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Jan 14, 2009

Paddler...err Captain Spotlight! - Tran & Wade

Tran: 5/16.
Wade: 10/14.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam. Bounced around Indonesia, France, Canada and grew up in Harrisonburg, VA. I moved to CA July 2007 and reside in Aliso Viejo. Am really enjoying Southern California.
Wade: WALNUT, Ca - aka center of the universe. Currently reside in Pasadena.

How long have you been paddling for?

>9 months; Jackie & Robert recruited me; I started March, 2008, and paddled in my first tournament (Tempe) only three weeks after joining. Talk about sink or paddle!
Wade: Since 2003 or 2004, I think?

Why do you paddle?

I've always been a big water sports fan. I joined for the workout; I stayed for the SD familly of friends.

Wade: Similar to many ... exercise, fitness, a competitive outlet were main initial reasons. Desire to see our team grow, improve, take strides subsequently became a major motivation - as did a bigger desire to see the team simply become and always be a healthy & happy activity/haven for folks to connect & become a team and family. Our people make it fun & worthwhile.

Favorite or notable Space Dragon moment(s)?


  1. John's jaw-dropping rousing speech at Big Long Beach
  2. Calling for Red in San Fran on Sunday morning. Started the race with a nice, clean, bandaged finger and ended the ride hanging on for dear life with a bloody pulp. It was so worth it--you guys really know how to raise my blood pressure!
  3. Joe & Yonnie's surprise- So awesome that we managed to keep a was the various detours and tactics used to hijack Joe's boat, sweet!


  • Great (but discourage-future-occurrence) times Friday Night in Vegas '06. (Still remember Pearl struggling to complete the bill. Ask her to see the receipt sometime)
  • Every time our hard work is rewarded with fulfilling on-water performance.
  • Tight losses that test our humility, composure, bounce-back.
  • Witnessing all the cute Tribe kids grow into beautiful young adults.
  • Outrigger sprints w/ a belly full of beer (not recommended).
  • Establishment of sister team relationship w/ RFX.
  • Inspiration from the BCS, vision-impaired, etc teams.
  • Pool battles.
  • Men's huli.
  • COLs.
  • And finally - inappropriate but true - LV '07, a certain someone talking in his sleep..."Ceez - save me the other hole ...". Not kidding.

How do you prepare yourself for a Race?
Lots of hot tea and honey. Organic peanut butter on wheat the morning of race day, but sadly, no bagels. And keeping as mum as possible to save my voice!

Wade: Identify the goal, formulate and understand the game plan, and pro-actively identify the challenges and difficulties that may be encountered along the way. Visualize it all playing out, seeing & feeling the execution of the game plan, encountering & overcoming the difficulties, and ultimately successfully achieving the goal. Keep body prepared - light cardio work in the days/week leading up to the race, to keep lungs and body 'open' and ready. Eat right. And of course, practice.

Any hobbies, activities, interests outside of paddling?

Lots! Tennis, fishing, biking, coaching gymnastics, my vroom vroom, wine, and cleaning.

Like a lot ... more recent forays include youth basketball coaching, bjj, and giving eye hickeys.

Favorite Food(s)?

Ooooh, I'm a foodie--love everything! Vietnamese: Bun Rieu. Italian:Linguine & Clams. Spanish: Seafood Paella. French: ripe & stinky Camembert w/fresh baked baguette. Southern: Oyster Po'boys, Jambalaya, and mashed sweet potatoes...

Wade: Smoothies, Uni, Butterfish, Kurobuta, Shao Long Bao, Kungpao, Penne, Toro, Spatzle, Wasabi, Sichuan, Amaebi, Miso, Mustard, Tomato-bases, Shiso, Swiss, Collard Greens, Gudda, Blue Cheese, Cornbread, Acai, Lomi Lomi, Peanut butter, Gumbo, Hairy Crabs, Eggs Florentine, Adobo, Pesto, LauLau, Garlic Hummus, Citrus, Ramen cabbage salad, Blueberries, Etouffee, Red cabbage, Wagyu, In-n-out ...

