Past Meetup

Dragon Boat Racing!!

This Meetup is past

22 people went

Price: $60.00 /per person
Location image of event venue

Details

*** If you are interested in joining the 20s & 30s team instead, please click here (http://www.meetup.com/20sand30sgroup/events/171131812/) ***

UPDATE #18: It's race weekend this Saturday and Sunday!! Please arrive by 7am. We will check in and warm up, before our team gets called to the marshaling area one hour before our first race. Note the location is at the Thompson Boat Center as listed at the top of the event posting (not where we have been practicing). Don't forget to account for Metro, traffic, and parking delays. Our tents will be on the grassy part of the park, facing the water. Space is first come first serve, so I’m going to check out some prime real estate before 7am. If you see our tents but don’t find me, it’s because I am at the captain’s meeting. So just settle down at the tents so our coach Carlo can go through logistics with us. Please take a look at the "Race Day FAQs" section for what we can expect on race day. I still need the festival waivers and copy of IDs from a few people. PIease get them to me no later than end of day Friday. Click here. (http://files.meetup.com/214400/2014_FestivalWaiver.pdf) You can email it to me at jt [at] goingoutgroup [dot] com or fax to 703.991.7098. Also, make sure to fill in the Race Day Food List, with what you are going to bring to share for the two day event. Click here. (https://docs.google.com/a/goingoutgroup.com/spreadsheets/d/1enSf_iq9nbUcYJIFkTGYM1ZAPPRsP24QvIZ6ukWEH5A/edit#gid=0) Make sure you have your red shirt (and black bottoms if you have them), to coordinate for race day, and feel free to get creative with accessories! Since the festival runs the full day, make sure to bring either blankets to lay on or lawn chairs to sit. I would highly recommend bringing sunscreen because we will be in the sun all day. This is going to be a great race. I hope you all invite your friends to come and watch. The festival is open and free to the public to watch. I will email my cell no. to the yes RSVPs first thing in the morning of the first day. Paddles up!

UPDATE #17: For any new paddlers (only) joining us since the event got rescheduled from the original May 17th / 18th dates, the festival organizers have added additional practice dates for you! They are as follows: Sat. May 31st @ 8:30 - 10am (click here (http://dcdragonboat.org/web3/index.php/component/ohanah/dc-dragon-boat-festival-new-festival-paddler-training-1) to sign up). Sat. May 31st @ 10:30am - noon (click here (http://dcdragonboat.org/web3/index.php/component/ohanah/dc-dragon-boat-festival-new-festival-paddler-training-2) to sign up). Sat. May 31st @ 11am - 12:15pm (click here (http://tinyurl.com/DCFestivalTraining)). Sun. June 8th @ 8:45 - 10:30am (click here (http://tinyurl.com/DCFestivalTraining)). You'll need to fill out and bring the training waiver with you (click here (http://files.meetup.com/214400/2014_TrainingWaiver.pdf)). For all team members, I still need the festival waivers (different than the training waivers) and copy of IDs from a few people (click here (http://files.meetup.com/214400/2014_FestivalWaiver.pdf)). You can email it to me at jt [at] goingoutgroup [dot] com. Also, don't forget to fill in the Race Day Food List, with what you are going to bring to share for the two day event (click here (https://docs.google.com/a/goingoutgroup.com/spreadsheets/d/1enSf_iq9nbUcYJIFkTGYM1ZAPPRsP24QvIZ6ukWEH5A/edit#gid=0)). Thank you, I'm looking forward to it!

UPDATE #16: Some additional spots have opened up since this event has been rescheduled! For any new sign ups, please attend one of the beginner's practices Sat. May 24th or Sat. May 31st @ 8:30 - 10am, offered by the DC Dragon Boat Club. Ask for our coach, Carlo Veloso. Click here (http://dcdragonboat.org/) to register on their site, and from there you can sign up for the beginner practice. For the remaining original Dragon Boat team members, no new practices will be scheduled. Just review the "How to Paddle" video section, and practice at home, and we'll be ready to go! Looking forward to it!

