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Jul 1, 2007

About Us

The Space Dragons is a Southern California-based Dragon Boat racing team comprised of a diverse blend of fun-loving paddlers spanning all walks of life. We are unified in our enthusiasm for the sport, the great workouts, the intense competition, and most importantly, our love for the team and our teammates. Simply having fun and helping one another live happy and healthy lives is what we are about.

We always welcome new paddlers - so come out and join us - whether on the water, at one of our community service events, or at a local watering hole for our happy hours! We wanna partay with you!

Our History
The origins of the Space Dragons can be traced back to 2002 when a group of employees from then TRW (now Northrop Grumman Space Technology) decided to participate in the annual Long Beach, CA Viewsonice Dragon Boat Festival, under the moniker "The Water Dragons". The team experienced early success - taking home 1st place medals in their recreational division.

In 2003, the team founders decided that they needed a more unique and descriptive name to represent their passion for rocket propulsion and space exploration - hence, the "Space Dragons" were officially born.

In 2004, the team began the transformation into what we have become today. The team had a another strong showing in Long Beach, medaling in two recreational divisions as well as the corporate races. Success continued when the team ventured up to San Francisco for the first time and return home with more medals. Fueled by these experiences, the time came for the team to kick it up several notches. Paddling together for just a month before each race just didn't cut it anymore. With the tastes of victory still fresh and an insatiable craving for more, the Space Dragons were declared a year-round team.

The following year (2005), the Space Dragons traveled to the first annual Lake Las Vegas Tournament to race in a charity event benefiting the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation, and returned home with a 2nd place Silver Trophy. The team also experienced success at the Local Long Beach races, bringing home more hardware.

2006 was a year of tremendous growth, with an infusion of new and enthusiastic paddlers. In an effort to get to the next level of racing competition - and simply because we enjoyed each other's company so much - the team added additional practices and other team events, which provided additional opportunities for people to gel. In the same year, the Space Dragons spawned "The P.O.S.E.R.S." (the Phenomenally Outrageous Super Excellent Racing Squad), a team of spirited junior high and elementary kids who, in typical Space Dragons tradition, brought home medals in their first year competing. 2006 was a pivotal year that laid the foundation for the future, in so many ways.

Without a doubt, 2007 was a year to remember in Space Dragons Lore. We started the new season with a bang, with a couple of 2nd place finishes in Tempe, AZ (as a combined Los Angeles Racing Dragons (LARD)-Space Dragons team). This start propelled the Space Dragons to greater heights as we captured 3rd and 4th in the Long Beach Mother's Day Races. Building upon our successes, the Space Dragons went on to capture dual First Place Gold Medals in Sin City. In our home Long Beach tournament, the Space Dragons stacked up against tough competition and emerged with 3rd and 4th place hardware. The competitive season capped off in the San Francisco Bay, where success continued as we were crowned champions in the Rec A Consolation bracket. In 2007, we achieved something no other Space Dragon team has done before - medaling in every tournament of the season!

In 2008, our rapid growth & quick ascension up the competitive ranks continued. Bonding as a paddling family reached new heights. We kicked off the season competing in sunny Tempe, AZ. We traveled to Portland and brought home Gold Medals from the Rose Festival, where we experienced Taiwanese-style Flag catching for the first time. Success continued on Mother's Day at the local Long Beach races, where we brought home two sets of hardware, including Gold in the 500m races. And we had a best-ever type performance in the big Viewsonic Long Beach tournament, where we officially "arrived" and joined the ranks of the "big boys" with a 4th place medaling finish in the top Mixed Division, Competitive A. In our last race of the 2008 season in San Francisco, the Space Dragons were again able to reach the Competitive A bracket & were also able to bring home Gold Medals for our Blue boat's dominating performance in the Rec B division.

