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Lamma Dragons 2018! Lamma 500!
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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Lamma Dragons 2018! Lamma 500!

Dragonboating season is starting up again, including fitness training on land!

Submitted by the Lamma Dragons:

"The Lamma Ladies are a team of dedicated dragon boat paddlers. Established in 1988, the ladies have been paddling the waters of Lamma for over 20 years. Training sessions are either in Yung Shue Wan harbour or at Tai Wan To Beach.

We are fun loving team with a passion for winning. We take our paddling seriously but we also love to party. We encourage new paddlers to come and join us every season. Follow the sound of the drum and come and meet our team.

Out Pink, Out Paddle, Out Party!"<HR>
This is a chance to mix, mingle and meet the other dragon boaters and to find out more about what is in store for 2012 Dragon Boating (World Championships!!!)

We will have sign up forms for people to fill in on the day - and there's no paddling involved on the sign up day! Just a friendly meet and greet over a beverage at The Island Bar!

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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:02 pm ]
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The Lamma Dragons Male Team have just contacted me to point out that they're recruiting this Saturday, too. The women's team seems to have been faster once again....

Here's their poster and some words from the team captain Andrew Shields:

Want to be in a World Cup?

Both the Lamma Dragons men’s and women’s dragon boating teams are looking for fresh blood this season to join our crews who have already qualified for this year’s World Club Cup championship to be held in Hong Kong. So shake off that New Year’s extra padding, get in a boat and paddle your way to a gold medal.

Don’t be put off by the training schedule, with a host of other competitions in the summer, the promise of plenty of social events including tours abroad, being part of the Lamma Dragons is more than just exercise, it’s a way of life.

So get on board and get paddling.

Come and meet us on Saturday 4th Feb. 4-6pm at The Island Bar, or contact:

Men’s Team – Andrew Shields 92558827
Women’s Team – Vicky Medcalf 95099330

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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:52 pm ]
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Lamma Dragons Men's Team Land Training, every Wed, 8pm @ Helipad Roundabout

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:34 am ]
Post subject: 

From the Lamma Dragons:

"Can we get a shout out about our recruitment this sat

when: sat 23rd feb
where: the island bar
what time: 4-5:30

we are looking for people who are interested to learn more about joining the Lamma Dragons to come down to the bar and talk to the team"

More info on their website:

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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Fri May 03, 2013 6:59 pm ]
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22nd April 2013
Laracy & Co Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival Booked Solid A Month In Advance!

Now in it’s seventh year, the popular Laracy & Co Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival has become the “must do” event in the Hong Kong dragon boat schedule.

“We had to close entries a month in advance,” said Gina Miller, Race Convener for the event. “We still have a waiting list for the Mixed Premier division, and the Men’s Open division is also full to capacity.”

Evidently, local teams have been paying attention to what international paddlers know: “Every paddler should try to attend the Lamma 500 at least once, it really is second to none,” said 
Del Kyme, a Great Britain Dragon Boat National Team paddler.

The Lamma 500, as the festival is known for short, will be held on Sunday 5th May 2013.

Staffed and supported by the Lamma Island Fishermen’s Recreation and Sports Association, The Laracy & Co Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival blends the history of Lamma’s sea-faring community with the present-day competition of local Hong Kong teams and international guest competitors. Among the 68 teams competing will be Team DNA (Dragons of North America) who have decided to come for a second year, flying all the way from North America.

In 2012, Team DNA expressed their enthusiasm for the event in no uncertain terms: “The level of competition and the organization of the race was top notch! We really didn’t know what to expect, especially after the wonderful week we had just spent in Boracay, but many of my paddlers came up to me after the event and told me that if they had to choose one race, they would choose Lamma Island over Boracay! I’m not sure if it was the race venue, the organizers, the competition, or the fact that we got a full dose of the Lamma Dragons, but you guys rocked! Maybe it was all the champagne we drank while dancing on the beach!”

“The Lamma 500 is one of the most exciting, colourful and friendly sporting events of its kind in Hong Kong but gives away nothing in competitive spirit.” said Mr Damien Laracy, of title sponsors Laracy & Co.