Any advice for new Paddlers?

Learn and hone ONE skill at a time. The grip, the reach, the rotation, the push, the was all overwhelming to me when I tried to incorporate and perfect all at once. When broken down as individual components, it became much easier. Watch yourself on video. Listen to your coach. And don't be afraid to ask for help.

Wade: Just remember to breathe, be open to tips & coaching, ask questions, observe others, observe yourself, experiment, splash the vets for fun, have a good time, and know that it gets generally easier with every time out. And minimize excessive movement/rubbing of your derriere against the bench to avoid lovely cherries. Keep your top hand over your bottom hand during entry & pull to help avoid hand cuts & bruises. Loosen bottom grip particularly in pinky and ring-finger to avoid wrist tension and forearm cramping. Avoid lifting blade straight up out of water during exit with top arm to avoid shoulder burnout.

Paddling-wise, any particular goals for yourself or the team?

Myself: I want that Golden Paddle! And to be as strong as Pearl--she can burn water! Team: Full participation of land workouts.

Wade: Sub-2 minutes. But ultimately, just have fun, support one another throughout, train hard and have no regrets, earn everything we collectively achieve, win & lose with style, humility, and sportsmanship, and stay true to who we are.

Are you a better Paddler when you are Happy or Angry?

The team's enthusiasm is definitely HAPPY, positive energy.

Wade: Happy or simply focused w/o sway of emotion. But anger can help concentrate focus & enable preparation prior to performance - or engaged as a late, short boost of motivation during a final stretch run.

Favorite part about being a Space Dragon?

Intra and inter-sportsmanship within the DB community; I am very proud to be a SD on and off the water. I have never been part of a more caring and selfless group of individuals: we really know how to take care of one another.

Wade: Our people, collective effort, ultimate team sport.

You have a single brother or sister. What Space Dragon would you consider hooking them up with?

We have a lot of big-hearted singles...good people; too many to name.

Wade: I love Yonnie - but if she ever throws Joe out to upgrade for a younger, upgraded model, I'll scoop him up for a sister :). And any dude would be lucky to be with any of our ladies (btw please don't hesitate to show more skin at recruiting events, thanks).

Who Most interesting character you've met through the team?

AJ (his metabolism is insane); Galen/Brendan (ahem, no comment); Rod (walks/talks softly but carries big balls).

Wade: Too many interesting - and inspiring - ones. Deej, Ceez, Arlene, Janice, all our kaibigan & their natural sense of fun, Ms Dependable but not-what-you-expect Princess Pearl, bashful Galen & his innate sense of team, Joe's selflessness and vanity (yeap), Tran & her organization, passion, and energy ... can go on forever but won't bore you.

If you could change one thing about the Team, what would it be?

Our jerseys; I tend to overheat; we need better-wicking fabric!

Wade: Folks recommending homemade snacks at the end of every practice might be on to something. And Mr. Longboy's long-standing push for a SD bikini calendar may have merit.

Any interesting facts about yourself - or secrets that you want to divulge?

I was a tomboy all through elementary school...ran through barns in my bare feet and shot sparrows with BB that I could decapitate them. Biological curiosity. Ugh. And though not yet tested, I'm pretty certain I am ADHD...and definitely OCD.

Wade: Nothing worth noting

Who got you into Spacedragons/Dragonboating?

See above...Jackie and Robert.
Wade: Dearest Emily "Young Butterfly" Chi.
Did you know that E-chi means 'together' in mandarin?

Is Galen a hottie?

I overheat when I see Galen; highly flammable!

Wade: Sizzling! H-O-T! And a genuinely good guy to boot.
Although perhaps a tad kookoo with this whole 'ill live on lemonade' master cleanse nonsense ;).