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Keep Abreast with IBCPC

Issue 8 / October 2019

Welcome to our latest news update.

Don't forget, we are always keen to share stories from around the globe, so please, feel free to send your stories to
What’s in this edition?


From the desk of IBCPC President Meri Gibson

Hello all. Spring is here for us in New Zealand. The weather has been a crazy mix of all four seasons, today is sunny and warm, but yesterday it was bitterly cold and windy.
My festival team and I have been busy working on aspects of the festival. The logo has been finalised and the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. The one big cost that threatens to cripple all of these festivals is transport. As we will be spread across a number of accommodation options, this festival is no different. The initial quote had us nearly fainting on the spot, once we picked ourselves up and had a rethink, we are hopeful that we can work out pricing that will not push the costs too high…Fingers and toes crossed.
Here is a further teaser about the announcement of the dates of the IBCPC Festival 2022.
The 2022 New Zealand festival dates will be announced on the 30th November 2019 at which time the first few pages of the website will also be launched.
Official registration will open from the 31st March 2020.
Get your registration in early, as there will be 500 early-bird places on offer. For this festival overall registration numbers will be limited, so don’t delay.
Please allocate plenty of time to spend in the region. We suggest that you arrive on or before the festival week begins as we have many wonderful events and optional extras planned with our tourism and location partners.
On a personal note, it was with great pleasure that my team Abreast of Life celebrated their 20th anniversary on the weekend of the 5th October. It was fantastic catching up with past paddlers and hearing the tales of the adventures we have all been on. It was tinged with sadness too as I tracked down one particular past paddler who left the team about 9 years ago. When I found her, sadly she advised me that she had two weeks to live at best. My goodness that threw me into such a tail-spin, I could not get it out of my mind, as we had just lost that day to day connection. Sadly she passed away 13 days later, just 4 days after our celebrations. Even though we get on with our lives and live each moment fully, the fragility of life is always foremost in our minds.
Take care of each other and enjoy all that the mixture of seasons brings to your daily lives.

 IDBF World Nations Championships Thailand 2019

Along with the IBCPC treasurer Janice Melville (sweep extraordinaire) I was very fortunate to be a member of the New Zealand Senior B Womens Small Boat crew to compete at the recent IDBF World Nations Championships held in Pattaya, Thailand.
Only one team per country, per category is eligible to enter the championship. This was the biggest World Nations event to date with 930 entries from 30 countries, this equated to 3582 athletes and supporters. Over the 5 days of the event there was 43 ½ hours of racing, that was 361 races in total, and an incredible 151 finals. I was also lucky to be on the IDBF protocol team and was involved in presenting many of the 8582 medals.

No one can run an event without officials and there were 60 international race officials in attendance in Pattaya. This was a massively logistical exercise and one that was executed with great precision.
The IDBF Council meeting was held on the 19th August and the Congress meeting held on the 23rd August, both were full day meetings with many matters to be discussed. I was the chief scrutineer for the voting of the various matters at the Congress meeting.

I was thrilled to be appointed an Associate Vice President of IDBF at the Congress meeting. I am really pleased to represent all of the IBCPC paddlers at the IDBF meetings. We have a strong and relevant voice at the Council table.
There were also presentations made for the various upcoming World Nations Championships and the Club Crew World Championships. We already had locked in the venue and dates for:  
2020 Club Crew World Championships, Aix les Bains, France, 24-30 August 
The upcoming venues voted for are:
2021 World Nations Championships, Hong Kong… possibly 1-7 November
2022 Club Crew World Championships, Sarasota, Florida, USA… possibly June
2023 World Nations Championships, Sevilla, Spain.. possibly August
The competition over the 5 days in Thailand was intense and raced under unrelenting heat and humidity, but it was a highlight in my paddling career with wonderful memories created. I am so humbled by the opportunity to represent both my country at such a high level and also IBCPC at the IDBF council table. I never dreamed when I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost twenty years ago that I would be competing at this level of any sport, let alone this one. Strange as it may seem, I am very grateful for the adventure that I have been on and for the experiences I get to live as part of this awesome sport of dragon boat paddling.

While I was in Thailand I had a conversation with a BC paddler competing for her nation about what IBCPC had to offer and we chatted about how so many more breast cancer paddlers are looking for a competitive pathway. The person said they were really enjoying the articles from Linda Kuska. I also heard that another team is asking Linda to mentor them to develop their crew to build on the learnings she has gained over the last 20 years.

