Dragon Boat Experiences

I don't steer anymore, but for a couple years it was a fun and unique experience. Part of the fun was checking the local papers and YouTube after an event to see if you see you. This video is a collection of pictures and video from newspapers, websites, and people's YouTube posts that just happen to include me.


(Best viewed full-screen.)

The Racine Rotary Club held the Great Midwest Dragon Boat Festival on Lake Michigan. I had never heard of it when my Rotary Club sponsored a team which included me. There were 72 teams, food, drink and clothing vendors, live bands, a parade and an award ceremony. I paddled and thought it would be nice to steer for our team.

Steerspeople training was in Florida, there are very  few Steerspeople  in the Midwest so the trip was paid if you committed to steer in the sponsor's festivals for a while. I could not go to Florida but did agree to steer festivals in exchange for local training.

Once trained I steered as many hours as possible. Weekly training sessions with travel teams, weekends spent training festival teams, and the festivals themselves. It got real comfortable back there. Its not that way for everyone and I can't name anyone I trained with that didn't drop out.

Steerspeople are still hard to find and event organizers fly them in from all over, Canada mostly. Paying a local Steersperson instead of flying one in from another country is a big savings. As a Rotarian I steered the Rotary charity events as a volunteer, saving them the expense of flying in a Canadian. Whatever that savings was, airfare, hotel, meals and salary, was my gift to the sponsoring club and those charities they supported.

I had some good teachers, two in particular, and measured my progress against them by starts and wins. New Steerspeople may get one start, or six. The Canadians and my teachers got 13, 14, and I got twelve. Soon we were equal on starts and winning was a good measurement. I won, a lot.

UW Oshkosh Fall Fest was my favorite event. I have college friends living there, a daughter that was going to school there, friends running the historic theater, and UW Oshkosh faculty (past and present) member friends.