October 18, 2014
This year’s Orlando race saw the debut of the expanded Red Dragons roster, with former members of Dragon Boat Club Miami joining a crew of veterans and rookie paddlers eager to take gold at one of the biggest events of the season, held at the new Turkey Lake venue. Two full mixed teams — Red Dragons Fire and Red Dragons Ice — competed, along with a women’s team (the infamous “Boat C” was disqualified for not having enough paddlers).
Although none of our crews was able to bring home the top prize, the team as a whole showed tremendous grit in coping with injuries, roster changes, and other challenges, and tremendous growth in melding different paddling styles and timing patterns on the fly.
Perhaps most important, the post-race team dinner was suitably epic, with grub fixer and Member of the Year Alexis Guillen taking us to a redneck Brazilian paradise at which countless spears of various BBQ meats were brought to Denise DelGardo (and, occasionally, to the rest of the team). During the meal, a domestic violence incident reportedly took place between Captain Clay Barrett and his new son-in-law, Jaume Ramirez, but fortunately no serious injuries were sustained and no charges were pressed.