The IBCPC Dragon Boat Festival

Sara Sota’s amazing trip to Sarasota with Mary, Beth and Wilma for the International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission Dragon Boat Festival

by Beth Sowter

sara1Mary, her husband Andrew, and I left Australia almost a month after Wilma and Gary who were living the high life up to Alaska, across the Rockies and down the east coast of America. We stayed 9 days in San Francisco and Mary and I did a 2 night camping trip in magical Yosemite Park, where I discovered how unfit my legs were after a 4.5 mile (not km) walk down the zigzag trail from 3000’ to Yosemite Valley.

Mary did the  Supporters’ Race with my Sarasota paddle, there were 10 teams of supporters. Aren’t we the lucky lot to have them, they really did look after us, especially Mary the Masseuse
Mary did the Supporters’ Race with my Sarasota paddle, there were 10 teams of supporters. Aren’t we the lucky lot to have them? They really did look after us, especially Mary the Masseuse.
sara4We only had one practice as Team Inspiration, and with paddlers from right across Australia plus two from USA, we all thought that none of us had ever paddled before, with different calls, different styles, but with each race we improved our time and our finals race saw a united team all working hard, relishing the thrill of the racing and glowing with the friendships made at the Festival.

sara5Sara became quite a decadent traveller with much wine, lots of bbq ribs, Cajun chips, and more wine, so we had to keep up with her. She took us to Haight-Ashbury where I re-lived my past life as a Beatnik in the Beat Poet’s Museum (yep, I’m now of Museum status), and she then took us to Sarasota to paddle our butts off (literally – I have a dragon bite on my bum from the training camp we went to before the Festival).

As you can see our US Ambassador got into the Aussie style of life, and Sara made me put an Aussie flag tattoo on my face. I put it on upside down because I couldn’t see what I was doing.

sara3
Flowers on the Water (below) was special as always. This Festival believed in the ethos of “life after cancer”. We three have been totally inspired by the whole event.

sara7 Thank you DANTI for your support to get there.

Sara has her gold medal  (everyone got one ok) and is at the Sarasota airport, on her way to Louisville, Kentucky.
Sara has her gold medal (everyone got one ok) and is at the Sarasota airport, on her way to Louisville, Kentucky.


2014 IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival Sarasota, Florida, USA
Survivorship & Sisterhood in the Sunshine State

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