The 2017 paddling season, is our Tenth Anniversary .
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Joint Training session with Worcester Busters 2nd. and 3rd. of September, 2017
Paddlers from Worcester Busters and Paddlers for Life shared a weekend of paddling in preparation for the 2018 Florence International breast cancer survivor dragon boat participatory festival. These paddlers will form a joint team.
Along with these supporters the team will be paddling with many other teams from 22 countries across the world.
On sunday the paddlers were fortunate to have some coaching from Keni which helped them come together as a team and share some common training tips and paddling techniques.
Paddling 13th. August 2017
Paddlers took Mary out today for a lovely warm paddle up to Ambleside with our lovely Goddess at the helm Roz who guided us through our training with set pieces of building up the paddling from 50% through to 70%,80% and 100% also in unleashing the beast and giving 20 strokes at maximum with extra reach without changing the paddling rate.
We also did some race starts along with lengthening the stroke, digging deep for optimum blade work, reaching and steadying the rate. Sian was able to film much of this without getting either cold or wet.
In the afternoon we had a lovely paddle down to White Cross Bay but the wind was against us on the way down, along with the lake being busy with water sports, ferries and kayaks. Mary surfed a little in the wash but we all knew we were in safe hands with Roz. The light, reflection and the water was mesmerising today and there were smiles all round after the great paddle ..........a good day had by all.
Best Dressed Boat August 5th, 2017
Judy organised for Paddlers for Life Windermere to be entered in the Lake District Boat Club annual Best Dressed Boat Parade
in Bowness Bay. Barbara started early getting the boat ready with a steady stream of members joining in with the decoration of the boat. Our theme was 'tin' representing our Tenth Anniversary season.
Choppy conditions in Low Wood Bay delayed our 2.4 mile paddle to join the other nine boats in the parade. This meant a sustained paddle to get there in time with our two helms, Roz and John, taking turns to fight the windy conditons and paddlers having to draw on all their strength to keep the boat moving to arrive in time. We had great support from Stephen and Simon in the support boat where Sian was filming. After two circuits of Bowness Bay to raise the profile of Paddlers for Life Windermere we had a 2.4 mile paddle back with occasional windy squalls and wake waves to make it interesting. The boat was cleared of decorations on return and some members attended the boat club barbecue to see if we had won any awards.
Paddling July 30th. 2017
We had a good paddle today with very able John and Chris at the helm with both boats out. It was a blustery
paddle up to Ambleside and we got a little wet from the drizzle but this did not dampen spirits or the smiles
and the sun came out which dried us out along with the breeze.
We then paddled down to Brockhole to improve distance paddling ready for next weekend's Best Dressed Boat and
introduced rows out and zig zag to aid paddlers stamina and muscle memory.
Paddling July 16th. 2017
John helms with great back up from Steve on the support boat.
Paddling July 9th. 2017
Two able goddesses at the helm, Roz and Helen, in quite windy conditions took paddlers up to Ambleside then across to the other side of the lake. It was a hard paddle back to Low Wood and Artemis Phyllis and Mary at Low Wood did a bit of surfing on the way back. There were also visitors from the University of the Third Age trying their hand at paddling.
Coaching, Canada Day and Chinese visitors 2nd. July, 2017
Another busy day for Paddlers for Life Windermere. Everyone pitched in to ensure another successful day of paddling.
Keni coached a morning session with regular paddlers with Jill and Lesley honing their helming skills.
Barbara helped everyone celebrate Canada Day with a fundraising draw and traditional Canadian treats.
In the afternoon there were young visitors from China.
All this happened thanks to the hard work of our trustees in planning and organising our paddling activities and responding to requests of people who want to experience dragon boat paddling. Steve and Lynn gave great support from the support boat and Keni (and Steph) expertly coached our young excited and enthusiastic visitors.
Two days of helm training. 17th. and 18th. June
Over several sessions members paddled the dragon boats while members learned the basic skills of helming a dragon boat. Training over two days gave opportunity to develop their skills.
An important day in the calendar of Paddlers for Life Windermere 4th. June 2017
The fith day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar is traditionally the time to 'dot the eyes' of the dragons to awaken their spirit. Ruth related the origins of this tradition and Judy, Sian and Chris dotted the eyes of Phyllis, Lucy and Mary as members looked on.
Following traditions, buckwheat was thrown on to the waters of Windermere, 'hell money' was burnt and the paddlers beat the waters with their paddles shouting 'Awaken!' to wake the dragons.
Paddlers for Life Windermere often use this day to thank supporters for their role in helping ensure everyone can paddle safely.
Also we send a huge 'Thank you!' to Cumberland Building Society for their donation of £250.
The money will be used to help fund our Tenth Anniversary film celebrating ten years of dragon boat paddling.
The film will be used to promote our activities at breast cancer clinics and support centres.