The Lamma 500 offers food and refreshment stands, showers and changing facilities for competitors, and plentiful clean, dry toilet facilities from Toi Toi for competitors and spectators. Entry for spectators is free.

For further information contact:

Brad Tarr at or
Gina Miller at

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Sun May 05, 2013 7:22 am ]
Post subject: 

Fast Facts

Event: Laracy & Co Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival 2013

Date: 5th May 2013

Time: 9am to 5pm

Location: Tai Wan To (Power Station Beach), Lamma Island, Hong Kong


Competing teams: 68

Staged on Lamma Island's Tai Wan To Beach, near Yung Shue Wan, the race best-known by its short handle, "The Lamma 500" for its International-race standard 500-metre course length, is a celebration of Hong Kong's Dragon Boat history.
First staged in 2007 and staffed and supported by the Lamma Island Fishermen's Recreation and Sports Association, and volunteers from the Lamma Dragons, The Laracy & Co Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival blends the history of Lamma's sea-faring community with the present-day competition of local Hong Kong teams and international guest competitors.

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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Sun May 05, 2013 7:36 pm ]
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2 photo albums up on the home page and on Facebook...

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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Tue May 07, 2013 12:16 pm ]
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Annual Lamma Dragons fundraiser! Sat, May 25, 7pm, The Island Bar.

Plus a video shot from a quadrocopter hovering above the Lamma 500:

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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Tue May 07, 2013 6:11 pm ]
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Just in, the "official" Lamma 500 video from Donna the Videographer.
She even wore a "Lamma 500 Official" T-shirt while filming:

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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Fri May 24, 2013 10:38 am ]
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Annual Lamma Dragons fundraiser! Sat, May 25, 7pm, The Island Bar.
Themed an "80s Party" it seems to reminisce the salad days of many of the dragonboaters? I remember spending some of my best and most fun years at university in the 80s. This could be one wild party...

Fundraiser party for the frequently victorious Lamma Dragons, celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. Congratulations from!

Up for auction late this Sat night in The Island Bar, an original by Harry Harrison!

File comment: Lamma Dragons 2013 - by Harry Harrison
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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Tue May 28, 2013 4:36 pm ]
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This amazing drawing raised an all-time record of $9,000 in auction in The Island Bar last Sat! This makes Harry probably the best-selling Lamma artist, I think. If he'd auction off more of his beautiful drawings he could be rich & famous, not just famous.

It would be so great to auction off a Harry drawing someday for this still struggling-to-survive website. But this is obviously not as worthy and popular a cause like the victorious and ever-popular dragonboaters or our wonderful animal charities and other local good causes, I understand that.
This is also confirmed by the almost total lack of any donations at the top right of the home page. This site might have to become more "commercial" to survive, hoping for the goodwill of the Lamma community won't save it, I'm afraid.

Back to this amazing drawing:
In case you were wondering which of the Lamma Dragons are portrayed in this drawing - the clothes on the drummer made me suspicious, not looking like something sassy Jess King would ever wear - the answer is: NONE. It's all 80s icons:

Harry writes:
"Margaret Thatcher, Sid Vicious, Mick Talbot, Boy George, Kevin Rowland, Wattie Buchan, Martin Fry, Mensi, Robert Smith, Morrissey, David Sylvian, Roddy Frame, Adam Ant...etc..."

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Tue May 28, 2013 6:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

Submitted by Lamma Dragons' Rachel Jacqueline /

Submission to SCMP Sport, 23 May 2012, published on 26 May, republished here with friendly permission:

Team Lamma show paddle power

Dragon-boat club has a long, proud tradition that has embraced the expat community and helped shape the fabric of the island

Stemming from ancient Chinese fishing traditions, dragon boating has evolved into a fiercely contested international water sport. Every year thousands compete in competitions, with hundreds of thousands more taking part worldwide. And yet, despite the sport's global reach, Hong Kong remains firmly at its core.

Passed from local fishing communities to curious “gweilo” foreigners during the 1970s, the sport has been celebrated ever since for its powerful displays of endurance and timely precision over a beer - or several more. Over the years, teams of foreign paddling enthusiasts have banded together on Hong Kong’s shores, and disappeared, along with the ebbs and flows in the tides of expat traffic. But there is one Hong Kong “gweilo” dragon boating club still paddling after 25 years: the Lamma Dragons.