UPDATE #15: Due to the volume of rain we've received recently, the Potomac River has reached flow rates and flood stages that are unsafe for racing. As such, the festival organizers have rescheduled this event to the weekend of June 14th / 15th. If you are unable to make the new dates, please email me NO LATER THAN end of day Tues. May 20th for a full refund. No refunds will be given after that date. If you are still able to join us on the new dates, please send me an email (through my Meetup profile) letting me know if you can race both days, or just Sat. or just Sun. See you there!

UPDATE #14: Get pumped! It's race weekend this Saturday and Sunday!! Please plan to arrive by 7am, if you can, to help me settle in and set up. You must arrive absolutely NO LATER THAN 8am so we can check in and properly warm up, before our team gets called to the marshalling area before our first race. Note the location is at the Thompson Boat Center as listed at the top of the event posting (not where we have been practicing). Don't forget to account for Metro, traffic, and parking delays. Our tents will be on the grassy part of the park, facing the water. Space is first come first serve, so I’m going to check out some prime real estate before 7am. If you see our tents but don’t find me, it’s because I am at the captain’s meeting. So just settle down at the tents so our coach Carlo can go through logistics with us. Please take a look at the "Race Day FAQs" section for what we can expect on race day. I still need the festival waivers and copy of IDs from a few people. PIease get them to me no later than end of day Friday. Click here. (http://files.meetup.com/214400/2014_FestivalWaiver.pdf) You can email it to me at jt [at] goingoutgroup [dot] com. Also, make sure to fill in the Race Day Food List, with what you are going to bring to share for the two day event. Click here. (https://docs.google.com/a/goingoutgroup.com/spreadsheets/d/1enSf_iq9nbUcYJIFkTGYM1ZAPPRsP24QvIZ6ukWEH5A/edit#gid=0) Make sure you have your red shirt (and black bottoms if you have them), to coordinate for race day, and feel free to get creative with accessories! Since the festival runs the full day, make sure to bring either blankets to lay on or lawn chairs to sit. I would highly recommend bringing sunscreen because we will be in the sun all day. This is going to be a great race. I hope you all invite your friends to come and watch. The festival is open and free to the public to watch. Paddles up!

UPDATE #13: We still have spots left for our team roster! If you are able to go to the make up beginner practice Sat. May 10th (see UPDATE #12), please sign up and join our team!

UPDATE #12: We had a great final practice. We were able to take everything we've learned thus far and tie it all together for a complete race from start to finish! If you were not able to make any of the 3 team practices, please sign up for the DC Dragon Boat Club's beginner practice Sat. May 10th from 8:30 - 10am. Click here (http://dcdragonboat.org/) to register on their site, and from there you can sign up for the beginner practice. Please remember to get me the signed waiver and copy of your photo ID before race day, and also add to the food list of what you can bring (see "Race Day FAQs" for full details). I'm looking forward to seeing you on race day!

UPDATE #11: We are just over 2 weeks days away from a fun and exciting weekend of Dragon Boat racing! Our 3rd and final practice session is Sat. May 3rd at 1:30pm. We will again meet for practice at the Gangplank Marina (see the "Practice Sessions" section of the event posting for full details), not the Thompson Boat Center (which is race day only). This is going to be the toughest practice, so be ready and be on time. Don't forget to account for Metro, traffic, and parking delays. Be aware that street parking along the dock is metered on Saturdays. So if you are driving, give yourself plenty of time to park. If you are unable to attend this session, please send me an email (through my Meetup profile) and let me know. In preparation for race day(s), and in the true Allstar spirit of individuality and creative awesomeness, the 30s & 40s Allstars team is going to wear red tops and black shorts. You can wear any style shirt (whether you have a tank top or cotton t-shirt) but let's stand out in our best bright red. Feel free to wear funky rockstar sunglasses, do face painting, or add any other accessories to give us that extra edge on the water. Let’s have fun with it! For race day, please complete the following: 1) Waiver for the race (2 pages), including a scanned copy of your photo ID. Click here. (http://files.meetup.com/214400/2014_FestivalWaiver.pdf) You can email it to me at jt [at] goingoutgroup [dot] com. This is mandatory and I need to have it before race day. 2) We will need water and fuel for two days of intense racing. Please review the food list and jot down what you are able to share with the team. Also include whether you can bring a cooler and ice to keep our goods cool (multiple people can sign up to bring water and other items). Click here. (https://docs.google.com/a/goingoutgroup.com/spreadsheets/d/1enSf_iq9nbUcYJIFkTGYM1ZAPPRsP24QvIZ6ukWEH5A/edit#gid=0) As always, you can email me directly if you have any questions. Thank you all for joining. I am having a great time practicing with and getting to know you!