The wonderful ride only continued into 2009. The season started w/ a bang as the Space Dragons returned home victorious from the annual AZDBA Tempe tournament, highlighted w/ medals for 2nd place overall finishes in the Open (Men), Masters (over 40), and the Mixed 1000m guts and glory; as well as both mixed boats (Red + Blue) qualifying for the top Division A, where Red eventually took home the overall 3rd place finish. At the Baby Long Beach race in May, we continued to show the fruits of their labor with a 1st place Gold finish in the 200m and a 2nd place Silver finish in the 500m (both finals determined by .29 seconds) by Red.   Our journey continued strong into Vancouver where our women dominated in the battle of the sexes and managed come out in third in the Recreation A Division, being our only boat in this festival to bring home hardware! (Hurray for women!) We also battled through tough eye conditions and rampant nail problems and made it to the infamous guts 'n glory race. Spectacular to watch and to participate in! We came back home to Long Beach and White became the 200 meter Division III Reigning Champions! NUMBER ONE…out of 35 teams!!! Blue rocked out with a couple of tough heats and got a silver in Division IIC 500 meters race for their efforts. Red finally topped it all off with a solid Bronze in Division IA 200m (Yup! You read right, Div IA. 2008 was not a fluke!) SF, the typical symbolic end to our racing season, became a celebration of our efforts in 2009. All crews emerged w/ something more valuable than a $5 medal. White showed the promise of the future with an impressive performance, while Blue proved that SD can field 2 elite boats by qualifying for the Visiting Cup along with Red. Red came up with and developed the innovative "Pass" call, and the Mens, Womens, and Masters all performed exceptionally well. The Lake Gregory tournament came quick and it was a fun way to blow off steam. Lots of fun...and maybe a new traditional tournament to attend? Who knows? What one more tournament in 2009? Crazy you say? Not as crazy as VEGAS! Ahh yes our one-time-most-favoritist- tournament returned ...but was at the very end of the season. What happened in Vegas, stayed in vegas...or maybe was captured on our blog.

Tempe showed a lot of potential and promise in the 2010 season. With a Final medal count of Red boat Silver in Comp B., SD Men Bronze in Open. It was time to open up a can of wup azz in practice. "How badly do we want hardware? How hard are we willing to train?! Are we ready to bring the pain during practice to improve?" "Si, se puede!" Red showed up at Baby LB and came away with the fastest time of the day for the Mixed Division, and Blue team killed it in their seeding heat, coming in first by a quarter second! The Space crew continued their journeyto Bah-ston where a close 3rd place SD finish where 2nd and 3rd were mere fractions of a second between each other! Dunkfest 2010 err...home brewed Long Beach was topped off with our Masters furiously and proudly paddling their way to a bronze medal. Not only did the Masters bring home hardware, but so did our newbie White boat! Proving their mettle, our White boat came away with a hard-fought silver medal in Division IIIAA! Youngins versus Masters again? Against the odds, Blue boat qualified in Division IIA and faced Red boat in the Finals.Though Red showed brother Blue (or any of our competitors, for that matter) no mercy in the head-to-head Finals, Red powered its way to a first place finish, bringing home the Gold. The Men’s and Women’s boat finished outside of the top 3 in their respective divisions, but both boats gained speed as the weekend wore on. 2010 was a rush! Which brings us to...

Welcome to 2011!
10 years in the making, the Space Dragons have finally arrived. Yep we waited 10 whole years for this very moment. Tempe was the begining of the explosion. 2nd Place in 250m Races, 2nd Place in 1000m Races, 3rd Place Mens Division, 3rd Place Womens Division, 3rd Place Masters Division. Everyone gave it their all and thus became the start of the greatest season to date. By pushing the wall in and outside of practice we tore threw it. We didn't just show up and decide we wanted to race...We wanted to earn it! Lil Long Beach provided SD Red a 1st place win in the mixed A 200M and a 2nd place finish in the mixed A 500M! Meanwhile, SD BLUE and WHITE duked it out in an all out head-to-head race to the flags with a respective 2-3 finish with a time split of a mere 1/2 a second in the mixed B 500M semis! Almost like were addicted to something, training immediately began for Alcan after lil Long Beach. Will the Space Dragons ride the wave of momentum and good times going?

So, you say, who are we?

We're on the boats training our @$$es off every weekend. We're on the beach doing Coach Rodimous's land and core workout. We're at the gym and the track hitting it hard! We're enjoying life with our friends, our loved ones, our new extended who are we?


updated 5/17/2011