Dragon boat team wins in Philadelphia
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Pittsburgh paddlers are making a big splash.
Team Pittsburgh -- formed from the crews of the two Pittsburgh dragon boat teams, the Pittsburgh Paddlefish, sponsored by the Three Rivers Rowing Association, and the Steel City Dragons -- won the inaugural Philadelphia Independence Dragon Boat Regatta on May 9.
Twenty-eight teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., competed in the race, which was held to raise funds for the U.S. men's and women's teams that will compete in the world championships in Sydney, Australia, in September.
A dragon boat is a long, slim, colorfully painted boat with a dragon's head on the prow. Dragon boat racing originated in China about 2,400 years ago. A typical crew has 20 paddlers, a drummer and a helmsman. A worldwide revival began about 25 years ago, and dragon boat racing is now one of the world's fastest-growing water sports. Both Pittsburgh teams were formed in 2002.
Robin Crawford, a nurse at Western Pennsylvania Hospital and a member of the Steel City Dragons, will be part of the U.S. women's team in Sydney. Stefani Danes will be part of Team USA Grand Masters (over age 50) team.
In addition to Ms. Crawford and Ms. Danes, the members of Team Pittsburgh were: Ada Ayala-Reyes, Ben Ledewitz (coach of the Pittsburgh Paddlefish), Bob Randolph, Carolyn Newkirk, Dick Northway, Doug Cooper, Jacop Witul, Jonathan Mayes, Jordan Lowe, Larry Wentzel (coach of the Steel City Dragons), Laurie Butler, Liz Morris, Lynne Franks-Meinert, Mary Ulsh, Marty Silverman, Mary Scanlon, Mary Brenholts, Natacha DeGenna, Pete Schoedel, Rachel Blair, Rissa Witul and Suhail Baloch.
First Published June 19, 2007 5:22 pm