UPDATE #10: We still have spots left for our team roster! If you are able to make the final remaining practice (see the "Practice Sessions" section of the event posting), please sign up and join our team!

UPDATE #9: Our last practice session went great! We reviewed basic commands / paddling mechanics, and we were able to practice our start sequence, and hone in on our race pace. We learned a few more terms at this last practice, and I've updated the "Dragon Boat Commands" section of the event posting as such. I am convinced we are going to perform very well at the festival. Let's get excited!

UPDATE #8: We are 4 weeks away from race day, and Sun. Apr. 20th is our 2nd practice session! We will again meet for practice at the Gangplank Marina from 1:30 - 3pm (see the "Practice Sessions" section of the event posting for full details). Please plan to arrive 15 minutes before our scheduled practice time and please account for Metro, traffic, and parking delays. If you are late, you will not be able to join us on the water. If you are unable to attend this session, please send me an email (through my Meetup profile) and let me know. Review the "Clothing" and "Equipment" sections for tips on what to wear and bring to practice, and review the video in the "How To Paddle" section on the basic stroke mechanics. This practice will focus on teamwork, timing, and practicing the 500 meter races. We'll also be trying out anyone who is interested in being the drummer for the boat. We need a loud voice who feels comfortable enough to sit at the bow of the boat. Also, please review the commands we learned at our last practice. We will need to practice and memorize these commands by race day (see the "Dragon Boat Commands" section). Lastly, I forgot to get a group photo for the official race day program at the last practice, so I'd like to do that at this one. I'm looking forward to another great practice. Please feel free to email me if you have ANY questions. Paddles Up!

UPDATE #7: We still have spots left for our team roster! If you are able to make at least one of the two (preferably both) remaining practices (see the "Practice Sessions" section of the event posting), please sign up and join our team!

UPDATE #6: The early-bird price has ended and the ticket price is now $60. Looking forward to seeing you there!

UPDATE #5: We've been able to extend the early bird price! The first 20 paid sign-ups, or those who pay before Thurs. Apr. 10th (whichever comes first) get the early bird price! After that, the ticket price will go to $60.

UPDATE #4: What a great first practice session! The 30s & 40s Allstars (our team name) learned basic commands and showed great improvement in timing through the one hour practice. We came together cohesively and we are off to a fantastic start! Now that we've got actual paddling experience under our belt, please take a moment to review the video in the "How to Paddle" section of the event posting as a recap. Can't wait for the next practice!

UPDATE #3: For our first practice, please plan to arrive 30 minutes before our scheduled 12 noon practice time as we have housekeeping items to take care of. Please account for Metro, traffic, and parking delays. If you are late, you will not be able to join us on the water. Please note street parking is limited, and strictly enforced. Personal items may be left in the check-in area, tho the DC Dragonboat Club is not responsible for the security of those items. Dress appropriately for weather 10 degrees below the forecasted temperature for your training time. I suggest wearing multiple thin inner layers, and one water-repellent / wind breaker shell outside. People with health conditions must inform the coach and bring appropriate medications and emergency supplies (insulin injectors, candies / sugar, asthma inhaler, etc.). I'll be the one with a red flag. See you there!

UPDATE #2: Our first of 3 practices is this Sun. Apr. 6th, 12 - 1:30pm! Please bring a copy of a completed Training Waiver form... click here (http://files.meetup.com/214400/2014_TrainingWaiver.pdf). We are going to have an awesome time getting fit and having fun paddling. Please see the "Practice Sessions," "Clothing," and "Equipment" sections of the event posting for what to expect from each practice, some tips on what to wear, and how to prepare for race day. Also, note the location for our practices is at the Gangplank Marina (600 Water St SW, DC, Waterfront Metro, Green line, is just a block away), not the Thompson Boat Center (which is race day only). Lastly, I'd like to get a group photo for the official race day program at this practice. See you there!

