Weekend Impressions of the European Club Crew Championships

Observations from a boat marshal and paddler...

16 August 2007 - 
In spite of the less than ideal circumstances encountered at the race venue in St. Petersburg, it actually says a lot of good things about the quality of EDBF races in general: hosts for EDBF races have been delivering such good quality venues that both paddlers and officials alike have come to expect a very high standard of race facilities. St Petersburg was a sharp reminder that not all hosts can provide the same quality of venue, while the excellent quality of the competition, crews and dedicated officials are a reminder that the basic necessities for good racing were nevertheless present in St. Petersburg.

As an English teacher in real life, I was impressed by the drummer from Volga Dragons (Rus), Dacha, she said her name was. She could speak very good English and was a very poised and polite young lady. There was an energetic young boy with OK Smoki (Pol) who, when his Dad was around became very shy and quiet, but when Dad wasnt nearby, was full of questions and comments in very carefully phrased English. It was lovely to talk with these young people and share their enthusiasm for the sport.

How do race officials unwind after a
championship? With a friendly race,
of course!The " IDBF Allstars"
on Sunday evening.
Did you know that St. Petersburg has two airports for international arrivals and two Hotel St. Petersburgs? Nils Asmussen, IDBF race official does. He arrived at the other airport, expecting to be picked up and ended up having to take a cab to the hotel but the cab dropped him off at the wrong Hotel St. Petersburg! He then went to the race site, hoping to find someone who could help him out but other than cement trucks whizzing by, no-one was there. Six hours later and many hundreds of rubles poorer in cab fare, he eventually made it to the correct hotel.

Victor Kisselev has now become an official graduate of the School of Hard Knocks when he was badly let down by the local organizers (Victor is based in Vladivostok, more than 6000km from St Petersburg) and where some people might have been tempted to bail out when the going got tough, Victor stuck it out and didnt jump ship.

In spite of everything, there are a lot of good things to be said of Victors character in that he kept going and saw things through to the end. He kept trying to make it better day by day and indeed it was. It was a hard lesson learned, but it will be a valuable lesson for Victor and the Russian DBF.

Venice s shirts were much admired by the
ladies from Viking! Or was it really the
shirt she was admiring?
If there was an award for most unique uniform of the weekend it would have to go to OK Smoki from Poland with their orange camouflage tops. In all my years as a paddler and race official, their shirts really stood out from the rest!

It was an unforgettable Championship that showed how even under less than ideal conditions, dragon boat racing is still a tremendous sport done by wonderful people! In spite of the facilities not being up to expectations, the crews attending the races certainly were excellent and enjoyed their races.

The Russian clubs were strong as usual and the clubs from the Czech Republic combined class with excellent racing quality. The folks from GBs Masters International were pure ladies and gentlemen but had it tough on the water against strong teams from Germany, Russia and Poland.

The senior teams from Poland and Hungary gave evidence to the phrase "Im not getting older, Im just getting better." Norways Club Oslo Dragons were strong and friendly (not to mention good-looking in a red-headed Viking sort of way).

The Italian clubs showed style both on the water and in their impressive black uniforms. One could also see that the German clubs are fighting hard to re-gain their former supremacy on the waters.

Most impressive was the performance by the Junior Crews from Victoria and Volga Dragons in the Junior Mixed 2000m races. They started in the same heat as the Senior Mixed teams but never let the Seniors gain on them. Dont look back - the future of dragon boat racing is ahead of us all.

Kim Beckwith, boat marshal


Facebook posts
  • European Dragon Boat Federation European Dragon Boat Federation
    December 9 2017 04:11pm
    Looking for a festive dragon boat picture if anyone has one we can use for the Facebook page header photo. Please send to secretary@edbf.org.
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  • European Dragon Boat Federation European Dragon Boat Federation
    December 7 2017 07:49pm
    As Christmas is fast approaching we want to know that one dragon boating accessory you could not do without? Please share your ideas below.
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  • European Dragon Boat Federation European Dragon Boat Federation
    December 5 2017 08:51am
    European Dragon Boat Federation added 5 new photos.
    At the EDBF Convention in Belgrade we decided to run a competition to design a new logo for the EDBF. We would be most grateful if you would share this message with your dragon boat family as we may have some budding designers out there. Alternatively go to our Facebook page "European Dragon Boat Association" and share our message. All logos are to be submitted to secretary@edbf.org by 31/12/17.
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    • Olga Chelesheva
      Olga Chelesheva As for me, I like the old one. It looks great on the medals :)
      December 5 2017 08:51am
    • European Dragon Boat Federation
      European Dragon Boat Federation Times keep changing and innovation is a regular feaure of our mission. We love the old EDBF logo. It was designed by our friend Fabio Masi in 1990. Today we should have new ideas, all togheter with the Dragon Boat Community of Europe, starting from a new Logo to represent our wish to achieve progress and promote innovation for a rejuvenation of our sport and for a susteinable long term growth. Claudio Schermi EDBF President Elect
      December 5 2017 08:51am
    • Roel Dev
      Roel Dev Hello sir/Madam. This is my entry to the European Dragon Boat Fedreration Logo Design Contest, I want t to join the contest, I hope you like. I ask permission to join. it,thank you very much.. I am from asia a,filipino.....
      December 5 2017 08:51am
  • European Dragon Boat Federation European Dragon Boat Federation
    December 4 2017 03:09pm
    Competition Time! Your chance to win a personalised carbon paddle. The EDBF logo is now 27 years old and is in need for an update. We are therefore asking you the paddler to come up with a new design that will show that our traditional sport is changing into the modern era along with the world of sport itself. Please read the briefing document carefully which can be found here. http://www.edbf.org/news.php?item=238. All logos are to be submitted to secretary@edbf.org by 31/12/17. Get those creative thinking juices flowing!
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  • European Dragon Boat Federation European Dragon Boat Federation
    December 3 2017 08:24pm
    European Dragon Boat Federation shared Federazione Italiana Dragon Boat's post.
    CHRISTMAS CUP - ROME EUR 2017, 17th December. Classic race at the end of the year, this time takes on a different value than usual, because we would like to emphasize how the sport, and in particular the discipline of the Dragon Boat, is proposed as a sample of integration between genders and respect for women. There is no team sport like ours, 22 people in a boat are equivalent to two football teams, but the important element is that men and women compete together in the same crew in the specialties of the Mixed and the Open. Today, violence against women and gender discrimination, unfortunately, is in front of everyone... like other social problems such as "stalking" and cyber bullying. I am convinced that sport can play an important role in this issue, as in many others, and that is why the Italian Dragon Boat Federation, which I am honored to be president, launches this appeal with the collaboration of associations that have always take up this serious phenomenon and invite everyone to participate in the event that will be held at the EUR lake in Rome on Sunday 17 December The races will start at 9.00 am in the lake at the Laghetto facing the Piscina delle Rose At the end of the event, around 1.00 pm, there will be the awards and commemorative ceremonies. Antonio De Lucia President Federazione Italiana Dragon Boat
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