A recent post shows a link to Mike Haslam, IDBF President, being quoted about how dragon boat racing won't be an Olympic sport for 20 years. The ironic part of his comment is that Haslam has become the biggest single hurdle to the long-term legitimacy of this sport (e.g., Olympics). As some of you know, there has been a bitter long-time battle between the ICF (International Canoe Federation) and the IDBF. The ICF regards dragon boat racing as a canoe sport and therefore believes that the sport should be governed by the ICF. The IDBF doesn't believe that a dragon boat is a canoe, so it uses that lame excuse to continue to govern the sport on its own. While the IDBF clearly has done a lot for the sport recently, Haslam and his board don't want to give up command -- even though the sport could go further as part as an already established and widely-recognized organization, the ICF.
If you don't believe that Haslam's position is just a power grab that hurts us all, then please take a moment to read Haslam's words at http://idbf.org/DBI_Jan_06.pdf where he clearly threatens the future IDBF eligibilty of YOU, a paddler, if you compete in any dragon boat races sponsored by the ICF. The specific passage is at the bottom of page 13. Also, check out page 16, column 2, paragraph 3, where it is clearly stated that YOUR country's govering body can exclude you from future IDBF races if you race in an ICF-sanctioned event.
These threats are ridiculous. The ICF is planning future dragon boat races which could be fun and competitive. None of us should have to worry about being declared ineligible for any future event no matter where we paddle.