The conversation went like this.
“There has been a lot of interest in the articles that Linda has written re coaching.  Teams are looking for ways to go to the next level and how to do it well.  Paddlers who have been on this journey find it very cool helping these teams!!” 

“I love the journey we are on. It's all about providing options for anyone who is interested, not sitting back and being treated like "sick old ladies". I plan to slide into my grave at full speed and I believe there are a whole bunch of us who feel exactly the same way. So let's do our absolute best to give them every tool we can to help them along the way”. 
Take care everyone, stay well, travel safe, but most importantly live each day as an adventure and take every moment to savour those near and dear.
Paddles up
Breast Cancer Dragon Boats Teams “Make Waves” at the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships. 
Seven intrepid, IBCPC member breast cancer crews from across Canada, along with over 120 others descended on Regina, Saskatchewan for the National Championships and celebration of Dragon Boat Canada’s 25th anniversary on July 17-19th.
The competition at all levels was fierce, with perhaps the most challenging opponent being the extreme winds that blew across the race-course for the opening day of racing.
Breast Cancer Division I races included:  Knot Abreast -Hamilton,  Rowbust-, London, Dragons Abreast -Toronto, VI P Flat Out - Vancouver Island, Chemo Savvy- Winnipeg and Busting with Energy -Saskatoon, the last 3 being newbies to the event and Westman Waves of Hope in the Division III racing.
Hamilton, Vancouver Island and London showed their mettle and won the medals, with Hamilton winning the 500 m racing and London the 200 m. Even though this is a competitive event, the spirit of the breast cancer dragon boat movement and notion of being winners for just making it to the start line was very evident in the generous support we received from the other participants and spectators.
Another great paddling and public awareness event for us in Canada! With “glowing hearts” (and wind burned faces), we are left with fantastic memories and the feeling of how lucky we are as a movement to be embraced by the broader dragon boat community. Thank you Dragon Boat Canada!
Paddles UP!!!
Cathy Prusak
Chemo Savvy Member
IBCPC Rep to Canada –Prairies & N. Ontario

 The new dragon and its launch in Buenos Aires. 

From Jessica Trumper
We had a dream.
Once upon a time there was a small pink paddling team named Rosas del Plata, born in 2015 in Buenos Aires. Their mantra was: we will have a dragon boat someday, sometime. Years went by: saving in a foreign currency to buy and import a dragon boat from China was getting more and more complicated in Argentina. No sponsors appeared and we made big efforts to collect money.
When we participated in the IBCPC Participatory Festival in Florence in July 2018, we were the only team that didn’t own a dragon boat (we trained in outriggers or canoes). Instead of feeling disappointed, that encouraged us to work harder. And finally we managed to buy ourbaby dragon” which arrived from China to Buenos Aires last month. All the team members voted for the dragon boat’s name.  And the winner was… “Reina del Plata” (Queen of the Silver River)

Words don’t come easily to explain our feelings when we paddled for the first time in our dragon boat on 8th of September in the River Tigre.

This was the same river where, in 2015, we rowed for the first time as a team.  We have created a beautiful circle of destiny. That Sunday morning, we were so excited that we could barely sleep the night before. Was it real or were we still dreaming? But when we placed our “queen” in the water and she began to dance, we had no doubt that we could hear  ABBA’s song, “you are the dancing queen”.
When we paddle we deeply thank the people that support us in many different ways.
When we paddle we bring joyfulness to many people that are fighting cancer.
When we paddle we hug our mates who are paddling in another dimension.
We synchronize not only our bodies, but also our souls. 
Now a new chapter begins. There are many more dreams to achieve. Let’s go for them.
Paddles up!

Jessica Trumper
Secretary – Rosas del Plata. Buenos Aires. Argentina.

 Dragones Rosas La Plata – La Plata, Argentina  

By Cleusa Alonso, Jenny Bolatti, Alejandra Ezquero, Nancy Garcia, Gabriela Garcia, Ana Di Marco y Carmen Urtizberea.

Our group was formed in the City of La Plata, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina in September 2013 by responding to an invitation through a Facebook page whose goal was to bring together women with a history of breast cancer and to form a team to paddle on a dragon boat. The group gradually expanded with the aim of raising awareness in the fight against breast cancer and supporting each other, knowing that we spoke the same language.

