Fort Langley Canoe Club’s Fast and Furious Lite Dragonboat Team recently returned from the PanAm Club Crew Championship at the Welland International Flatwater Centre in Ontario, with a racing experience that brought home big smiles and medals.
PanAmCC, an international Small Boat Championship (small Boat equals 10 paddlers, one steersperson and one drummer, and had crews paddling in the latest model 10-man BUK’s.
“These highly responsive and tippy boats challenged the FnF Lite team who had never paddled in that boat before,” reported team captain Carolyn Jeffreys.
Despite the steep learning curve, FnF Lite rose to the occasion for each of their seven races (3x500m, 3x200m and a 2000m race).
Steersperson Alison Goertzen and Drummer Barb Ydenberg worked in tandem with the strokes to line the boat up for some challenging cross wind starts.
Ben Lee, who has coached FnF to two Canadian national events and World Club Crew Championships in Hong Kong (2012) and Italy (2014), stated that “the 10-man division is growing in popularity and we’re looking to send more teams to the next PanAmCC Championships, scheduled for Puerto Rico in 2017.”
Competing in the Senior Women’s B division (50-plus), FnF placed on the podium three times, achieving a bronze medal for each of the three distances.
Jeffreys reports that, despite the pressure and challenges of competing at an international event, including adapting to a different starting system and boat, “team spirit and determination remained high throughout.”
Lee and team manager John Spencer, ensured that the FnF Lite paddlers were able to focus upon their race performance, Jeffreys noted.
“It was a great team effort and we couldn’t have done it without them,” Jeffreys said.
Lee is also Coach to FLCC Titanium (senior women’s C) which is preparing for the Club Crew World Championships, scheduled in Australia, 2016.
The hat trick medal winning Fast and Furious Lite team includes: Shar Brunje, Mare Cox, Alison Goertzen, Sue Hillier, Carolyn Jeffreys, Linda Li, Lynda Matilda, Linda Meyers, Audrey Milne, Meg Puffer, Ingrid Rennie, Maureen Spencer, Allie Wilkins, Barb Ydenberg, Ben Lee and John Spencer.