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 wasn’t 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 didn’t jump ship.

In spite of everything, there are a lot of good things to be said of Victor’s 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 GB´s 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 "I´m not getting older, I´m just getting better." Norway’s 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. Don´t 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
    April 22 2018 06:47pm
    With the greatest respect to the lives lost in China, this is a timely reminder to us all. The EDBF recommends to all paddlers, coaches, clubs, Federations and private organisations not to underestimate the basic safety rules of our dragon boat sport. Wearing buoyancy aids can save lives and that when we make choices to go and paddle on the water we must be fully aware of the conditions, whether it be strong river flows or tidal currents and the ability of our crews to handle these conditions. "IF IN DOUBT, DON'T GO OUT!"
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  • European Dragon Boat Federation European Dragon Boat Federation
    April 22 2018 03:51pm
    Today we have received some very sad news for the dragon boat community worldwide. Somewhere in Southern China seventeen dragon boat paddlers have lost their lives during training. We don’t know who they are, what team they paddle with or what they were training for, but today our thoughts and condolences go out to all their families at this difficult time. On behalf of the EDBF Council and of the dragon boat community of Europe.
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  • European Dragon Boat Federation European Dragon Boat Federation
    April 22 2018 03:35am
    European Dragon Boat Federation added 5 new photos.
    Dear All I would like to take the opportunity of the SportAccord Convention 2018, to thank you all for the time and effort you put into submitting a new design proposal for the EDBF logo. Due to the quality of the submissions of which we received 14, it has taken the EDBF Council much longer to make a final decision. There was a number of really good ideas, but they were not always suitable for all mediums of print. From the initial 14, three were finally short listed with the preferred logo finally selected from Capture Design. The handover of ownership and intellectual property of the new EDBF Logo has been signed by the Capture Design Chairman Mr Li Dong and myself in a bi-languages version. The EDBF will release an Honor Certificate to Capture Design as the original designer/creator of the new EDBF Logo and will publish it on the EDBF web site, on the EDBF FB page and on the EDBF Instagram page. Thank you once again to all designers/creators submitting the 14 new logo proposals for the time invested into our sport. Claudio Schermi EDBF President
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  • European Dragon Boat Federation European Dragon Boat Federation
    April 20 2018 05:09am
    European Dragon Boat Federation added 10 new photos.
    Today the GAISF General Assembly and I wish to give an overview of what it is this sport organization, the Global Association of International Sport Federation (GAISF). Precious informations for the Dragon Boat Community of Europe. Claudio Schermi EDBF President
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  • European Dragon Boat Federation European Dragon Boat Federation
    April 19 2018 05:37pm
    “Unity”! It is the final message of Patrick Baumann, SportAccord and GAISF President at the closing event of SporAccord Convention 2018 in Bangkok. Tomorrow morning the Annual General Assembly of the GAISF (Global Association of International Sport Federations).
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  • European Dragon Boat Federation European Dragon Boat Federation
    April 19 2018 01:39pm
    European Dragon Boat Federation added 7 new photos.
    An intense day at the SportAccord 2018 in Bangkok...time for a pit stop at the recharging zone...
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  • European Dragon Boat Federation European Dragon Boat Federation
    April 18 2018 01:38pm
    World Beach Games, a new multisport events in the landscape of the sport. The World Beach Games will be held every two years following the edition being organised by ANOC in San Diego in 2019. The Sport Programme will be determined in agreement with the IOC and in principle no Olympic events will be included in future Beach Games. https://gaisf.org/gaisf-and-anoc-sign-landmark-partnership-agreement-on-the-future-of-world-beach-games/
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