We were members of the first team of Argentina and of Latin America too, and in February 2016 we were part of the first IBCPC /Abreast In A Boat outreach held in South America, in the City of Tigre, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. From that moment, we understood the importance and benefits of paddling for breast cancer survivors.

In October 2016, we had the opportunity to meet Dr. Don Mackenzie and the President of the IBCPC, Meri Gibson, during the KAORA event held in Brazil. Fortunately, we were able to exchange experiences with them and also other teams.

Thanks to the work carried out by all of us, we were able to create in 2017, the non-profit organization “Dragones Rosas La Plata” which provided a legal framework to the group’s activities and allowed us to raise funds for the purchase of our own dragon boat and to keep carrying out awareness campaigns.

In July 2018, the City of Florence, Italy, welcomed us to participate in the unforgettable and exciting IBCPC Festival, FIRENZE IN ROSA, which brought together 4,000 women with a history of breast cancer.

In September 27, 2018 the paddling team Dragones Rosas La Plata was created with the desire for the growth of the group and more women to join. The first participation of the team as such was in the Colombia IBCPC outreach in the City of Cartagena, Colombia.

At present, we continue working to raise awareness, and we paddle in the river of La Plata, spreading a message of awareness and personal achievement.

“There is life after breast cancer”.

German speaking countries update.

Svenja Franke-Bruhn writes to update us on the German-speaking countries pink dragon boat activities. 

The pink paddling teams in Germany have seen busy with exciting times on various levels during the last months.  

Firstly I am very happy to report that two German teams attended the European Club Crew Championships in Sevilla in July: Pink Dragonistas, Hanover and the Pink Ladies, Dresden. Both mentioned on their Facebook/Instagram accounts covering the event how grateful they were for a wonderful experience of participating at an international regatta, the great camaraderie that they experienced with the other pink teams and the excitement of achieving what seemed initially quite daunting: training a BCS in time as a helm. Both teams had a lot of fun and enjoyed this experience tremendously. Huge congratulations to the Pink Dragonistas, who are now the new European champions in the BCS small boat division, not only in 2000m, but also in 500m and 200m. Triple gold!! An absolutely awesome result for Nicola Jahnke, an inspiring team captain as well as their helm and her enthusiastic team. 


Minden Pink Dragons
Secondly we would like to warmly welcome the newest pink paddling team in Germany, the Minden Pink Dragons. Thanks to the intensive support of Birte Werkmeister, a breast care nurse with an extensive background in various fields for tirelessly promoting this sport they have managed within a relatively short time to bring many interested BCS on board. We look forward to meeting these ladies soon for a nice paddle.

Wanderfahrt in Pink
It was a great pleasure for me to take part this year in the Wanderfahrt in Pink, an annual event organised by Patricia Frank, advisor and supporter at the DKV. Many excited paddlers traveled this year to Berlin: Pink Fighters Saar, Pink Pearls Heilbronn, Pink Patrol Bochum. Ladybugs Lünen, Phönika Kassel, Pink Paddler Trier, Pink ladies Schierstein, Pink Paddler Worms and myself from Vienna. We enjoyed a nice 16 km paddle on the picturesque Havel followed by a warm reception at the Kanuclub Charlottenburg for coffee, cake and a yummy dinner. Everyone had a great time in getting to know new faces, deepening friendships and networking in general.  We would very much like to invite these teams to join IBCPC. We are all looking forward to next year’s event, this time in Datteln. 

There have been a few more friendly paddling events in Germany involving pink paddlers and quite a few teams certainly looked forward to the first pink cup being held in Schierstein, Wiesbaden, where the first pink paddling team is based. This paddle took place in late September, along with the training camp in Rügen at the beginning of October. Overall the development in Germany is very promising with next year most likely counting 20 teams. There are at least two locations that are in the process of establishing new teams. Currently there are only three of these teams that are members of IBCPC, however may have expressed interest in joining soon. 

 From one of our new teams: Pink Warriors, Panama

We are the first Dragon Boat paddling team in Panama. Pink Warriors was founded on April 2019; as an initiative of the Panamanian Chinese Association, who had recently competed internationally, and found out that there was a paddling category for breast cancer survivors.
Our goal is to inspire to every person who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, that exercise is medicine. The spirit of effort, teamwork, competitiveness and support, is our goal every day and we live it in each of our trainings. We have even discovered a new meaning of what it is to live, and we want to share it with every person.


