together on ideas and Paul arranging the transport and logistics of Dragon Boat moving as well as music, generators and lighting. Artemis Diana really looked the part on the float. A few people spent Friday readying the float which was frantically finished on arrival at the procession start by the usual team effort. The colours and lighting were wonderful. More paddlers and their families arrived to help. With paddlers dancing and 'paddling' on the float and more following the float giving out information leaflets. Paddlers for Life received an enthusiastic response and excited smiles and cheers.

Thank you to the road haulage firm, Gibsons of Kendal based at Mintsfeet Road South, Kendal,
who kindly loaned the use of their wagon and driver for the float. They also generously loaned a generator.
Their services helped make a special night for Paddlers for Life.

More photos from Kendal Torchlight.

Paddlers for Life entertained a group of young carers on Thursday 26th. August.

The young people were gathering in Windermere for a well deserved two day break.
Paddlers already had the two dragon boats on the water by the time our visitors arrived.
After a safety brief and paddling guidance, two boats set off with approximately twenty novice paddlers.

Peter and Paul, helming, took us through various paddling exercises with our guests striving to get the timing
and sustain their paddling! We paddled southwards down Windermere taking a break at Windermere St. Anne’s School boathouse.

A race between boats on the way back energised the young paddlers for a while along with a couple of songs.
What an interesting day in lovely calm weather and sunshine!

Paddlers for Life took our two boats down to Belle Isle on Sunday 22nd. August.
The weather was fresh but often sunny.

We started the journey with a Flowers on the Water Ceremony Some well-earned rest along the way as we paddled against the wind.
Helms eased the Dragon Boats through the moorings near Belle Isle Disembark at Belle Isle for some much needed sustenance.

More pictures of the Best Dressed Boat.

Lake District Boat Club best dressed boat competition.



Paddlers for Life entered the Lake District Boat Club best dressed boat competition on the 7th. August, 2010 at Bowness.
Hours of planning and a day of preparation saw paddlers approaching Bowness in an oriental extravaganza of a Dragon Boat.
Hooray!, we won the shield for the best team entry!! Go, Paddlers for Life.


Our two boats are securely lashed together thanks to Roger. The decorating begins on the Chinese theme of red and gold chosen by Barbara and Elaine.

Tent poles are hooped over the Dragon Boats to make a structure we can decorate.
The heads and seats are dressed. Tassles and small lanterns are attached and lights strewn along guy lines. We are all dressed up and paddling our way to Bowness.
Songs and 'Stroke-Tap' entertain us.
Final preparations. More lanterns, incense, more pendant lanterns on sticks and the lights are lit! We muster with other boats and then two tours of Bowness Bay receive a warm response from onlookers. Then we're off back to Low Wood courtesy of a tow from Karl and Harry.


Thanks to Elaine and Richard at Total Sailing, Bowness for their hospitality during the event.
Thanks to Eric at Dash Dynamics, Garstang who provides us with all our stickers.
Thanks to Elaine and Barbara who planned and organised our theme.
Thanks to everyone for the team effort that saw those plans come so successfully to fruition.


The group paddling at Loch Ken in south west Scotland who are forming under the 'Paddlers for Life' umbrella now have their web-site live.
They have some information about the group and photos of their inaugural taster event with the 3 River Serpents on view.
Click Paddlers for Life Scotland South West to see their plans for the future.


Three River Serpents and Paddlers for Life helped Paddlers for Life Scotland South West in their inaugural event.
The purpose was to bring a taste of Dragon Boat paddling to the people of Dumfries and Galloway and raise support
to create a group of paddlers on Loch Ken near Castle Douglas.


Paddlers for Life members wait while crews of new paddlers are briefed about safety and the basics of paddling. Three River Serpents prepare to give a group of paddlers their first taste of the fun of Dragon Boat paddling.
Two full boats in the morning and three full boats in the afternoon all with different crews eager to sample the delights of paddling and racing. Paddlers for Life take the opportunity in the break to paddle on Loch Ken thanks to the loan of a Three River Serpents boat.


At a recent 'Hey Peterborough' get together many paddlers shared memories of Paddlers for Life participation in the
International Dragon Boat Festival at Peterborough, Ontario.
Click this link to see Fran's scrapbook of some of her festival memories.


Sunday 25th July 2010


Whilst a large contingency of Paddlers for Life members attended the launch of Paddlers for Life Scotland SW at Loch Ken, fifteen other paddlers enjoyed a 4 hour paddle and picnic on Lake Windermere during the Windermere Air Show.

A warm welcome was extended to new members.




Solstice Paddle

Paddlers for Life had a great day for the Solstice Paddle.
Sunny conditions and a cooling following breeze allowed the paddlers to beat last year's time by 12 minutes finishing in a time of 1 hour 44 minutes.
This great success was preceded by a 'dotting of the eye' ceremony at Waterhead
with a song from the paddlers and a warm and affectionate speech from Keni about Paddlers for Life.
Three River Serpents dragon boat team participated with one of our boats finishing in 1 hour 27 minutes!

