Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

I think that by now most of us have found our way back home from our racing and any extended sightseeing, and I wanted to send this out before we all got back to our busy lives and on to the next race.
First of all, I want to say how honored and grateful I am to have been a part of our Khmer-Krom Dragons. It was truly a pleasure paddling with all of you. Each race event has its own set of opportunities and complications, and each team develops its own dynamic as the event unfolds. The process of getting to know all of you, finding common ground, working together has been the best transformation this season has ever brought. With the two races before Tampa and in the four days we spent in Tampa, we managed what some of our competitors had been working on together, for months!! This is evident from our outstanding results, and even more so from the very nice emails that have been sent around this past couple of weeks. We raced against the top teams in their own backyard, and they had a much larger base to draw from for their crews with much less, or no, cross rostering. Yet we were right there in the hunt in the two divisions in every heat! Several of our races were some of the best I have ever been a part of, and as I said at the site, that “giddy” feeling that is almost spiritual of a perfectly executed race does not come all that often. Hardware at a world event is hard to come by, and our Premier Mixed and Open crews earned our fair share. Be proud everyone! 
In addition, to all of us that were just responsible for getting in the boat and paddling, there are several individuals that I wanted to say a special thank you to for making this such a positive experience for us all.
First, to all the adults (for fear of forgetting anyone I will collectively call them “adults”) responsible for coordinating all the races we have participated in, who has spent literally hundreds of hours creating lists, spreadsheets, submit rosters, and sending emails to make sure that everything we did happened when it needed to. They have made the job easier by a hundred fold and we could not have managed without them. Thanks “adults”!!!! Also thanks for making us look good with our awesome uniform. I am looking forward to having my next one.
Thank you to the Khmers Kampuchea Krom Federation (KKF) in its entirety, the KKF Chapters of Florida, they did everything from housing, food, shuttle arrangements and the never ending cheers that carried us all the way to the finish line. A very special thanks also goes to our own KKF Chapter and the Khmer-Krom community in Washington State for their tireless support of the team for every race endeavors we pursue. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! We could not have done it without you.
Thanks also to those that got grabbed from whatever they were doing to help out with the endless “what if” scenarios while we were in Tampa.
We also owe a big thanks to our helmsmen Ken Lam and Richard Cao who both did an outstanding job maneuvering the race course. They did an absolutely awesome job from the first day of practice through the final turns of the 2000m. Your focus in the boat helped bring our crews together that much faster. The bottom line is that our ability to have confidence in each other from the front to the back of the boat allowed the paddlers to focus on their jobs, and this alone is worth seats in every race.
Finally, thanks to everyone, for that willingness to be part of a team is what creates our success. Great job everyone!
I’m looking forward to the next race. This is the best part of being a part of Khmer-Krom Dragons finding new friends, or maybe getting to know old friends a little bit better. And for me that means more than anything.
Cheers until next time! By: Cel