Just 2 months after forming our team, on July 27 and 28, the Pink Warriors competed in three categories in the 5th Dragon Boat Festival in Panama, against invited teams from Colombia and Argentina in the Cancer Survivors category, obtaining the following:
•    200 mts. – Gold
•    500 mts –  Silver
•    1000 mts – Silver

Next Festival:

We have dared to exceed our own expectations training hard to compete in the Ling Long Cup which for several years now has been organized by the Chinese-Panamanian Association with the participation of mixed teams. However, this is the first year that a team will be incorporated representing the movement of the Pink Ribbon. The event will be held on October 5 and 6 in Amador, Panama City.

Our organization aims to motivate people to exercise and to lead a healthy and active life, while supporting cancer survivors and their families. 

 2019 Canadian Dragon Boat Season

Submitted by Linda Kuska, London, Ontario, Canada
Dragon Boating in Canada with our 10 Provinces and 3 Territories extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Northward towards the Arctic Ocean covering almost 10 million square kilometers making us the second largest country by total area!
With such a large country, our dragon boat season varies greatly from West Coast to East Coast. 
You can have the West Coast of Canada able to paddle for most of the year.
You can have the Northern and Eastern Canada able to paddle in late May at the earliest and off the water in September. 
Then the Southern part of the Provinces getting in a good 6 months on the water.
With hundreds of Dragon Boat Festivals in Canada, there are plenty of choices each and every weekend to participate in.
Breast Cancer Survivor Teams have plenty of opportunity to participate in festivals and BCS Flower Ceremonies!
But for most of Canada, our paddling season is coming to an end, dragon boats are being put away for the winter and we will spend more time inside at the gym!
Congratulations !!

At the Canadian National Championships in Regina, Saskatchewan in July the first inductees were introduced into the newly formed Dragonboat Canada Hall of Fame - sponsored by @hornet_watersports 
We would like to acknowledge these amazing individuals for their contributions to the sport in both Canada AND Worldwide (pictured below):
  • Dr. Don MacKenzie (not present)
  • Sue Humphries
  • Andrea Dillon
  • Matt Smith 
  • Jim Farintosh
  • Mike Kerkmann

Thank you for being leaders in our sport and showcasing Canada on the worldwide stage! You make us all proud!

Coaching pathway with Linda Kuska

Club Crew World Championships - France 2020
BCS Crews - Are you Ready to Compete at the Club Crew World Championships (CCWC), Aug 24-30, 2020 in Aix-Les-Bains, France??
What do YOU need to do personally to be ready to compete?
What does your CREW need to do to be ready to compete?
Are there some members on your BCS team who don't want to compete but are traveling with the Crew to help out and cheer you on?
I hope so because those same team members will be pushing you to be your best as you represent your entire team.
There are some BCS teams who are just heading into their Winter Training, there are some teams who are just heading into their paddling season and there are some lucky teams who can paddle all year round!
What does your training look like?
Do you have a Coach that tells you exactly what you need to do for your training?
Do you have a gym that you train out of?
Is your entire team involved in the process and helping you along your journey?
Cardio, Cardio, Cardio!!
What is your team doing to increase your Cardio?
Running? Not everyone can run but there are other options!
Skipping, Rowing Erg, Paddling Erg, Hill walking, they all work.
Do something that will get you "breathless"....something to get your heart rate up for a sustained period of time
Whatever works for you, increasing your Cardio does not happen overnight, it takes months and months of commitment and consistency. 
There is no time like the present to start!!
Next time: CORE Training!
Remember the MOST important part..... in order for your BCS Crew to be successful at participating in Club Crew World Championships, you need to ensure that your ENTIRE Team is good with all the decisions that are made and the lines of communication remain open. 
Communication is the KEY to making this work for all BCS teams!
It has been a pleasure talking to some BCS teams from around the World. 
Keep your questions coming, if you have questions......ask...... I'm sure other teams have the same question and I would be happy to help. 
Contact me at 
Linda Kuska
20 year BCS Paddler
London, Ontario, Canada

Important note from IBCPC.

IBCPC is more than happy for teams to encourage their members on the more competitive side of paddling.  Often this is a natural course for many of us.

It is also important to note that the IBCPC mission is that we must ensure all our breast cancer paddlers are catered for.  These include the novice, the experienced who don’t want to compete, those who are less fit who still want to paddle with other BC friends, and those who want to be more competitive. All should have a seat in the boat for paddling with their team.  

Some groups do struggle with this concept – if you have some experiences on how you cater for all your paddlers, please share this with us and we can it include in future newsletters.

