*HOMETOWN: San Jose, CA
*PROFESSION: videogame developer
*HOBBIES: aside from dragonboating?... snowboarding, basketball, tennis, eating, cooking, traveling
*PADDLES ON: both sides
*PADDLE TYPE: good ol' wood
*HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT DRAGON BOAT: my college friend, I almost gave up on dragonboating after a traumatizing first experience steering the boat
*PREVIOUS TEAMS: Space Dragons, Bay Area Dragons, Dragonboat Club of Boston
*YEAR JOINED DF: 2009
*FAVORITE AFTER-PRACTICE EATING SPOT: ramen or pho (especially on really cold days)
*FAVORITE DF MOMENT: Looking back on the rest of the crew right after crossing the finish line of a tough race. We all look like we're going to die but satisfied that we gave all we had to the last 500 meters.
*AT THE LAST DF AWARDS BANQUET, I RECEIVED THE _____ AWARD: "Damned Good at Stroking"
*OH MY. THAT SOUNDS INTERESTING-WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THAT AWARD?: what can I say, I guess I am ;)
*I PADDLE WITH DIESELFISH BECAUSE: The people. When I moved back to the bay area I wanted to join a team that was not only competitive but also social. I found in Diesel Fish a fun, diverse group of people that have a lot of heart, both for the sport and for the team. We're fierce competitors on the water but always up for some good eats and mischief off the water too.
*NICKNAME: None, since my name's too short to chop any letters off.
*HOMETOWN: San Mateo
*HOBBIES: Track, texting, sleeping, eating, shopping, procrastinating, you know... teenager stuff aha.
*PADDLES ON: Prefer left, but can paddle both
*PADDLE TYPE: 48" Grey Owl wooden (with personalized color-taping)
*HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT DRAGON BOAT: My high school (Aragon High School) used to offer it through our Asian Club (coached by a DieselFish coach). However, it fell apart. So I decided to start it up again, and after multiple chain emails, I joined my "Aragon clan" with DieselFsh youth! TADA!
*PREVIOUS TEAMS: Aragon Dragon Boat
*YEAR JOINED DF: 2010
*FAVORITE AFTER-PRACTICE EATING SPOT: In-N-Out
*FAVORITE DF MOMENT: Oh gosh, too many! It's a three-way-tie between our youth white elephant party (which included passing around a bunny sculpture, flashing glasses and taking pictures with Robby sticking his finger up his nose), the entire trip to Long Beach (this included a sleep over the night before, that couldn't be called a sleep over because Alissa and Katie kept everyone up, while Victor killed my brain with all these philosophical ideas, like how the world can be 2D and you are just imagining everything; a race where we ran into another boat; a race where we won by over a boat length [winning gold]; having the whole team thrown into the water [except Monique who held onto her phone for dear life]; and the most laughs, smiles and the best team bonding ever.), and our first race as a team at CDBA youth race in 2010 (this because it showed just how far our team had come, at CDBA youth race we were two separate groups, San Mateo and San Jose. At the after party, we broke a lot of ice though and had fun eating, laughing and attempting "Minute-to-Win-it" games).
*I PADDLE WITH DIESELFISH BECAUSE: I love the sport and the people on the team. It is the purest form of teamwork and a fantastic workout. And, most importantly, with DieselFish, we aren't simply a team, we are a family. We support each other, laugh with each other and race together. We also party as hard as we race, which is always a plus. OH, and we are incredibly spoiled by our older and wiser DieselFish adult counterparts ;)
*NICKNAME: The Surgeon, Lord, The Boss, stuff like that
*HOMETOWN: Mountain View
*PROFESSION: Student, Screenwriter, Technical Director
*HOBBIES: Cooking, Rugby, Hockey
*PADDLES ON: Both
*PADDLE TYPE: 51" Carbon Fiber ZRE, named Sheila
*HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT DRAGON BOAT: I was generation one of my high school's team, formed by former Fish and schoolmate Luke Cassereau
*PREVIOUS TEAMS: Mountain View High School
*YEAR JOINED DF: 2005
*FAVORITE AFTER-PRACTICE EATING SPOT: Erik's Deli
*FAVORITE DF MOMENT: Our annual Long Beach speed showering competition
*AT THE LAST DF AWARDS BANQUET, I RECEIVED THE _____ AWARD: Harry Houdini Escape Artist Award
*OH MY. THAT SOUNDS INTERESTING-WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THAT AWARD?: DieselFish had a fundraiser where some of us were guest bartenders at the Carlos Club. I did a good job my first shift, and while I was on break, people bought me a million drinks all at once. [Editor's Note: This is an awesome story! Join DieselFish today, and we'll tell you the rest. Right after you sign the confidentiality agreement]
*I PADDLE WITH DIESELFISH BECAUSE: I like having a group that pushes it to the limit together in practice so we can kick ass on race day
*HOMETOWN: One city away from BIAC
*PROFESSION: Help micro companies grow into small companies that are then usually too big for me then
*HOBBIES: Food, games, optimizing (it's the engineer in me), gardening, remodeling, finding deals, and "critiquing" about how my tax dollars are getting spent
*PADDLES ON: The non-Hollywood side, i.e. the side that the camera doesn't see during a race (that's usually left, but sometimes its right)
*PADDLE TYPE: 51" Grey Owl High Performance Wood with a distinctive blue Easton Pro Tack Bat Grip Tape. Paddle needs refurbishing... volunteers? Briefly had a carbon fiber, but I really don't deserve it right now
*HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT DRAGON BOAT: Met Salty Fish Claire/Sean/Anna at Google's Girl Geek party, and they told me that it was free to try, so how could I resist?
