Racing With The Big Dogs, Ernie, June 2015

I have been to several dragon boat races in Texas many years ago. This was my first race in California, and it was much bigger and competitive than anything I experienced. I was quite surprised at how everything ran so smoothly and how well organized our camp was. I am used to chaos and starving for food.

All the previous races I have participated in only had three boats, so having six in the water was a new and fun experience. The final was such an adrenaline rush where we were fighting with the two boats next to us. I am even more motivated now to practice harder to beat those teams at Treasure Island! Healthy competition is always a good thing, right?

I have been in the Bay Area for over four years now, but one of the best views I have ever experienced was on paddling to the start line of the last few heats. The sun had come out, and we could see the entire city of San Francisco along with the Bay Bridge and beautiful blue water in front of us. I remember a nice breeze on my face (and some salty water in my ear) right before the intense starts. As much as I love Austin, there is nothing close to that back there. I look forward to seeing other what other locations have in store for us at other races!