Lowell Dragon Boat dominates in the California Dragon Boat Association’s 2016 Youth Race

Originally published on May 24, 2016

Photo by Leonard Caoili

Finishing the season strong, the dragon boat team swept the competition at the 2016 California Dragon Boat Association’s Youth Race on April 23 at Lake Merced, winning multiple division championships.

After taking gold earlier in the year during the San Francisco International Dragon Boat Race in September, the team looked to continue their success in April’s race. The Cardinal Crewzers finished first in the A Division race with a time of 2:23.43. The Lowell Red Tide finished in fifth place in the same division with a time of 2:28.20. The Lowell Big Red-C placed first in the C Division race with a time of 2:35.09 and not far behind in the same race, the Lowell Fai-D finished with a time of 2:38.75.

Photo by Leonard Caoili

The dragon boat team was very emotional after the races. According to coach Brian Danforth, the last time the team had finished first in the CDBA Youth Race was three years ago when the seniors were freshman. Thus, the 2016 CDBA Youth Race was one to remember for the seniors. “Emotions were running high, some were a little embarrassed, but you never see some real competitive people just break down and start crying after a race,” Danforth said. “The emotions were so high and it was just this big release of, we did it guys, we did it.”

Despite the soaring win, a controversy regarding another race came up soon after Youth Race’s conclusion. For the past ten years, CDBA has reserved a spot in the May Regional Regatta, a separate race predominantly consisting of adult teams, for the A division winners of the Youth Race. This year, however, the CDBA board did not reserve a spot for Lowell’s Cardinal Crewzers, the A division winning team, because of an alleged lack of space in the race grid, according to senior team leader Calvin Huang.

Photo by Leonard Caoili

Many team members feel doubtful of this lack of space because there were only 24 teams in the May Regional Regatta this year, whereas previous have had at least 27 and up to 34 crews, according to the CDBA website. “It is extremely disappointing for a tradition of 10 years to be broken, especially considering the lack of consistency with CDBA’s reasoning for their actions,” Huang said. “Some team members have questioned if this was deliberately done to exclude youth from the May Race. However, despite the confusion and chaos, the team is extremely happy of our performance and memories from the Youth Race.”