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Updates from Germany & Austria

Submitted by Svenja Franke-Bruhn, NR Austria/Germany

The pink paddling teams in the German speaking countries continue to thrive and are very active this year, almost back to how it was in the years before the pandemic.

News from Austria

I was very excited to paddle again in August on the next section of the Loire between Roanne and Nevers, meeting many old friends and making new ones with an international attendance.

Quite a few paddlers (and supporters!) attending this Loire Adventure/United Ladies were also members of our Vienna Pink Dragons International team, registered for the IBCPC festival next year at Lake Karapiro, New Zealand. We are all getting more and more excited about this upcoming event.

We again have an exciting composite team with paddlers coming this time from: Austria, UK, France, Belgium, Ireland, Cyprus, Sweden. Going by their original backgrounds there will be the flags on our shirts from New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Canada, Brazil, and Denmark too.

It is awesome that we have had the opportunity this year to meet beforehand in person at various places like the Loire:

  • We met some VPDI paddlers in Venice for the traditional Vogalonga and festival at the beginning of June. Three Vienna Pink Dragons paddled with the LIPS team, while five other Vienna Pink Dragons were kindly invited to join Claire Fiaschi’s team from Reims, France.

Guests from France, Belgium and Sweden paddled with us during our third pink festival wrapped around the Dragonboat Cup Ost in Vienna on the 25.6.2022. Even though it was a small event this year, still due to Covid, and unfortunately some paddlers could not come at all or were late due to problems with the flights we still had a wonderful time together including a lovely team dinner at our club and an “ice cream “paddle the next day. We were very touched this year by our flower ceremony with a speech by our new president of the Vienna Pink Dragons: Julia Glocker and a moving song performed live by one of our Vienna Dragons, Anna Kos. We also continued our tradition of presenting a self-made clay object, this time little bowls filled with flowers thanks to our pink paddler artist Alex Vitzthum.

  • Others did attend and met for the first time in Donegal, Ireland for the festival on the 30.7.2022.

  • I also had the chance to meet up with Stella from Cyprus in our respective roles for Europa Donna at conferences in Europe.

Furthermore, the Vienna Pink Dragons attended the annual highest Dragonboat race in the world on the Obersee in Defereggental, Tirol, which always takes place on the first Saturday in July. We enjoy it every year and again we were blessed by gorgeous weather, which enhanced the truly beautiful setting of this lake surrounded by the mountains at 2020m. Last year we were the only pink team, this year Pink Pearls from Heilbronn, Germany joined the races too. Who knows – the event in 2023 might see a true pink category with three pink teams? That would be fitting for the 15th anniversary of this event.

Finally, we had again a couple of international pink sisters, this time from the United States, visiting us. We always enjoy taking them on a tour through the inner-city, time permitting and including them in a paddle on the beautiful Alte Donau.

News from Germany:

In the last newsletter we published a map showing off how pink Germany became within the last few years. Well, I am happy to report that even more teams have started developing since then, among them in Stuttgart and Bad Waldsee. The latter on the initiative of Christine Tetzlaff, who is the driving force behind the Pink Paddlers “Schwarz-Gelb-Neckardrachen” in Tübingen.

Most of the pink teams in Germany are very active and easy to follow either on Facebook or more often now on Instagram.

This could well be the reason why only one report came back from Hannover even though many other interesting events took place. One of them was the traditional “pinke Wanderfahrt”, this time in Datteln, which proved to be a very popular and well received event.

Pink Dragonistas from Hanover also attended the CCWC in Sarasota and came back with three gold medals in the small boat BCS category. An amazing achievement.