*PREVIOUS TEAMS: : No one long term. Fooled around a little bit at events, though
*YEAR JOINED DF: 2008
*FAVORITE AFTER-PRACTICE EATING SPOT: Sizzler's one visit salad bar for $2... but they don't let me order it anymore
*FAVORITE DF MOMENT: Too many, but if I have to choose one... Portland's post-race party. Sorry, "no story for you"... What happens in Portland, stays in Portland.
*AT THE LAST DF AWARDS BANQUET, I RECEIVED THE _____ AWARD: Octopus?
*OH MY. THAT SOUNDS INTERESTING-WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THAT AWARD?: As with my professional life, I'm a Jack of Many Trades, and I think that translates to Dragon Boating as well.
*I PADDLE WITH DIESELFISH BECAUSE: Because I like it when I have 20 paddlers that have to do what I tell them to do ;)
*NICKNAME: Colonel (on a bad paddling day)
*HOMETOWN: San Jose
*PROFESSION: Junior at Pioneer High School
*HOBBIES: Computer science, music, aviation, and radio broadcasting
*PADDLES ON: Left
*PADDLE TYPE: 50" Grey Owl
*HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT DRAGON BOAT: Flyer distributed at my high school --my twin brother Chris and I thought it sounded interesting and decided to check it out.
*PREVIOUS TEAMS: None
*YEAR JOINED DF: 2009
*FAVORITE AFTER-PRACTICE EATING SPOT: In-N-Out Burger
*FAVORITE DF MOMENT: Youth Race 2010 -- when we received our medals! I sleep with mine under my pillow.
*AT THE LAST DF AWARDS BANQUET, I RECEIVED THE _____ AWARD: Most Improved Paddler
*OH MY. THAT SOUNDS INTERESTING-WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THAT AWARD?: I worked really hard and Coach Darren gave me a lot of extra help and very useful advice. Being a blind paddler, I rely on the feedback received from the coaches to improve my paddling technique.
*I PADDLE WITH DIESELFISH BECAUSE: I really enjoy the sport. It works you out, and I like that feeling. The coaches are really good and I am looking forward to getting to know some of the other team members better.
*NICKNAME: My relatives that don't speak English call me "AH-rek"
*HOMETOWN: I am a son of San Mateo
*PROFESSION: I write financial reports that nobody reads
*HOBBIES: Paddling, going to the movies and concerts, eating out with friends, reading, sneaker collecting, and playing console (yes, this distinction is very important) video games
*PADDLES ON: Primarily right, but I'm learning how to paddle on the left-my body is getting way too lopsided
*PADDLE TYPE: I use a ZRE carbon fiber paddle with a palm grip and ghetto taping on the blade. I call him "Gilligan."
*HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT DRAGON BOAT: I used to work with a lady that paddled. It took me eight years before I finally gave it a try. I wanted to get more physical in a team environment
*PREVIOUS TEAMS: DieselFish is my first and only team
*YEAR JOINED DF: 2008
*FAVORITE AFTER-PRACTICE EATING SPOT: I love the lengua burritos and tortas at El Grullense
*FAVORITE DF MOMENT: At the Post-Treasure Island Pizza Party, my former coach told the newbies that we were now "Salty Fishes" [Editor's Note: That means veteran team members]. I felt so proud that I stuck with the team and learned so much
*AT THE LAST DF AWARDS BANQUET, I RECEIVED THE _____ AWARD: "Found His Voice in 2009"
*OH MY. THAT SOUNDS INTERESTING-WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THAT AWARD?: I started YELLING out the cadence calls. Yelling keeps you on time and also helps you breathe more efficiently!
*I PADDLE WITH DIESELFISH BECAUSE: I love the exercise, the people, and the post-workout endorphin rushes. At first, I only went on Saturdays. Then I added in Tuesday practices. Then Thursday practices. Then I was elected an officer. This hobby has turned into an alternative lifestyle!
*NICKNAME: Frank, Frankie
*HOMETOWN: San Francisco-born, presently living in San Jose
*PROFESSION: : My education is in market research and I spent five years in this career. I had a career change to information technology and I was there when the desktop computer and Internet were first introduced. My first desktop computer was an Eagle CPM running Visicalc and Wordstar.
*HOBBIES: Eating is way too popular with me. Internet browsing is my personal way of relaxing
*PADDLES ON: Prefer Left but can paddle right. Paddling has helped with my lower back problem. Plus paddling inspired me to get into better shape.
*PADDLE TYPE: Grey Owl High Performance Wood 49". I call it "MAD" for Mutual Assured Destruction
*HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT DRAGON BOAT: I heard about dragon boat but never attended a race or paddled. Paddle for Life had a charity dragon boat race for the American Cancer Society. I formed a high school and work team in memory of my mother who had cancer. I enjoyed dragon boat so much that I continued on with high school team. I never intended to paddle and was working in the back office supporting the youth team. At Treasure Island, fellow DieselFish members suggested that I consider paddling, and I'm glad they convinced me
*PREVIOUS TEAMS: DieselFish forever
*YEAR JOINED DF: Under one year
*FAVORITE AFTER-PRACTICE EATING SPOT: My favorite places during the summer are on the way home to San Jose, dropping by Verde Tea and Espresso Bar in Mountain View for the mango shaved ice or the 100% tropical fruit drinks
*FAVORITE DF MOMENT: Having everyone together for our team picture where I asked everyone to jump and everyone looked at me weirdly. It turned out to be a great team picture. [Editor's Note: I use that same picture in our weekly practice invitations]
*AT THE LAST DF AWARDS BANQUET, I RECEIVED THE _____ AWARD: Sifu Fish
*OH MY. THAT SOUNDS INTERESTING-WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THAT AWARD?: Either because I am old or because I have an instinct to take care of the team logistics
*I PADDLE WITH DIESELFISH BECAUSE: It's about the paddlers. I enjoy being with fellow paddlers on and off the water. The races and practices are a reason to get together but what I get out of it is the socialization.
I can't say this enough but without great support from DieselFish members there will be no youth program dragon boat for San Mateo-San Jose.
*NICKNAME: "Captain Al"
*HOMETOWN: Foster City; currently residing in Alexandria, VA but flying back for 2010 DieselFish races [Editor's Note: Al now lives across the country, but he's paying $$$ out of his own pocket to fly back and race with us!]
*PROFESSION: Air Force officer at The Pentagon
*HOBBIES: Drum corps, dragon boat racing, hula dancing
*PADDLES ON: Prefer Left
*PADDLE TYPE: Grey Owl Wooden with a big "DieselFish" sticker on it!
*HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT DRAGON BOAT: Through the internet in 2001...I had to wait seven years until I retired from drum corps to finally come back to dragon boating!
*PREVIOUS TEAMS: None
*YEAR JOINED DF: 2009
*FAVORITE AFTER-PRACTICE EATING SPOT: Pho - especially after a cold, evening practice!
*FAVORITE DF MOMENT: Captain of DieselFish 2 at the California Dragon Boat Championships - we came in first place in one of our heats!
*I PADDLE WITH DIESELFISH BECAUSE: of the great team camaraderie, exhilaration of racing, wonderful core exercises, mental stimulation and mentoring of our youth
*NICKNAME: Some friends call me "M"
*HOMETOWN: San Jose (I'm an East Side girl!)
*PROFESSION:Senior Management Analyst (Officially a card carrying bureaucrat)
*HOBBIES: Ya want the whole list? First and foremost music (yes, even before dragon boating - I'm a flutist and vocalist); my cats Pumpkin and Sushi; "Girl's Night Out"; going to the theater/opera/symphony/ballet/other performing arts; reading; Sudoku; need I go on?
*PADDLES ON: Left but I'm working on the right!
*PADDLE TYPE: Good old wood
*HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT DRAGON BOAT: My company participated in Paddle for Life and I got hooked.
*PREVIOUS TEAMS: Santa Clara Valley Water District WaterShredders (current)
*YEAR JOINED DF: 2009
*FAVORITE AFTER-PRACTICE EATING SPOT: Haven't decided yet - the camaraderie and conversation have always been more important.
*FAVORITE DF MOMENT: So far, getting to paddle in DF2 at Treasure Island
*AT THE LAST DF AWARDS BANQUET, I RECEIVED THE _____ AWARD: Cheerleader Fish
*OH MY. THAT SOUNDS INTERESTING-WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THAT AWARD?: Guess I was a bit vocal in my enthusiasm!
*I PADDLE WITH DIESELFISH BECAUSE: This is an awesome group of people! And it's a great way to get outdoors and get some exercise. What better way to get out than with a bunch of friends out on the water? Then of course, food afterwards
*HOMETOWN: Oakland, CA
*PROFESSION: Art director
Paddling, running, boxing, muay thai, fitness, yoga, photography, coffee, pencil skirts and heels on spunky women, problem solving, driving (manual transmission), working-related travel, hotel-living, convention booth babes (I mean booth professionals), humor, tea, good food, shopping for unique clothes, spending time with my girlfriend wondering what trouble I'm going to get into next.
*PADDLES ON: Both
*PADDLE TYPE: Carbon ZRE with the wooden dowel T-grip handle. I also have two wooden paddles.
*HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT DRAGON BOAT:
My friend Peter tried paddling in New York City during college and really liked it. When he eventually moved back to the Bay Area in 1998, he ran an Internet search (I don't recall if it was Lycos, Excite, Infoseek, or any of the other fine search engines we had back in the day) and found a post by Bob Leung recruiting for dragon boat. Practices back then were nothing like they are now, about 60 people would show up in Foster City behind a Chinese restaurant, do group warm-ups, then hop into whatever boat had space. We just paddled to paddle and didn't belong to a team. Week after week, people started warming to one another and started sticking together as a group. I came up with the name "DieselFish" (I also stuffed the ballot box with extra votes), the name won by one vote.
*PREVIOUS TEAMS: None
*YEAR JOINED DF: 1998
*FAVORITE AFTER-PRACTICE EATING SPOT:
After practice spots, there were so many. When we were in Foster City, we used to go to ABC for dim sum which I really liked. Hawaiian Drive-In was up there as well. Some after-race spots I like include Kobe Sake & Raw Sake Bar in Millbrae (they named a roll after us) and Armadillo Willy's was always a good gluttonous destination.
*FAVORITE DF MOMENT:
Oh dang, there's too many. We had some great road trips, Vancouver, Long Beach, China, Victoria, BC. We used to do these competitive skits, two of which won first place at the season-closer race. "Diesel Fish-Sauce" and "Pimp My Ride", we had the audience rolling-I'll transfer the videos over from VHS soon. We always got ourselves into a lot of hilarious trouble on the road, mostly creating problems for ourselves, but it was always the quality of my fellow paddlers that made the events what they were.
*AT THE LAST DF AWARDS BANQUET, I RECEIVED THE _____ AWARD: "Camera Toting Ninja Fish"
*OH MY. THAT SOUNDS INTERESTING-WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THAT AWARD?: Eh, there's no story behind it, I like to take candid shots and click fast from the hip.
*I PADDLE WITH DIESELFISH BECAUSE:
Well, I haven't paddled in a couple of years. After 10+ years, the 80+ mile drive round trip per practice finally wore me out. I miss the camaraderie and the spray of salt water though. But if DF ever moves a group to Oakland's Lake Merritt, I'll gladly walk on over. It's all about the quality of meat and hotties-there was always someone that did something inspiring. After running the 7.46 mile Bay to Breakers years ago, I was dead tired, but Austin C. would run back the other way to get his car-doubling his mileage. I was impressed enough to work on my fitness and now I'm running marathons. [Editor's Note: Austin C. was one of the original members of DieselFish.]
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