DUC Delite had many firsts in 2015:
Hosted our first scrimmage
Summer of 2015 was filled with rescheduled and cancelled races, thanks to storms and massive floods. Instead of letting all competing out-of-town teams go home empty-handed after a last minute cancellation of the already-postponed Irving dragon boat festival, DUC Delite put our two 20-men boats in good use, and hosted a scrimmage on June 7th this year at White Rock Lake. We mixed paddlers from all different teams to form combined teams at the scrimmage; this arrangement turned a cancelled race into a fun paddling experience and social event for all who participated.
Club Crew National Championship
On July 25th and 26th, Delite competed at the national level for the very first time at the USDBF National Dragon Boat Championship at Lake Arlington in the Chicago area. Delite paddlers have been training hard towards a goal that was set high by the coaches since before the season began in March. Utilizing the hashtag #DeliteDreamsBig, teammates and coaches pushed each other towards higher fitness levels, and be the best paddler one could be. Although Delite did not win the bid to compete at the International Championship in 2016, placing fourth at this level of competition has exceeded any expectations set for a 4 year-old team filled with mostly recreational paddlers.
Dragon Boat USA 2016 National Team Trial
On September 26th and 27th, DUC Delite was honored to host the regional trial for 2016 Dragon Boat USA National Team. Over 30 paddlers from all over Texas travelled to White Rock Lake for a shot at making it onto the roster of Team USA for the 2016 ICF World Championship in Moscow, Russia.
Whether any of the Delite paddlers makes the cut has yet to be determined; but every paddler who spent the weekend at this trial/paddling clinic are stronger paddlers because of this experience. It was a rare opportunity to glimpse into what dragon boat training must be like at a world class level.
Las Vegas Rose Regatta
DUC Delite is the first team from Texas to race at this venue since the regatta inaugurated in 2009. Fiercely finishing within 0.4 seconds of the local reigning champion, Delite brought home the overall Silver. Delite represented Dallas and Texas, loud and proud; and certainly left an impression with our unconventional warm-ups (Zumba!).
Besides the many “firsts” in 2015, Delite continues to perform well at all the races around the TX/OK region. Delite did not make it to the podium at the first race of the year in Austin; but we proved to be good athletes when the team stayed behind to load all the race boats at the end of the race despite a loss and bad weather.
Fast forward to late June, Delite brought home Silver and Gold in the 10-men and 20-men mixed races in Oklahoma City. Delite went on to win overall Silver at our home turf Grand Prairie in August; and wrapped up the season with another overall Silver at the Houston Regatta in late October.