A walk to Todd Crag for a great view of where we paddle. 4th. June 2017
Members walked up Todd Crag at the northern end of Windermere. They were celebrating how fortunate we are to paddle our dragon boats on Windermere in such glorious surroundings. As breast cancer survivor paddlers many members have faced the challenges of diagnosis and treatment and family members have supported them. Paddling with Paddlers for Life post treatment brings new challenges of regaining fitness and doing life affirming activities. This walk up to the top of the crag to view Windermere where we paddle was to acknowledge the journey that members have taken.
A great paddling day! 22nd. May 2017
Another fine day of paddling on WIndermere with lots of members doing all they do to make the paddling such a fantastic experience.
Training session with Lancaster University Confucious Society, 1st May, 2017
Paddlers for Life Windermere were hosts to members of the Lancaster University Confucious Society. They have put together a team to participate in a dragon boat event with similar societies from other universities.
The training session was postponed from the previous day due to gusting wind conditions. Members assembled today instead and were able to paddle in mostly calm waters in Low Wood Bay keeping in more sheltered water closer to the shore. Roz and Chris helmed a session training paddlers with the stroke principles, team timing and race starts before finishing with a race between the team members in two boats. Steve and Simon kept watch in the support boat and other members helped with preparing the boats, paddling alongside the visitors and acting as 'stroke pair'.
Bag Pack Fundraiser May 2017
Vicky organised a bag packing session at Booths Supermarket in Windermere to publicise Paddlers for Life Windermere and raise some funds. Eunice, Pam, Maureen, Irene, Lesley and Ann helped and received a warm welcome from the staff at Booths.
They raised a fantastic £396.30p. What an achievement!
Thanks to the management and staff at Booths supermarket for their support.
Community Networking May 2017.
Do you remember this dragon head puppet making session organised by Barbara with John Parkinson (a cancer survivor) at Upfront Gallery and Puppet Theatre near Penrith in 2012?
Three of the completed dragons were painted by members.
Barbara has been networking using the puppet dragon heads and the head from 'Mary at Low Wood'. Now the unfinished head is on loan to Jilly Jarman who runs BlueJam Arts in Penrith. It is being completed at a dragon making session at Rheged in Penrith. With a team of helpers the dragon has been painted and has a new 'body'. The dragon took part in Penrith's May Day celebrations.
See the dragon in the parade here.
First Paddle 23rd. April, 2017
What a glorious and busy day for the first paddle of our tenth anniversary season.
The weather was bright and sunny with Windermere looking calm and blue for the morning session.
The newer paddlers got involved in dressing and launching Artemis Phyllis and Mary at Low Wood and following a pre-paddle reminder about the paddling stroke, helm instructions and boat safety from John the two dragon boats had a busy morning session. The dragons were awoken by Barbara , there was a 'flowers on the water' ceremony and these and the regular paddling activities were being filmed.
What a fantastic start to the paddling seasn, we couldn't have asked for better weather. Thanks to Chris and John for helming and all paddlers for their enthusiastic involvement. Thank you also to Simon and Liam on the support boat.
More paddling in the afternoon with the wind picking up a little but still bright sunshine.
Preparing to Paddle day. 9th. April, 2017
Thanks to everyone who organised these preparations to paddle in our tenth season. Thank you Roz for helping train newer members and reminding us all of the regular paddling routines. Everyone helped with your 'hands on' with the boats.
Watch the pontoon being assembled by Chris, Steve and Nick.
'Down and Ready' day. 19th. March, 2017
Well! What a day that Roz planned and delivered for us. It will get our paddling season off to a great start and help newer members get into their paddling 'stride' quickly. Thanks to Roz for untangling the knot of what paddling is all about.
All the contributions from so many members just shows why being part of Paddlers for Life is so rewarding with everyone contributing with such generosity and a wide diversity of skills.
Our first event of 2017, Silverdale Coffee morning fundraiser.
Mags has done a great job yet again organising this fundraising event. Thanks to the efforts of many Paddlers for Life members and the generous efforts of Silverdale residents it was another successful event.
Due to the generosity of Silverdale residents purchasing from the many stalls, enjoying tombola and raffle games and refreshments a tremendous £1317-16p was raised for Paddlers for Life funds to enable cancer survivor dragon boat paddling to continue. A huge 'Thank you!' to everyone for baking, growing plants, collecting things for the stalls and donating to the refreshments, raffle and tombola..
Meet some of the members.
A timely opportunity!
A local photographer, Peter Bagnall, contacted me recently.
He found some video footage on his hard drive. Peter filmed a very early launch of a Paddlers for Life dragon boat on Windermere back in 2008 and edited a short film for a DVD to be used for fund raising. He has kindly provided a copy. David Robinson was a member at the time and narrated the commentary.
Here we are ready to celebrate our tenth season of paddling!
Do you recognise any faces?
Cardboard Dragon Boat
Recent News and Photos
Paddlers for Life in Sarasota
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Dragon Bay Dragon Boat Regatta website
This event is co-hosted by Paddlers for Life, UK and English Lakes Hotels.
The 2015 event report is here.
Debit cards no fee.