Dragon boat finishes first in both gender divisions in annual SF race

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Originally published on September 29, 2015

Junior drummer Catherine Ke leads the Cardinal Crewzers during the San Francisco International Dragon Boat Race on Sept. 20 at Treasure Island. All photos by Aida Irving

The dragon boat team won both gender division races and broke a record in the annual San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival on Sept. 20 at Treasure Island.

Breaking Community Youth Center’s previous 2009 record of 2:03.57, the Lowell Riders clinched gold in the boys’ championship race with a time of 2:03.31. “After the finals, I was extremely happy because after we let it ride and stopped paddling, I looked around and saw that none of the other boats were even close to us,” senior paddler Calvin Huang said. “I was just so happy because I knew we won and I knew that we did well.”

The Lowellitas placed first (2:21.41) in the girls’ championship, beating the Lincoln Mustangs by a tenth of a second. And in the same race, the Lowell Cardinelles nabbed bronze with a time of 2:26.56.

The Lowellitas paddle to the finish line, taking first place in the girls’ championship in the annual San Francisco International Dragon Boat Race on Sept. 20.

In the co-ed division A championship race, the Lowell Cardinal Crewzers clocked in at 2:16.83 and placed third behind the Galileo Celestial Dragons (2:15.56) and the Lincoln High Gold (2:16.08). The Lowell Red Tide followed behind the Crewzers with a time of 2:23.17.

Clocking in at 2:33.13, the Lowell Big Red C placed second behind the Celestial Dragons in the co-ed championship C race. The Lowell Fai-D (2:41.77) ranked fifth in the co-ed championship D race.

In February, practice officially starts for the next major race, the California Dragon Boat Association’s Youth Race. “I really do believe that the ‘team’ and ‘heart’ aspects are already there [for the team], but we do have to work on pulling at the water faster, jamming the paddle in, and just reaching even further to grab more water to make the boat go even faster and glide even better,” senior paddler Claudia Tang said.