The 2023 Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival, hosted at Marine Stadium in Long Beach, CA, was our team’s mid-summer race. This 1-day festival stands among California's largest dragon boat festivals with over 100 teams competing from as far as Northern California and Texas. Despite our annual participation in the April-held miniature race, the Baby Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival, the UCSD Dragon Boat Team has not taken part in this event since 2017. At the summer festival, we were able to compete against the California college teams in the College 500 meter division.
With the school year ending and the summer scattering our crew, we had to adapt our training approach. Many members had not paddled in a dragon boat for about three months but trained individually to improve the team's overall performance for the race. The UCSD Dragon Boat Team managed to secure 2nd place in the first race of the collegiate division, advancing to the finals and ultimately taking home the bronze medal. Navigating the challenges of limited crew members and minimal on-boat training, our team's ability to adapt and perform served as a promising prelude to the new season.
The Long Beach festival rekindled the competitive flame within each member while reinforcing the true essence of teamwork. As we look ahead to the upcoming season, we will continue to build upon this momentum, strengthening our bonds and refining our skills to achieve even greater success in the future. The Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival was just the beginning of an exciting season, and we are eager to embrace the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead.