Current: If the river current is strong, as happens during heavy rains, the minimum number of paddlers in a dragon boat should be increased to correspond with the increased river flow. Consult the NWS River Forecast Data for the Willamette River at Portland for specific data and a link to the hydrologic predictions for water velocity measured in feet per second (fps). Generally, flows during the offseason (October through February) will warrant that the minimum number of experienced paddlers must be increased to at least 10 and preferably should be increased to 12. If flows are greater than 2.5 fps, the minimum number of experienced paddlers must be increased to at least 14 and preferably should be increased to 16. If flows are greater than 3 fps, all teams/crews must not go out. Please note that even if strong currents subside, practices may remain canceled if dangerous large debris is present.
'At last nights meeting, the DragonSports Board voted to update our Safety Rules & Guidelines to give more specific guidance on the number of paddlers required at various stream velocities. The new guidelines read:
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
This past weekend, a number of teams had to cancel practice on the docks because of swift current and debris. While we can't always know what the debris situation is going to look like until we get down there, we can almost always look up the stream flow online.
Our informal guidelines are to cancel all practices when the Willamette is moving at more than 3 fps. The usual link we point you to hasn't been reporting data for the past few days for some reason, but there is another way to look up this information and even receive email alerts when the stream velocity exceeds a certain rate (we use 2.75 fps).
Go to USGS WaterAlert page and click on the station that looks like it's in downtown Portland (should read "WILLAMETTE RIVER AT PORTLAND, OR"). Click on "Subscribe to WaterAlert" and we recommend setting it for daily notifications the stream velocity exceeds 2.75 as pictured in this screen shot.
You'll get an email and from there you can check the current conditions and always be in the know
A few DragonSports members are exploring the possibility of putting together a
tour to China (complete with participating in a dragon boat race or two) in the coming year.
Please complete the following form or contact Don Boje if you are interested.
Join DragonSports USA for our Annual Meeting & Dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory on Thursday, February 23 starting at 6:00 p.m.
We'll provide a brief but informative update on the status of our organization, but this is mainly a social event for our members. We will also be giving away lots of fabulous paddling-related DOOR PRIZES!
For only $10, you’ll have a choice of 3 pastas (with Marinara sauce, Red Meat sauce or Mizithra Cheese), salad, bread, and your choice of coffee, hot tea, ice tea or milk. Dinner is topped off by Old Spaghetti Factory’s classic spumoni ice cream. (Specialty drinks, wine, beer or cocktails are also available on a no-host basis.)
Space is limited to 90 people. Click here to sign up to reserve your spot. You may pay when you RSVP (preferred) or at the door.
We wanted to help get the word out for DragonSports member and Rip City Paddler, Angel Crowe, who has been invited by the National Stroke Association to join their team to run the New York City Marathon. Angel experienced an ischemic stroke almost a year ago... here's her story:
We still don't know why it happened. I have no risk factors, pretty healthy (got my aches and pains and stuff:), active in the dragon boat community. My team is Rip City Paddlers but I have also shown up on many other boats paddling or flag catching, especially this year.
The money raised goes directly to the National Stroke Association (Angel is paying her own entry, flight, and lodging). Click here to donate at her fundraising page.
DragonSports is happy to share your team's events and fundraisers our website. Please email our webmaster for details.
The United States Dragon Boat Federation is offering a Fundamentals of Dragon Boat Coaching Course in November, right here in Portland, led by Connie Flesuras, founder of Dragon Boat Training.
Where: Wasabi Paddling Club, 1515 SE Water Avenue, Portland, Oregon
When: November 18-20, 2016 (Friday 6-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 9am-5pm)
Course highlights include:
Click here for more information and to download the registration form.
Late last week, the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division issued an advisory due to visual confirmation of a blue-green algae bloom in the Ross Island Lagoon. Lab results to confirm the toxin are still pending, but given the low water and warm temperatures, it is probably safe to assume that there is a bloom in that area.
In the past couple of years, the alert relating to the Ross Island Lagoon has preceded a broader warning to the Willamette River and we wanted to first caution everyone who paddles in the Holgate Channel to avoid the lagoon (or the shallow and slow-moving water of the channel altogether) and to wash with fresh water as soon as you are able, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
DragonSports does not plan to cancel practices or the Portland Dragon Boat Festival if a bloom does occur in the broader Willamette River. Consulting a number of experts and online sources last year, we learned that unless you are ingesting significant quantities of water, there is little risk of harm. The Oregon Health Authority only cautions against swimming or certain activities where there is a risk of ingestion; paddling is not one of them. The biggest risk may be for small children and especially pets who may immerse themselves in and/or drink the water if left unsupervised.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact email@example.com.
In the typical DragonSports practice areas, see the chart for emergency stops and rescue points. Always know where you can go in an emergency – and how to describe where you are! In the winter, the current moves fast, and you may need to go downstream to get the crew and boat to safety.
It’s important to have a plan!
From Connie Cavagnaro, Wasabi Paddling Club:
Are you are (or will you be next year) Sr. C eligible (age 60+)? Are you interested in trying out for the 2017 Nation's Cup Sr. C Team USA dragon boat team?
Looking to join a team?
Founded in 1994, DragonSports rents dragon boats and outrigger canoes to over 25 paddling clubs and teams in downtown Portland.
We are holding open houses on :
Saturday, June 18 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, June 21 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Meet us by the flagpoles above the public dock at RiverPlace Marina.
Looking to add to your team?
If you would like to have a team representative present to distribute materials and/or take out paddlers if your practices are during those times, we welcome you to do so. Also, please email us if you are recruiting and/or accepting new paddlers.
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