UPDATE #1: There are 5 early bird spots left and the price will increase from $50 to $60 when the early bird spots are gone or before Sat. Apr. 5th (whichever comes first). To be fair to those who want to join in and are ready to make payment, I'll be removing those that haven't paid by Sun. Mar. 23rd. So make payment to *truly* lock in your spot. I hope to see you there!

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Spring is here, so let's get together and form a dragon boat team to compete in the 13th annual DC Dragon Boat Festival!

Attended by thousands, this festival is a 2 day event (Sat. May 17th AND Sun. May 18th) complete with cultural exhibitions, lion dances, eye dotting ceremonies, craft demonstrations, and of course... dragon boat racing, at the Thompson Boat House, in Georgetown, along the Potomac River. For those that don't know, dragon boat is a traditional Chinese water sport, where 20 people, sitting in pairs, paddle towards the finish line, while a drummer in the front of the boat drums to the race pace.

Based on the 2300 year old legend of Qu Yuan, Qu Yuan was a Chinese poet and statesman, who in the ultimate form of protest, committed suicide in the Mei Lo river. Local fisherman who witnessed the act quickly paddled their boats to the river and thrashed the water in order to scare the fish away from eating his body. This act of thrashing the water has now evolved into the sport of dragon boating which honors Qu Yuan's sacrifice. Check out the video below for an overview!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2mxGKuOm5s

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We are privileged to have Carlo Veloso from the DC Dragon Boat Club (http://dcdragonboat.org) as our coach and to train us for the festival. We need 30 or more fun people to sign-up and form our team. No experience necessary! We'll start to practice on Sun. Apr. 6th and we will have three practice sessions in dragon boats, during the weekends, leading up to the race (see Practice Sessions section below). Please do your best to attend all 3, or at least 2.

We've got an early bird special for this event of $50. The first 20 paid sign-ups, or those who pay before Sat. Apr. 5th get the early bird price! After that, the ticket price will go to $60. Secure your slot by RSVP'ing yes *and* making payment!

Also please know that your RSVP is not guaranteed unless we receive payment. When you pay, your online receipt is confirmation that we have received your payment.

Tell your friends, and come join us as we prepare to kick some butt. Paddles up!

- J.T.

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Metro and Parking

The closest Metro is Foggy Bottom (Orange & Blue line). I recommend using wmata.com (http://www.wmata.com/) for travel planning. Don't forget to account for Metro, traffic and parking delays. If you are driving, you will need to find street parking or a garage.

Payment Instructions (Paypal account not required):

Please follow the instructions below for making payment (if payment by smartphone doesn't work, please try your computer). Payment at the door will be permitted only should the event not sell out. Most of our events do sell out, so we recommend you secure your spot online early. If you make payment for less than the current ticketed price displayed without prior correspondence, your RSVP will be removed.

1. Select "Yes" under "Will you attend?"

2. Enter the number of guests coming and click "Finish RSVP"

3. Click "Pay Now" at the top of the event posting near the ticket price per person

4. Verify correct dollar amount for number of people you're paying for, click "Pay Now" button

5. If you don't have a Paypal account, click "Pay with a Debit or Credit Card"

6. If you have a Paypal account, simply log in, and pay as you normally would via Paypal

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Practice Sessions

The practices are on weekends leading up to the event on the following dates at the Gangplank Marina (600 Water St SW, DC, Waterfront Metro, Green line, is just a block away). It's located between the Channel Inn hotel and the marina's parking lot, I'll be the one with a red kayak / ACK flag (12" x 12")! I recommend using wmata.com (http://www.wmata.com/) for travel planning. Don't forget to account for Metro, traffic, and parking delays. If you are driving, you will need to find street parking or a garage. Please bring a copy of a completed Training Waiver form... click here (http://files.meetup.com/214400/2014_TrainingWaiver.pdf). If you don’t sign it, you will not participate. Only one signed waiver per person is necessary for all 3 practices. Personal items may be left in the check-in area, tho the DC Dragonboat Club is not responsible for the security of those items. People with health conditions must inform the coach and bring appropriate medications and emergency supplies (insulin injectors, candies / sugar, asthma inhaler, etc.).