Like any good dragon boating story, it started with a drink.

“I was in the Island Bar when I heard a drum coming from the harbour,” explains Kathy Basey, a Lamma resident and one of the founding members of the club. “Fishermen were practising [dragon boating] and it made me wonder, wouldn’t it be great to have a team?”

Unlike the men, who had a football and cricket team, Lamma’s women did not play any sport on the island. Lessons with the local fisherman were organised and “the rest is history,” says Basey.

Teaching the women was both a joy and a surprise for the local Lamma fishing community, for whom dragon boating was about team spirit and the strong friendships formed.

“We were surprised at their enthusiasm and how hard working they all were,” recalls local fisherman Leung Kan Tai. “I remember one of the team members saying, ‘We have learnt about team spirit from the fisherman, not just timing and technique’. It was well worth it.”

After forming a 22 persons team in 1987, the Lamma women began training in borrowed boats on the island with local fishermen at the helm, beating the drums. They took part in Chinese women’s' competitions – the only ex-pat team amongst a fiercly guarded Chinese tradition – for a laugh, but also to make the Lamma community proud.

Back then, it wasn’t a sport, says Sallie Shaw who has paddled with the club since 1992. “It was a cultural experience, maybe a bit of exercise too, but it was a lot of fun on Lamma.”

But then things got serious. The women shocked the local community in 1994by placing first in the Chai Wan Dragon Boating festival against nine Chinese women’s teams in a hotly contested final.

“It was one of those beautiful moments I’ll never forget. Everyone was rooting for us – this crazy group of gweilo women – and it was front page news at the time,” reminisces Shaw.

The success was no surprise says Leung, given how hard the woman trained. “They always accepted our advice and continued to work hard to improve. It was very satisfying to see the first foreign team to strongly compete in the many local races,” he says.

Today, the Lamma Dragons club has 70 active male and female paddler members who train three times a week for local and international competitions, as well as 25 non-active paddlers. Though perhaps not the biggest dragon boating team in Hong Kong, their size can be measured by their spirit and rich history.

“Watching them grow to the club they are today makes us proud to have been part of the process. We hold their friendship dear to us and I know they do too,” says Leung.

Folklore says the furious water sport has its roots in fishermen who raced across the Mei Lo river on fishing boats to save poet and politician, Qu Yuan, who had drowned himself in spite of local corruption. They sped on their boats to retrieve him, beating their drums and frantically stabbing at the water with their paddles to drive away the evil water spirits, but to no avail. To honour and feed his soul, they scattered rice into the water – a traditional celebrated each year at dragon boating festivals around the globe.

The foreign women’s involvement in the sport is all the more impressive considering that Chinese tradition dictated that women weren’t allowed to paddle. Being a male god, dragons were untouchable by the women asserted Chinese philosophy.

Against the odds, the women of the Lamma Dragons have been a dominant force in Hong Kong’s women’s dragon boating ever since. At the Lamma 500 festival just two weeks ago, the women took out the gold over the 1000m and silver in the 500 metres.

It’s not the coaching that has driven the club’s success – though the addition of Gina Miller, a seasoned canoeist, as club coach 12 years ago has seen the club’s performance increase dramatically. It’s not in the quality of the boats (they only purchased their first two dragon boats in 2010). It’s about the size of the heart of the club.

“There’s a lot of people with huge hearts here,” explains Josh Sellers, who has been part of the club for the last seven years. “Like any sport, you’ve got to know your team inside out. Timing is everything in dragon boating: you’re one paddle in the water.”

Though Sellers openly admits that it wasn’t always that way for the male members of the club, who took up the sport much later and whose focused remained more on the drinking opportunities, rather than physical aspects of the sport. “We were horrible, we would come in dead last in the plate final,” he says.

The increased popularity of outrigging on the island as a way to cross train for dragon boating, particularly among the men, was pivotal to bring them on par with the women. “We now get three or four boats out on the water at 6am on a Monday,” says Sellers. “Dragon boating has grown from this tiny tribe of people to sixty people turning up and fighting for a boat.”

Above all, the club’s success has to do with the pervading sense of community and their deep ties with the local fishing communities, who exclusively invite them to local races.

