Brighton Dragon Boat Club

Ahoy Paddlers - June Newsletter

15 Jun 2017 10:59 AM | Deleted user

“Our club is growing, with an ever growing membership standing at 94.  Welcome to new and long-standing members, alike. ”

It has been a very challenging spring with record rainfall and records high water levels on Lake Ontario,  and it seems like ages since our Open House in April, but our paddle program has gone ahead.  We lost some paddlers from last year but signed up 26 new members so far this year for a net increase of 8 paddlers.  Our membership now stands at 94!  Very nice!  Congratulations to JL and the recruitment team for a very successful Open House and Try It events, and welcome to all new members!

Dock Challenges

Keeping the dock stable has been a challenge this spring but Mike Hewton has managed to keep pace with the rising water levels by raising the dock 4 times to keep weight on the legs so it wouldn't be swept away.  Just look to the west of our club’s shed and see what happens when a dock loses its footing!  This has allowed all of our coaches, steers, and paddlers to go out since early May while Belleville and other local clubs didn't get in the water until June.  Speaking of boats in the water, special mention goes to our determined 6 a.m. paddlers steered by Doug Harrison and coached by Mary Robinson, Lucie Cossette and JL Neilsen for their high attendance and dedication.  Let's hope they stay on track and keep snapping those shots of sunrises for those of us still in bed at that hour.

Technical Sessions

These sessions led by Tricia Boehme have been well attended by members at all levels of the sport.  Paddlers always appreciate how Tricia breaks down the stroke so that they can understand and progress.  We have intentionally loaded the Technical Sessions into the early part of the schedule so that paddlers can develop some positive technical proficiencies that they can practice all season.  There will be one more session scheduled soon so sign up early to get on the boat.

Paddle Session Withdrawal

If you have changed your mind about paddling please notify the coach the day before the session will take place.  This allows the coach to accurately judge whether or not to cancel the session on the Hotline.  The procedure for withdrawing from a session was sent out a couple of weeks ago, and can now be found on the Home Page of the website in the Blog Post section.  The Coach/Steer list is not reproduced in the Blog section as it is a public, not just a club, format.  Your attention in this area would be much appreciated.

Support for Paddle Sessions

Our Head Coach, Mary Linnett, has added sessions to what was an already very generous paddle schedule from last year.  The intent is to provide more paddling opportunities for all members in general and for people who work in particular.  Please have a look at all sessions, and particularly the Sunday session at 6 p.m. and the Wednesday session at  6:30 p.m., and support them if you can.  These are offered outside of the work day for working members and we hope paddlers can take advantage of them.  After the first week of July, the Board will decide whether or not to keep coaches and steers committed to these times or ask them to serve in other time slots.


Our two BUK boats will remain at our main dock, and our little boat, now named Minion, has been launched and tucked in a corner of the marina for use by small crews.  We hope that the availability of the small boat, on days where we have just 6 or 7 paddlers, will enable a paddling session to go ahead.  Our 2 newest BUK’s, Draco and Nakoma, plus our older BUK boat will be rented to the Trenton Festival to be held on Saturday, July 15th.   The big new graphics will course up and down the river proudly advertising our vibrant club and its members.  Payment will go into the BDBC account to help with future expenses and projects.

Festival Racing - Peterborough Festival

The Brighton Heat Strokes,  led by the intrepid Tricia Boehme, entered its first festival of the season in Peterborough on June 10th.  There were 67 teams in the competition.  Through timed heats, all teams were seeded into categories and the Heat Strokes ended up in the 400m final against the 4 other fastest teams of the day.  The Heat Strokes were in the thick of it, jockeying positions with other teams, and ended up gaining in the last few metres to capture second place, one second behind the Pickering team.....a pretty good result considering that Pickering is a Sport Club of 80 plus racers, and Brighton is a Community Team of 25 racers.  The Heat Strokes were a close second out of 67 teams......but the drama was not over!!  To close out the day, the 5 out of town teams went into a 200m knockout competition.  Teams raced and whichever team came last was out, while the rest lined up immediately to race again.  Through the first 3 heats, the Heat Strokes easily advanced to the final match race with….. you guessed it……Pickering!  IT WAS GAME ON!!  The horn went and the paddles dug in.  Heat Strokes had a great start and both teams raced neck and neck down the course.  In the final 50 meters, Pickering edged ahead slightly to take the race by .5 of a second....Brighton was second again, but with a very fine showing!  Congratulations both to the Pickering racers and the Brighton Heat Strokes!!


10th Anniversary - Water Day!!

We are injecting some fun into our summer with a special 10th Anniversary WATER DAY celebration!  This will include any and all members belonging to our club.  It will be held on Saturday, August 19th and be a social event filled with several light-hearted competitions.  They may include events such as the Upside-down Paddle Race (you will get wet),  the Stare Down Power Match (teams of up to 10 fill half a boat and face each other…paddles up…game on!),  the Drum Competition (aspiring drummers find your beat on our dragon boat drums while team members pulse and gyrate), the Blindfolded Paddler Race, and other forms of on-the-water hijinks.  We plan to make arrangements for food on our traditional festival site east of Harbourview Café, and when all is finished, I am told that Jennie and Bill serve alcoholic beverages in the Harbourview Cafe....Who knew!?!?!

So keep Saturday, August 19th open.  More details will follow.

Phil Spencer

President, Brighton Dragon Boat Club

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