• Practice Session 1 (Sun. Apr. 6th, 12 - 1:30pm) -- I will have a waiver for each paddler to sign before getting on the boat. If you don’t sign it, you will not participate. First 30 minutes are to warm-up, discuss safety and technique, and set assigned seats for the boat. One hour of training on the water, where the focus will be safety and technique basics.

• Practice Session 2 (Sun. Apr. 20th, 1:30 - 3pm) -- First 30 minutes are to warm-up, discuss safety and technique, and set assigned seats for the boat.• One hour of training on the water, where the focus will be teamwork, timing, and 500 meter races.

• Practice Session 3 (Sat. May. 3rd, 1:30 - 3pm) -- First 30 minutes are to warm-up, discuss safety and technique, and set assigned seats for the boat. One hour of training on the water, where the focus will be timing, race starts and race finishes, the 250 meter sprint, and 500 meter race.

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Clothing

There is no need to go out and get a whole new wardrobe, but I recommend the following:

• Dry-fit or water repellent clothing

• Multiple thin inner layers (dress for weather 10 degrees below forecasted temperature)

• Flip-flop sandals or water shoes

• A windbreaker jacket, in case there is rain, or to help you stay dry

• A cap to shield your head from the sun

• Sunglasses, to help block the sun reflecting off the water

Equipment

The DC Dragon Boat Club will be providing the life jackets and paddles. However, you are required to bring your own bottle of water. You will be working hard and it is imperative that you stay hydrated. Even on a cold day, you are responsible for bringing our own bottle of water. Sunscreen is also recommended. It is not mandatory to make it to each practice session, but you will feel better about your performance the more sessions you come to. The best piece of equipment you can bring is an open—a willingness to try something new and stick with it till the end.

How to Paddle

Here is a good How To Paddle video that illustrates the set-up, catch, and drive motion that produces the most power.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7lRbj3K8c4

Some things you'll notice is her posture and how she holds the paddle.

• Notice she keeps her outer arm (the one closest to the blade) very straight through the set-up and drive. The straight arm anchors the paddle in the forward angle, allowing you to catch further in front of you.

• Her exit is at mid-thigh, with just a slight pull with her top arm (hand holding the handle) and a full rotation.

• Every time she is at the set up position, to catch the water (same as “paddles-up” call), her back is completely turned to the water. She’s not just showing off her back muscles here. She is turning her back, shoulders, and arms to get the best reach forward.

• Lastly, her head is always looking up to the person in front of her. The only way her team will be successful is if they couple technique with perfect timing. So always keep your head up. Keeping your head up also opens up the airway in your throat, making I easier to breathe—also important.

The only thing I would change from this video is that we want to avoid bobbing our bodies up and down when we lean forward. We prefer you sit with your body leaned forward at all times. If she were able to stabilize her body by remaining in the forward motion when she makes the catch, she wouldn’t have to work harder to move her torso forward and back. Take a look at the video and practice this motion while sitting on a sturdy chair.

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Dragon Boat Commands

We'll learn these commands during our practice sessions. =)

• Paddles Up - Get to the ready position: paddle blades out of the water

• Take it Away - Begin paddling at a normal clip (not too hard, not too gentle)

• Let it Run - Stop paddling and allow the boat to glide

• Hold Water - Insert your paddle vertically in the water (to "put on the brakes")

• Hold Hard - Quickly, hold the boat WITH a little push forward -- generally used if the boat is about to hit something!

• Back Paddle - Paddle backwards to put the boat "in reverse"

• Paddles On The Water or Stabilize the Boat - Hold your paddle firmly and flat against the surface of the water. This is done when a coach or crew member needs to change positions on the water.

• Heads in the Boat - Used to get the attention of all paddlers and that the next instruction or command is important. Note that whenever you turn to look toward the back of the boat, look down the CENTER of the boat to maintain stability.

• (Front / Back) Draw (Left / Right) - Instructions could be to a combination of people in the boat, to move the boat laterally by pulling toward the side of the boat or pushing water away from the side of the boat.

• Attention - Part of the starter’s calls just before “Go!” in a race. Your blade is buried in the water, ready for the first stroke, top arm high and straight.

• Sit Ready - After a rest, this is your caller’s warning to prepare yourself. “Paddles up!” is usually next.

• Power (Power 10) – A sequence of 10 strokes at 100% of power but maintaining the same stroke rate.