Canada IDBF
Paddlers for Life for Life have had a great couple of days at the International Dragon Boat Festival races in Peterborough, Ontario and did us proud.
In their first heat they came second with a time of 2 minutes 42 seconds.They also came second in their second heat with a time of 2 minutes 40 seconds.
They enjoyed a second day of races on sunday.
They thank everyone at home for the support they have had in getting them to this point.
They say we will all be with them in the boat when they race.


Well done Paddlers for Life!!


Click the Canada IDBF menu link to catch up with news of Paddlers for Life when they went Canada.

Singing Workshop 22 May 2010







'Paddlers for Life, confident that we will be selected as the UK entry for Eurovision 2010, after blowing them away in Peterborough! Winners all the way.' Photography by Robert Brandom


When we're in the boats, every one of us (regardless of age, health, strength or experience) is as strong as the whole team, and most importantly we're planning for the future and where that will take us.  2010 is our third paddling season and will be hugely significant as, for the first time, the team will be taking part in an international festival of dragon boating, taking place in Peterborough, Ontario (Canada).  This “Celebration of Life” is specifically an event for breast cancer survivors and will welcome an astonishing 65 crews from all over the world.  The flags will be flying, the excitement will be tremendous, and WE'LL BE THERE, representing Low Wood, Cumbria, the UK … and the many personal achievements that have got us all this far. 

It feels like we're going to the Olympics,

and it feels like we're going to be amazing!

So, with ?? days to go, how is it taking us today?


“I'm excited about where we're heading – we look good already!” 


“It was so good to see everyone together again.  A sense of anticipation you could touch.  Are we excited?  I think we are!” 


“Brilliant to be back on the lake in this stunning place, with the team working so well together.  A happy day!”


“It was a long winter; now we're back it feels like the first day of spring.”


“I'm so high on life as a survivor, grateful for such wonderful opportunities that being part of Paddlers for Life brings.  Thank you all.”

Training for the festival.

On Sunday 16th. May, paddlers had a great morning training in challenging winds. The paddling standard is really high, strength and stamina has come on in leaps and bounds.
In the afternoon we welcomed visitors from Dumfries and Galloway (and Action Man!)

The visitors intend to set up their own dragon boat paddling team with Paddlers for Life support. Some visitors had their first experience of paddling.

How many Action Men, and Action Women, can you see?

Then... the agony and the ecstasy!

Paddlers for Life members have another great day paddling on Windermere.



MacMillan Cancer Support have an article about Paddlers for Life in their Exchange Spring 2010 newsletter.

Our Cox Box has been tested in challenging coaching! No excuses for not knowing what is expected now.

Aly was the leader of a beautiful walk in wonderful weather in Great Langdale in march.


Abreast in a Boat to carry Olympic torch read about it here


Paddlers for Life feature in the Cumbria Community Foundation 2010 Calendar, the month of June,

copies of the calendar can be bought from Cumbria Community Foundation for £5, proceeds go towards Cumbria flood relief.


More photographs from the training sessions with Keni and the 3 River Serpents,

view them here

Magic paddling with the ultimate coaching tool



Once again, Paddlers for Life find themselves hugely privileged to be presented with
yet another unique opportunity.They just keep on appearing!
It gives Paddlers for Life immense pleasure to acknowledge the tireless and generous efforts of Dr Helen Crank and
Heather Driscoll, Sheffield Hallam University,in progressing our pre-season training both individually and as a team.

The story begins when Helen can hardly believe her good fortune to hear that Sports Engineer and colleague, Heather,
was involved in the technical design of an Australian data acquisition dragon boat paddle, the Excalibur by Merlin.
Heather was able to secure the loan of the Merlin Excalibur Paddle from the distributors,
Stylo Sports (www.stylosports.com) who are about to make the tool available for hire in the UK.

A weekend training camp on the River Wear, Durham (a big thank you to the 3 River Serpents) was arranged.
It was timely for Heather to join us in Durham...multi-tasking as the courier, demonstrator,
data analyst and co-paddler, to name but a few roles she so willingly took on!
There were mixed feelings of excitement and uncertainty among Paddlers for Life being the first crew
here in the UK to try the paddle out. And check, of course, on training progress.

A great weekend was had by all!
Paddlers for Life are grateful for the, albeit brief association with Merlin Advanced Dragon Boat Gear
and Paddles which produces equipment in support of Dragon's Abreast, Australia.
For more information on the Excalibur paddle, follow this link to the Data Products section of the Merlin website http://www.merlingear.com/excalibur.htm
We wondered if Dragon's Abreast had experience of the Excalibur in preparation for the 2010 Celebration of Life.



Paddlers are driven up the wall!


Click on Harry to see action on the Kendal Wall





17th January 2010 - Shirmas Farm, Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway

The trustees of Paddlers for Life were warmly welcomed by an inspired group of women in Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway.
During part of the meeting the formation and history of Paddlers for Life was discussed.


January 2010


Thought you might like to see photographs of the breakaway Wansfell team.
Ignoring team orders we continued with the original plan and headed for Wansfell.
The final summit push was in doubt until a magnificent lead by S P-J lead the
team safely, if a little breathless to the snow encased top.
The top was only halfway of course and the decent has its moments
as we wandered aimlessly over trackless fells. Eventually stumbling into Zeff's
for tea and stickies.
The temperature was a little low but at least the honour of the Dragon Boat Team was maintained.






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