First German Pink Cup in Wiesbaden Schierstein

It was amongst the lovely scenery of the river Rhein, and with the mountains of Taunus in the background, that eight pink teams from all over Germany paddled for the first time at the harbour of Wiesbaden-Schiersten. This event took place following an invitation to race 200 m and 1000 m. Pink Ladies Wiesbaden were even able to paddle in two small boats due to their six newbies.
Early in the morning when the sun rose over the beautiful river Rhein all of the pink ladies arrived at the WV Schierstein, and renewing friendships was the first order of the day.
The races started with the 1000 m with all teams giving their best – followed by the 200m. There was much fun and a great deal of laughter as everyone enjoyed their day together.
The Aschaffenburger Schlossdrachen team took out first place in the 200 m, with second place going to the Ruhrpottboot team and third place to Pink Ladies 1 from Wiesbaden Schierstein. In the 1000 m Pink Ladies took out first place with Aschaffenburger Schlossdrachen second and Ruhrpottboot third.
We all agreed that everyone was a winner on the day as they felt so lucky to be able to participate at this great event and paddle in the dragonboat for life!
At the moving flower ceremony after the last race Swantje read the poem from Katherine Pecka Maulden, GoPink Washington DC. Swantje has translated the poem from English to German.
This first edition of the Pink Deutschland Cup was organised by the DKV (Deutsche Kanu Verband) and Wassersportverein Wiesbaden Pink Ladies. In Germany some pink teams are members of DKV, whilst others are members of the German Dragon Boat Federation. The German Federation teams are members of IDBF as are IBCPC member teams. We sincerely hope that those teams that are not IBCPC member teams will soon be  joining IBCPC.
Teams attending 1. Pink Deutschland Cup 2019 in Wiesbaden Schierstein:
Aschaffenburger Schlossdrachen, Pink Paddler Limburg, Ruhrpottboot with Pink Paddler from Lady Bugs Lünen, Datteln, Pink Dragons Bochum, Pink Pearls Heilbronn, Pink Fighter Saar, Mixed Team with Pink Paddler from Phönika, Kassel, Trier, Datteln, 2 teams Pink Ladies Wiesbaden from WV Schierstein
Swantje Scharge, Pink Ladies Wiesbaden
On the water
Poem by Katherine Pecka Maulden GoPink DC
On the dock, there are no sick people – only paddlers
On the dock, there are no weak sisters – only athletes
On the dock, disease is left behind.
Waving goodbye, the boat pulls away loosing its hold meter by meter
In the boat, there is no pain – only determination
Bald heads covered with kerchiefs and caps
Scars covered with spandex and bravado
Fear vanished by strength
In our hearts, there is no question – only commitment
There is no looking back – only forward
Eyes ahead, one boat, one body,
gaining strength with each strike.
In together, out together
We leave it all on the water.
Cancer touches all of us.
We all know a friend…loved one,
who has suffered from cancer.
CANCER SUCKS! Praying for it’s eradication.
On The Water – Auf dem Wasser
Gedicht von Katherine Pecka Maulden
Auf dem Steg gibt es keine kranken Menschen – Nur Paddler
Es gibt keine schwachen Menschen – Nur Sportler
Auf dem Steg werden Krankheiten zurück gelassen
Auf Wiedersehen winkend zieht das Boot davon
Verliert seinen Halt Meter für Meter
Im Boot gibt es keine Schmerzen – Nur Entschlossenheit
Kahle Köpfe bedeckt mit Kopftüchern und Kappen
Narben bedeckt mit Spandex und Tapferkeit
Angst wird ersetzt durch Stärke
In unseren Herzen gibt es keine Fragen – Nur Engagement
Keine schaut zurück – nur nach vorne
Augen vorwärts, ein Boot, ein Körper,
gewinnen wir Kraft mit jedem Schlag
Zusammen rein, zusammen raus
Wir lassen alles auf dem Wasser
Krebs berührt uns alle. Wir alle kennen jemanden,
einen Freund, eine geliebte Person,
die unter Krebs zu leiden hatte.
KREBS NERVT! Wir beten für seine Ausmerzung!
Übersetzt von Swantje Scharge, Pink Ladies Wiesbaden

