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Update from Germany

Vienna, 29 October 2020

Svenja Franke-Bruhn

With the Pandemic since March and more lockdowns looming over us right now here in Europe with some already in place, I thought it would be nice to share some positive stories from the German speaking BCS teams. We have been fortunate to experience the camaraderie during the last months while exercising and even paddling together in some places depending on the rules.

In Germany there have been quite a few positive stories to share, some of them have been mentioned already in the last update. Many teams are thriving even in Corona times, new teams are about to be established, beautiful new paddles and team gear have been ordered and new boats have been delivered. The famous and popular Monkey Jumble near Saarbrücken has also taken place, however in a different setting as each of the four participating pink teams paddled in their own area and the times were compared afterwards. Congrats to the Aschaffenburger Schlossdrachen, who came first.

The stars on the pink paddling map in Germany become increasingly white spread and it starts looking promising in the south, where it was rather blank south of Tübingen. Personally I am very happy to see that there is also an initiative going on in the northern town KieI, as I used to live there for three years (before BC diagnosis, so I used to sail, not paddle ;-)

I will write on the development in more detail in the future.

For now I would like to share the recent uplifting stories from the Vienna Pink Dragons and the German team in Lünen, Ladybugs. Both teams have registered for the IBCPC festival in NZ 2022.

Stay safe everyone.

Svenja Franke-Bruhn, President VPD/IBCPC Rep German speaking teams.

Pink Paddling in Austria

The Vienna Pink Dragons were delighted to be able to recommence water training in June this year after months of virtual challenges and individual Outrigger paddling.

We realise how lucky we are to have been able to get out on the water as a team this year and empathise with all those teams who have been unable to do so. We also realise that we may not be able to do so for much longer.

In July we celebrated our 5th birthday in the beautiful scenery of East Tirol where we hiked (the race was unfortunately cancelled) and celebrated the journey our team has been on. We hope to race there next year on the 3rd July in a new pink category on the.

We have been very busy these past few months and thanks to a very creative and active social media team have shared this with some of you via Facebook, Instagram and most recently with some fun videos on YouTube (links below).

In August we participated in the at-home version (in our case together at our club) of the Muddy Angel Run and had a fantastic time laughing, dancing, running and getting muddy together. We also had several Moonlight paddles on the beautiful Alte Donau in conjunction with the Vienna Dragons with decorated boats, music and lights in September and October.

Our race season this year consisted of one event and we were very grateful to have even one such day. We combined with the Vienna Dragons as a women’s team to take part in the Wien Cup Ost which had been postponed from its usual June date. We hope to see some of you next year in June (19.6.2021) for our next Pink Festival.

Other activities recently have included our 5th Birthday party/paddle and participation in the Wien Uni Cancer Research Fun Run (in our case equal parts dancing and running/walking). We have also had a very motivated group of team members making VPD face masks.

We are very fortunate to have such a fun-loving, supportive and active team and have had the opportunity to celebrate and paddle together in person this year. We hope this opportunity continues or returns for all teams.

Helen Johnston, Vice president VPD.

A new boat for the Ladybugs!

What a strange year - with a lot of 'downs' due to COVID restrictions, but nevertheless with one big 'UP' - the watering ceremony for our new, big, pink dragon boat.

For more than a year we were looking for sponsors to buy a dragon boat for 20 paddlers. We already had a small one, but with a growing group of paddlers, it was getting crowded.

Shortly after the lockdown, we once again counted our money, and - wow - we recognized it would be enough for a brand new dragon boat. Great, but: We were not allowed to meet, no chance to come together to decide about colours, equipment, and so on. What to do? Waiting until COVID19 is history? This was not really an option. Instead, some of us met via ZOOM and Skype, brought the broad variety of combinations down to a handful. It should be PINK, for sure! But should it have a scales pattern? Or pure pink? Black with pink pattern? Pink with black pattern? White with pink pattern, the same as the small boat we already have? We had an online poll and asked the whole team to decide. Finally, the winner was: black, pink pattern, pink inside. On August 2nd, we officially welcomed our new boat in Lünen. COVID did not allow a big party, but fortunately, restrictions had been eased a little bit during summer. So at least our team was able to come together to celebrate. And it was not just a meeting. The organizing team had covered the boat upfront and revealed it in a small, but emotional ceremony, with music, confetti and raising our glasses with champagne. After that, the boat was escorted to the water, where it touched its natural element for the first time, and we PADDLED!

This was most definitely a highlight during this strange year. From August to Mid October, we used the boat for our training sessions. Now it has once again been stopped due to COVID, but we have already had a great time with it. We're so happy that we have this wonderful new pink boat. Well, we might be a little bit prejudiced, but in our opinion, it's the most beautiful dragon boat of all :-).... And definitely a real eye catcher on the 'Datteln-Hamm-Canal', our training area, where you normally just find freight vessels transporting coal, sand or gas. Heike Auel, Ladybugs Lünen, Germany

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