• Catch – The beginning of the stroke, where the paddle is poised above the water just before the drive.

• Pull – This part of the stroke delivers your power into the water. Picture yourself unrotating and pulling the boat through the water.

• Exit – Extracting the paddle from the water at the end of the pull. The exit should happen before your thigh. Do not let the paddle drag behind you.

• Recovery – The in-the-air part. The paddle floats forward over the water to prepare for the next stroke.

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Race Day FAQs

Q: What colors will our team wear? -- A: In preparation for race day(s), and in the true spirit of individuality and creative awesomeness, we are going to wear red tops and black shorts. You can wear any style shirt (whether you have a tank top or cotton t-shirt) but let's stand out in our best bright red. Feel free to wear funky rockstar sunglasses, do face painting, or add any other accessories to give us that extra edge on the water. Let’s have fun with it!

Q: Do I need to fill out a waiver for race day? -- A: Yes, please complete the following waiver for the race (2 pages), including a scanned copy of your photo ID. Click here. (http://files.meetup.com/214400/2014_FestivalWaiver.pdf) You can email it to me at jt [at] goingoutgroup [dot] com. This is mandatory and I need to have it before race day.

Q: Should I bring any food and drinks? -- A: We will need water and fuel for two days of intense racing. Please review the food list and jot down what you are able to share with the team. Also include whether you can bring a cooler and ice to keep our goods cool (multiple people can sign up to bring water and other items). Click here. (https://docs.google.com/a/goingoutgroup.com/spreadsheets/d/1enSf_iq9nbUcYJIFkTGYM1ZAPPRsP24QvIZ6ukWEH5A/edit#gid=0)

Q: What are the actual scheduled times that we will race? -- A: Captains are assigned the race schedule on race day, so we'll know when we get there. The time for the first race is determined when captains check-in. The time for the second race is determined after EVERY team races their first heat. The time for the third race is determined after the second heat.

Q: How many times will we race? -- A: Our team can expect to race up to three times on each day. The first race is a time trial that determines what division you are placed in. The second race (semi-finals) is the first time you get to paddle with the teams that are roughly at your skill level. The final race consists of the fastest teams from each division, where we race just the fastest in our division.

Q: We have 30 teammates but the boats only seat 20 people. What are we going to do? -- A:We will rotate paddlers so everyone gets to race at least twice. If another team needs an extra paddler I may ask who would like to volunteer to help a team out. Boats are really hard to move when you are missing teammates. (Before doing this, we need to make sure that they are not in our division and their next race does not interfere with you getting back in time to race with us)

Q: Agh! I don’t want to be there all day. What are we going to be doing? -- A: Seriously, you need to get more Chinese friends, because we can party. The DC Dragon Boat Festival is a fun festival full of music, dance shows, crafts, and other cultural activities and ceremonies celebrating Chinese culture.

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Event Check-in

We will have a master list of all those that have paid. It’s not required, but I recommend printing out your payment confirmation as a backup. When you check-in, your RSVP will be listed under the name of the Paypal or credit card account used to make payment. Typically, this is your LEGAL name as shown on your driver's license. Sometimes, it may be under a company name if you set up your Paypal or credit card account that way. If you are not sure what it is, please take a moment to log into your Paypal account (it will say "Welcome, [your account name]" at the top) or your credit card account to find out. If you are RSVP'd under someone else's payment, please use that name for check-in.

Refund Policy & Ticket Resell

Since we paid in advance for this event, all sales are final unless the event is canceled or rescheduled. Similar to a concert ticket or a football game ticket, you are free to sell your ticket to someone else if you are unable to attend. I suggest posting in the comment box for the event, that you have a ticket for sale. Work out payment between yourselves, and have the seller only send the organizer an email through their Meetup profile (do not comment in the comment box of the event posting) letting us know the full name and Meetup profile URL (if a member) of the person taking your spot. You must notify us of your ticket resell by Sat. Apr. 19th, and your replacement must be able to attend 1 of the remaining 2 practices. Thanks for understanding. =)

Special Needs

If you have any special needs, let us know in advance (a week or more before the event) and we will do our best to accommodate. If you let us know the day of the event, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate. Thank you for understanding and we appreciate the courtesy of a heads up!