European Update

Cecilia Picchi, Florence Dragon Lady Lilt and our European Representative has spent some time traveling around and sends us through this update.
European Summer
During the spring months European teams participated in local and national festivals. The summer season started with Drachenboot Cup Ost Vienna (next edition with bcs category in 2 years, June 2021) and continued with at least 3 opportunities for paddling abroad in Spain, France and Ireland.
The 18th European Club Crew Championship was held in Sevilla (24-28 July), at the Isla Cartuja race venue, a beautiful sports facility along the Guadalquivir river. The Championship included BCS division and 8 teams entered from: Germany (Pink Dragonistas Hannover and Pink Ladies Dresden), Sweden (Pink Dragon Ladies Malmo), United Kingdom (Pink Champagne) and the host country Spain (Club Piraguismo Triana Sevilla, Flamenco Rosa, Vientos de Cartagena and Malaga Dragon Boat). For most of the teams it was the inaugural race or the first official race, so much anxiety and expectations could be felt in the atmosphere.  Congratulations to Pink Dragonistas Hannover, who won gold medals in the 3 distances of 200, 500 and 2000 meters, but we all know that in our movement we are all in the same boat and we have arrived together at the most important goal against breast cancer. And then, after the medal presentation, all teams remembered those who have lost their battle to breast cancer and those who are battling still. Link to video.
In France, along the river Loire between Orléans and Angers, surrounded by magnificent castles and natural forests, the French team of Dragon Ladies Lo.Ve (LOire & Vienne) proposed for the second time a paddling week surrounded by a completely different atmosphere from the clamor of the race venues we are used to: the 'Descent of the three Castles'. From  7 to 11 August 32 BCS women immersed themselves in a 250 km dragon boat trip in the full glory of nature, paddling together without stress, alternating songs and convivial moments, sleeping in camping tents and preparing meals together, respecting healthy nutrition and lifestyles. A shortened edition of the descent will be repeated on the weekend of the 19-20 October.

Ireland Dublin Dragon Boat Regatta (13-15 September) has become a must in the European calendar, and this year the 200 meter BCS challenge had 12 crews from France (Dragonnettes Toulouse), Canada (Westcoast Women on Water British Columbia), Great Britain (Paddlers for Life Windermere),  Ireland  (Cork Dragons, Lagan Dragons Aurora and Stella crews, Nore Dragon Paddlers,  Purple Paddlers Plus - with 'plus' meaning ladies from Florence Dragon Lady Italy and Dragon Ladies Malmo Sweden, Shannon Dragons, and the hosting team Plurabelle Paddlers with 3 crews: what an achievement !!!! The Friday practice and reception at Plurabelles brand new Club House was a great 'get together' moment, with old friends meeting up again and new friendships being made. A bunch of flags from the attending countries welcomed the teams in an increasingly international atmosphere. A backstage anecdote: when Marco, one of the volunteers who at the Florence Festival offered his professional help to a woman in difficulty from Plurabelles, entered Dublin reception he was immediately recognized ... and received a warm embrace of joy, it is nice when you see bonding between people who live far away ... even though this is the soul of our movement! Florence Dragon Lady at their 4th participation spoiled the organizers, always putting in their luggage some Italian sunbeam, to be pulled out during the regatta, and even this year the surprise of the Italian sun was repeated!
Pink Lioness in Venice celebrated their 10th anniversary
On Saturday 14th September Pink Lioness in Venice celebrated their 10th anniversary with a memorable reception at their clubhouse, Reale Canottieri Bucintoro, in the unique venue at Le Zattere in front of the Giudecca Canal.
The Venetian team was born on 12 September 2009, with the help of Olympic champions Daniele Scarpa and Sandra Truccolo, who formed the BCS team from Cavallino-Jesolo, one of the islands of the lagoon, and of the Association of Volunteers for the Assistance of Oncological Patients AVAPO.  
Teams came from all over Italy to pay homage to the Lionesses, among the guests Florence Dragon Lady Lilt (Florence), Pink Sirens (Chioggia-Venice), Astro Dragon Ladies (Empoli), Dragonette (Turin), Donna Più LILT (Latina), Trifoglio Rosa (Mestre), and UGO (Padua). Best wishes arrived from down under, Meri Gibson, President IBCPC sent a video message that was shown as a surprise gift during the reception ( 
Not only good wishes from teams, but also an encouraging message from the city administration that recognizes the Lioness as an important rehabilitation identity in the Venetian context, recalling the special participation of Lioness's dragon boat in the main paddling events held all over the year on the Grand Canal.
Venice, a special city, unique in the world with its islands, canals and bridges. A city that fascinates even the most hurried visitor. We are used to seeing it from the point of view of the tourist or during Vogalonga weekend, but the Lioness gave us the opportunity to get to know it from within, more intimate for those who live in this city. A magic but not practical city for everyday life, without cars, with walking rhythm or by boats, crowded by tourists, constantly under the damage produced by the waves of motor boats and big ships. We experimented the waves in the Giudecca Canal during the Flower Ceremony, too many waves that permitted only for a brief moment to keep the 6 boats together, too short a time to observe the respectful concentration of this ceremony, but that made us reflect well on the serious risks this fragile city faces.
Three crews had the privilege of arriving at the Anniversary by dragon boat from Mestre, crossing the lagoon and then entering, with a special permit for the event, in the canals up to the Grand Canal, passing under the Rialto Bridge, then to reach Bucintoro. A route not so different from Vogalonga, but in a completely different context: there were not the thousands of joyful rowing boats carrying a love message to Venice, but only 3 pink dragon boats on a 'normal' Saturday morning, among vaporettos and taxi-boats, goods barges supplying bars and restaurants and even carrying a piano for who knows what concert, as well as an ambulance-boat recalling a city normality. Concentration, determination and a bit of foolishness for the 3 steerpersons who masterfully drove the boats to the destination, an experience that will remain unforgettable in their hearts. 
The celebrations for the tenth anniversary and this special relationship between Venice and water, enhanced by the Lionesses, lead us to observe that the BCS movement had a greater growth throughout this area than the rest of Italy: Padua, Mestre, Treviso , Pordenone, Jesolo-Cavallino, Chioggia, Gorizia have bcs teams and hopefully soon also on Lake Garda and in the Dolomites mountains.

