Welcome, our eighth season, the June, July and August news 2015
Bank holiday exploration
30th. August, 2015
Time was spent poking the dragon's nose into inlets and river outlets looking for the wildlife.
With the support boat in attendance the crew took a straight line to Low Wood acrooss Windermere and made use of Paddlers for Life's new floating pontoon to disembark.
In the afternoon a smaller crew crossed to Wray Castle jetty while the wakeboarders performed at Low Wood.
Chris helmed the boat whilst teaching the basic stroke techniques. The visitors from the University of the Third Age also experienced race starts. They brought with them sunshine and we were able to avoid the worst of the wind by sheltering in the bay shoreline.
With the water temperature at 17 degrees a small crew of twelve prepared to rehearse some safety procedures.
The exertion of paddling in wet suits was interrupted by various 'problems'. First we lost our helm Chris overboard and paddled back to get him on board. Then the rear paddling pair practised steering the boat with their paddles in order to learn to steer the boat in the absence of a helm. After some more paddling we had the second misfortune to lose the drummer, Paul, overboard.
Finally the dragon boat was filled with water until it sank to the gunwhales.
All the paddlers experienced being out of the boat in the water and then later returning to the boat as it was baled out.
All this was to help develop safety procedures and to review what works best. Thanks to all those who participated and those who observed from the shore. Thanks also to Paul for his guidance and participation and Megan and Rob in the support boat.
Roz helmed while Keni coached some activities to remind paddlers of the paddling stroke elements. This was followed by some race start practices and then sequences of three sixty stroke race sequences with a twenty stroke light paddling 'breather' in between. Paddlers did several of these three 'race sequence' routines to build up race fitness.
In the afternoon Peter helmed while Keni helped paddlers find their lion's heart, tiger's strength or cheetah's speed during these triple sixty stroke fitness builders. This effective idea helps paddlers find that extra effort needed when it feels like all energy and stamina has been used. We finished with a tug of war between the two halves of the team which culminated in everyone getting wet as usual.
It was a very useful day of training and coaching. Thanks to Keni for being constantly inventive in trying ideas to bring the best out of Paddlers for Life paddlers.
Roz helmed taking us through some stroke practice set pieces and race starts and also some 200m race set pieces. Lynn also took the opportunity to get the feel for helming standing up at the back and doing some basic manouvres on occasionally choppy water from the passing wakeboarder.
It was good to focus on some 200m races in preparation for the September regatta.
Keni coached two long paddling sessions which helped newer paddlers learn the elements of the stroke. More experienced paddlers were able to focus on the less effective aspects of their paddling stroke and fine tune its efficiency. Tasks included some sustained paddling, race set pieces and training techniques which will stand us in good stead as the regatta approaches. All this was done with Keni's customary patience, enthusiasm and humour.
I'm sure everyone went away feeling the benefits and effects of the hard paddling they had done!
This brilliant group of people from Paddlers for Life Windermere really showed what wonderful people make up the cancer survivors and supporters at Paddlers for Life. We had fantastic day with lots of laughter and fun.
These are the members who braved thirty muddy, wet, sometimes ice cold obstacles with a bit of fire and electricity on the way over a 10k course. We climbed and crawled and laughed.
It just shows what makes Paddlers for Life such a great organisation for friendship and mutual support.
The decision was made to cancel paddling due to strong winds and the forecast of increasingly strong gusts.
Jo and Keith visited to present a cheque for £410 to Paddlers for Life Windermere from a fundraiser held by their Masonic Lodge. Although paddling was cancelled they hope to return another time to experience the joys of dragon boat paddling.
Paddlers for Life UK announce NW Cancer Survivorship Conference.
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A team of supporters and survivor paddlers from Paddlers for Life Manchester and Worcester Busters borrowed Lucy at Low Wood for the event.
Members from Paddlers for Life Windermere and 'The Three River Serpents' British Dragonboat Association (BDA) league team in Durham paddled Artemis Phyllis.
'Lucy' came in first followed a few minutes later by 'Phyllis' with a time of 2 hours 15 minutes.
More pictures in the gallery.
They joined an international 'paddling party' celebrating this milestone. Abreast in a Boat in Canada were the first breast cancer dragon boat team arising from a research project with Dr. Don McKenzie twenty years ago and on June 13th. over one hundred teams on five continents celebrated this anniversary with them.
Teams celebrated across the world with Abreast in a Boat, the first breast cancer survivor team.
Paddlers for Life had to share the Low Wood watersports centre with the Great North Swim but that meant that a crew who were filming the event for Channel 4 took the opportunity to get some footage of the team paddling on Windermere.
Of course you can't have a celebration without a cake and paddlers reflected on those origins for breast cancer survivor dragon boat teams sharing common experiences with paddlers around the world.
More pictures in the gallery.
Eye dotting is a traditional part of the dragon boat festival to 'awaken the dragons' that protect dragon boat paddlers on the water.
Helen retold the story of the poet Qu Yuan who is at the centre of this tradition. Peter and Nick dotted the eyes of the dragon and food was thrown on the water to appease the fish and water spirits. 'Hell money' was burnt and then paddlers took to the dragon boats to drive them forward and beat their paddles on the water to frighten away evil spirits.
It all ended with a big 'Thank you!' to the supporters.
Cardboard Dragon Boat
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This event is co-hosted by Paddlers for Life, UK and English Lakes Hotels.