Brighton Dragon Boat Club
The principal difference between the Recreational and Competitive programs is that members of the Competitive Program will be able to participate in two additional weekly paddling sessions to be held on Monday and Thursday evenings under the coordination of a certified coach as well as attend any of the Recreational Programs offered. We hope by doing this we expand membership to those seeking to obtain a more rigorous workout than might be experienced in our Recreational Program (which members of the Competitive Program are also encouraged to attend). By providing more competitive related coaching, participants can enhance their paddling skills, practice more up-tempo sessions and get a taste of race preparations. Those members of the Competitive Program who choose to attend festivals will make up the representatives of our race team at such festivals. In other words, the race team will be a subset of the Competitive Program. The hope is that as more and more members of the Competitive Program gain confidence in their abilities they will be more inclined to represent the Club and participate in festivals. Our first festival for 2023 will be in Peterborough on June 10, 2023. We are also planning to attend a festival in Belleville which is scheduled for August 26th and on are on the look out for more festivals to demonstrate our prowess.
The other major difference is that when you paddle in the Competitive Program you paddle not only for yourself but also for your fellow paddlers (i.e. there is a team atmosphere) as most Competitive Program members try their best (subject to work and other commitments) to attend all the Competitive Program sessions. To be successful in competitive races you need everyone in the boat to be in sync which only comes from lots of practice where you can hone your technique, build your stamina and build a close connection with your teammates. Our coach will teach you all you need to know. You will be astounded by how fit you feel by the end of the season and by the strength of the connections you will build with your fellow Competitive Program members.
The Competitive Program will be coached by Phil Spencer and expertly steered by Barb Michno and Nigel Retford. Phil, who has been a member of our Club since 2014, successfully participated as a paddler in the Club Crew World Championships in Hungary 2018 with his crew winning medals in all 9 races they participated in (5 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze). Barb has paddled and/or steered in four Club Crew World Championships coming home with her own boatful of medals. While fairly new to the sport of dragon boating , Nigel has spent much of his life sailing and kayaking both in his native England and during his time in Brighton and he is looking forward to applying his knowledge of the water to our sessions. Our Club is blessed to have such an accomplished group leading us through this season and their combined experience will give us a leg up whenever we enter competitive festivals.