 Watch Pink Lioness in Venice photo album


A quick update from Ireland.

And so comes the end of the BC races and festivals for another busy season on our waters here in Ireland.
In August this year and situated right at the top of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal Town, you’ll find Donegal Dragons. Here in a small town of about 4000 people there lies a very enthusiastic group of paddlers from BCS to supporters and a grandpa of 78 years young. Donegal Dragons hosted their 3rd regatta .BCS from all over the world: France, Australia, Canada and the UK visited this small town on the northwest coast of Ireland. They raced and paddled on the waves of the Atlantic Ocean and loved every minute of it. New paddling pals were made for life, In 2020 Donegal Dragons will host their 4th Annual regatta on August 1st and they welcome everyone with open arms to their busy tourist town.

September brought firstly the Dublin regatta and visiting BCS from Canada called Pacific Dragons, France the Dragonette Toulouse and the UK with Paddlers for Life Windermere
as well as all the local clubs. Participants included Plurabelle Paddlers from Dublin (who put out 3 Crews which is a credit to them,) and Lagan Dragons from Belfast who entered 2 teams in Dublin. Nore Dragons from Kilkenny, Grainne Mhaol from Mayo, Shannon dragons from Limerick, Suir Dragons from Tipperary, Cork Dragons and the new Irish club from Wexford called the Slaney Purple Paddlers joined the event. It was a great gathering of BCS over 2 days of paddling.


Also in September, one week after the Dublin regatta, a few paddlers traveled to Nottingham in England to the 1st BCS event hosted at the BDA championships. We got to paddle with the composite crew called the Pink Royals managed by the infamous Wendy Grose from Pink Champagne. This will hopefully be an annual event for BCS teams.

Moving on to October we had a fabulous weekend of Paddling and Pink which was hosted by Nore Dragons in Kilkenny. This was an uplifting, happy, lively and most inspirational event this 2019 season.
Big shout out to Linked in Pink Paddlers. These amazing fun women are from Sarasota, Brussels, Vienna and Germany and really looked fab in their LIPS gear.
Included were the national representatives from three countries: Svenja Franke-Bruin from the German speaking countries, JoAnn Moore from the lower East Coast of the USA and myself, Deborah Bonner from Ireland. 

We all raced 8km on the River Nore and had a 3 boat raft filled with BCS for the flower ceremony. This event was very well organized and well done to all the Nore Dragons on all the work that was put in to make this event a complete pink success. We will definitely be back to Kilkenny.
We are very fortunate the have an exclusive merchandise relationship with Hornet Water Sports.  They have some fantastic IBCPC merchandise for sale such as paddles, seat pads, gloves, paddle bags and so on.
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