“Lamma is very lucky because it has a long continuum in its paddling. It has that neighbourly, inherited feeling. We are a small community, we know each other’s business – probably too much. When you get in the boat that day, you’re just continuing a conversation you had on the ferry,” says Gina Miller, club coach.

“I one hundred percent believe it’s because of the solidarity of the team; we really are like a family,” adds Vicki Medcalf, women’s captain.

Tim Pottle from rival SMUGZ team reluctantly agrees that the Lamma Dragons’ “X” factor has to do with the community aspect, combined with strong effort. “I think they encapsulate the whole Lamma feel in their team as well. It started off as a good community spirit but now they’ve backed it up with some hard work and good paddling,” he says. .

The popularity of the club has also seen non-Lamma residents make the one-hour return journey to take part in the club. Caroline Dingle moved to Hong Kong two years ago and has been paddling with the team ever since.
“The team is really fun, it’s a good combination of experience and enjoying yourselves. And hanging out on Lamma is really beautiful and is a nice way to spend the weekend out of Hong Kong.”

“I’ve thought about [joining an HK team], sometimes I’ve thought it might be more convenient,” she says. “But it’s become my life…I think you can go a little bit crazy just being in the city."

After 25 years of paddling and with more people drifting from Hong Kong towards the islands, the future of the Lamma Dragons looks bright. “I think it will continue to build. People on the team are very driven and they want it to move forward and progress,” says Miller.

And now members of the club have their sights firmly set on the future generation of dragon boaters. “With our new purchase of a 10 man Dragon Boat this year, we will be looking at a youth development program,” explains club Chairman, Brad Tarr. “We'd like our kids from our to community to grow up to be competitive Hong Kong paddlers like us.”

File comment: Lamma Dragons Past & Present - Lamma 500 - May 5, by Jean Gorguet
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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:12 pm ]
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Lamma Dragons, Ladies team, champions once again!
#1 in Discovery Bay on Dragonboating holiday today,
June 12, 2013! Congratulations!

File comment: Photo courtesy of Claudia Tarr.
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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:04 pm ]
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Courtesy of Scott Fink:
(C) SCMP, June 16, 1996, from Backbites:

File comment: (C) SCMP, June 16, 1996, from Backbites:
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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:10 pm ]
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This wasn't the only time the Lamma Dragons went submarine, doing their best Nessie impression, see a few years ago, also in YSW harbour:

File comment: Photo by Lydia C.
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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lamma 500 - Sun, May 5, 2013 - Power Station Beach

Lamma Dragons Fundraiser on Sat, May 24,

3 weeks after the Lamma 500 international dragonboat races on Sun, May 4 on Power Station Beach:

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Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lamma 500: May 4, 2014 | Lamma Dragons Fundraiser: May 2

Lamma 500 this Sunday!

So who put up that big banner at the Central ferry pier? See below, barefoot on a tiny, slippery stool, not worrying about his personal safety. His wife (former Lamma Dragons captain, like himself) took this photo yesterday and one of his teenage daughters will be paddling on Sunday.

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Author:  DaveR [ Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lamma 500 - Sun, May 5, 2013 - Power Station Beach

Lamma-Gung wrote:
Lamma Dragons Fundraiser on Sat, May 24,

3 weeks after the Lamma 500 international dragonboat races on Sun, May 4 on Power Station Beach:

I assume this poster means that people will be dressing up as cowboys or "Indians." If so, it's unsettling and disappointing that this team of predominantly white, privileged expats is planning on appropriating the culture and imagery of historically oppressed and marginalized peoples for a night of partying, regardless of the fact that it is in support of a good cause. I would expect better from the kind, thoughtful folks that make up the Lamma Dragons and I hope they take the time to reconsider the theme of their fundraiser.

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lamma 500: May 4, 2014 | Lamma Dragons Fundraiser: May 2

Poster has been changed due to popular and quite aggressive, politically correct comments, like the one above.
It's become a Wild West Fundraiser now.

I WON'T admit that Cowboys and Indians was one of our favourite games in primary school...

Author:  DaveR [ Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lamma 500: May 4, 2014 | Lamma Dragons Fundraiser: May 2

It's not "politically correct," it's having empathy and being human.

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