The Space Dragons are 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, great workouts, 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!
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. 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 continues 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.
2010 marks a year of transition and further growth as we travelled yet again for our FIFTH showing to the annual AZDBA Tempe tournament. With coveted medals earned for respective 2nd and 3rd place finishes for our Mixed Red boat as well as our Open (Men's) boat, the Space Dragons started its 9th season off right. The Space Dragons later took the stage, this time nestled right on the Charles River in the heart of Boston. And, having been no stranger to unfamiliar territory the Space Dragons, a team virtually unknown coming into this tournament made a name for themselves by representing the west coast in true SD style as we pulled out an impressive 3rd place bronze medal finish in the top 1A division against stout East coast teams.
As we continue on this current season in 2011, we are riding and relishing in a great and momentous fact about the momentum of our season. We paddle for each other for love of the sport and of each other.
"Because in life and in sport, we paddle hard--young or old, rain or shine--to the finish line because we are, all of us, in the same boat"
Read more about our mis-adventures and tournaments here and stay tuned for more!