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News from Austria and Germany

by Svenja Franke-Bruhn, Country Liaison Austria and National representative Germany

Vienna Pink Dragons, Austria

The Vienna Pink Dragons enjoyed a busy sunny summer not only with regularly training on the Alte Donau and a number of full moon paddles, but also a fun Muddy Dragon Day held at the club including many games and of course good food to share. We all thoroughly enjoyed these get-togethers, especially after the difficulties of the last year and the many COVID restrictions.

Furthermore, the team went “on tour” in Austria, spreading the word about dragon boating as a rehabilitation sport. We started in Graz as part of its annual Riverdays and the following month we took part in the races at Obersee in Defereggental, Tirol. With 2020m above sea level this is the highest dragon boat race in the word.

We tend to go their every year, until now as part of the Vienna Dragons. Last year we did a great hike instead as the event could not take place. We all thoroughly enjoyed the races this year for the first time starting as a pink team. The setting is just stunning with the beautiful lake surrounded by the gorgeous mountains close to the Italian border. We are very much looking forward to next year when we are hoping to establish a pink category (3.7.2022), only a week after our own Pink Festival wrapped around the Dragonboat Cup Ost in Vienna (25.6.2022).

Happy times at Obersee

Individually we also went on tour again as the joy of paddling accompanies us during our travels. In my case I loved taking part in August with the United Ladies during their 3rd Loire adventure, which left a deep impression. We paddled for 4 days 150 km along the L’Allier and the Loire. You can read about this in more detail in an article by the IBCPC French representatives.

The next highlight was meeting many of those United Ladies again at the Dragonboat festival in Annecy beginning of October, yet another gorgeous lake in a beautiful landscape.

The United Ladies team in their fun outfit

Helen, our vice president, loved paddling with the Copenhagen pink team in September.

Our Pinktober began with a visit from the French Casiopeea team as part of their amazing cycling trip from Paris to Bucharest. We enjoyed our time together including a reception at the French embassy as well as fun afternoon paddle.

We finished this busy month with a great Halloween Dragonboat outing including scary as well as funny dress ups and a beautifully decorated boat, which was taken out for a paddle after sunset. All this was followed by a lovely team dinner in true Halloween spirit. As you can imagine our little mascot, Lara now almost five years old, had a great time.

Last but not least, Vienna Pink Dragon Annelore Palac had the joy and honour of taking part at the Regatta Historica in Venice in September. We had planned to watch this event together, however I had to cancel last minute. Well, it turned it turned out to be very nice and emotional experience not only for Annelore, but also for her accompanying family.

You can read the great article about this experience written by daughter Dominique. Tad Palac took all the photos.

Germany continues to be on the rise regarding the establishment of pink teams. Already counting 23 pink teams, there are quite a few new initiatives, among others in Kiel, Essen and latest in Koblenz. It was a real pleasure for me to meet some members of the young team in Essen, the TVK Pink Dragons in August. Great to know I have a team now to paddle with on the beautiful Ruhr when I am back in my hometown.

The IBCPC also welcomed several German pink teams as new members. They are located in the following cities: Wilhelmshaven, Bremen, Datteln, Worms and Tübingen. I invited the new additions to present themselves to you all and the start is made below by the “Pink Dragons”, located in Datteln.

"Hello dear Pink Paddler

We are the Pink Dragons from Datteln / Germany and are excited to be IBCPC members since April 2021. Our first training took place on 24 September 2015 with just 6 women diagnosed with breast cancer participating. By now we have grown to be a happy and motivated team of 18 afflicted and 7 supporters.

Our training area is called the "Dattelner Meer"and is located right next to our club house. It is the largest canal hub in Europe, provides a large area for water sports and, in spite of cargo ship traffic, is a beautiful place. We train here every Thursday evening and have taken part in a couple small contests by now.

Since 2019 we have partnered with the Ladybugs from Lünen and Pink Patrol from Bochum to form an additional paddling community. The team "Das pinke Ruhrpottboot"is made up of members of the aforementioned teams and participates in larger contests. Unfortunately, due to the corona pandemic, the 1. "Deutschland-Cup in Pink"has been our only contest so far, but we are looking forward to more.

The community with other breast cancer patients means a lot to us and we are excited, that the "Pink Dragons"will host next year's "DKV Wanderfahrt in Pink", an event hosted by a different Pink Paddler team from Germany every year in collaboration with the DKV. We are very much looking forward to that!

A happy "paddles up" from Datteln's Pink Dragons."

The national German Championships were held in September in Brandenburg and three pink teams in small boats took part. Christina Bremer from Pink Dragonistas, Hannover, was so kind to send in the following article describing the races and the joy of qualifying for the CCWC in Sarasota 2022.

“Here comes some happy pink dragon boat news from Germany! In September, 3 teams shared some very emotional moments at the German National Championships. First of all, the newly formed team Pink Dragons Halle used the special occasion to celebrate the launching of their own new pink race boat while the paddlers of all participating teams stood to listen to the national anthem during the opening ceremony on Friday night. Shortly after the dragon´s eyes were opened and the boat´s name “Phönix” was revealed, the long-distance races started
In a mixed field of participants in the 2000 m race, the Pink Dragons Halle placed 2nd in their new boat, following the Pink Dragonistas from Hannover in the BCS category.

Two other pink teams found a great reason to celebrate together: Both, the Pink Dragonistas as champions and the Küstenpinkies from Wilhelmshaven as runner-ups in the 200m and 500 m competitions qualified for the World Club Crew Championships in Sarasota in 2022 and are overwhelmed by the opportunity to take part in an international regatta.

As the weekend on beautiful Beetzsee in Brandenburg has shown, meeting in person (and not only in the European online training sessions organized by Pink Champagne in the UK) after the long COVID break was a fantastic experience and some ties were found or renewed. The Germans are looking forward to bonding with pinkies from around the world in Florida! See you next July - All the best and Cheers from Hannover!”