The Nehalem Wasabi Tiderunners dragonboat team finished the season successfully with a big trip to Big Fork, Montana for the 2019 Montana Dragonboat Festival. The race, which took place on Flathead Lake, included teams from Canada as well as the western US.
The Wasabi Tiderunners team came in first place for the B Level division in the 200 Meter race, and finished an exciting second place in the Guts and Glory 1500 meter race. Coach and caller for the Tiderunners, Char Von Ahlefedt of Manzanita, said that the Guts and Glory race was a real highlight for the team despite the second place finish.
“Our steersperson apologized to us because he said he came in a bit close to the buoy, so we lost a few points there,” but Von Ahlefeldt added that she was proud of the team because it was the longest distance they had ever paddled in a race.
Team members were also able to get some sightseeing in during the trip as it was so close to Glacier National Park.
“Glacier was really incredible,” said Von Ahlefeldt, noting that combining some dragonboat races with travel to new places is a goal of the team.
The team is winding down their season now, although they can be found on the Nehalem River dodging fishing boats this time of year until the end of October at which time the team removes the dragonboat from the river for the winter. Von Ahlefedlt said that she will be focusing on team fitness this winter with gym practice and pool practice in January and February. The team will start river practices again in March.
Von Ahlefeldt will be convening a team meeting soon to plan for local and out of state races for the 2020 season. Team members travel from their hometowns from up and down the North Coast, Astoria to Netarts, to participate. Interested paddlers can contact Von Ahlefeldt at 360-904-3899.