With the pounding of metronomic drums to indicate each powerful stroke of the paddle and the rhythmic, fluid movement of a team determined to cross the finish line, dragon boating boasts some of the most intensive and thrilling moments that can be experienced in aquatic sports.
Co-President of the Mountain View Dragon Boat team and MV Spartan Anthony Yeh deems the sport as one of the most influential parts in his high school career. “I enjoy Dragon Boat because it challenges me to be better at who I am,” he says. Yeh, alongside with fellow Co-President and Spartan Christian Veloira, tirelessly work to provide both a fun and valuable experience for new and returning paddlers.
Aboard a long, symmetrical boat embroidered with dragon designs, the twenty-two person crew emphasizes the use of the body and group-coordinated movements to cover the largest amount of distance in the shortest amount of time. Of the crew, there is one drummer and one steersman to coordinate the boat’s speed and direction: the other twenty members paddle for the boat.
The Mountain View Dragon Boat team is a collaborative effort between Mountain View High School and Milpitas High School to bring the sport of dragon boat to high school students.
The team races in both sprints, which comprise water distances of 200m, 250m, and 300m, and regulars, which are 500m long. Members are given the opportunity to race four times throughout the year: twice in San Francisco, once in Fremont, and once down in Southern California.
Participating on the competitive level, MVDB is an extremely accomplished team. The crew has placed in multiple racing events across the state, qualifying for the top division at Quarry Lakes in Fremont and achieving 1st place at the prestigious Long Beach competition in Southern California. Recently, the team also placed 3rd in the top division at Treasure Island. They are considered to be one of the premier teams in the Bay Area division.
However, there is far more to being a member of the MVDB team than for competition. One of the most important elements of the team is the people. Every member of the team is treated as a sibling by one another, and all members contribute to the success of the team. “[It’s] the pure spirit of communism it brings,” Yeh jokes. “But it’s true: dragon boat is all about unity. Every member paddles for the team, and the team can’t paddle if it’s missing a member.”
Students are encouraged to join the MVDB team if they are looking for a unique sport to be involved in, or a friendly community to be a part of. Although the informational meeting has already passed, everyone is welcome to attend the first open paddle this Saturday: carpool will be at 12:30 p.m. in the front parking lot.
Having been a previous member of the team, I can personally testify to the truthfulness of the bonds, friendships, and self-growth that MVDB offers. Being part of such a team is a life-changing experience.
For more information, you can contact Co-President Anthony Yeh at [email protected] for more details.