Newport: June 29
Off the top of my head, I know it was the first DB race at the Newport Aquatic Center. Rich, a really nice older fellow (probably in his early-mid 60s at the time, I remember he was also a dentist!) who I believe caught the bug as a paddler for TRW--whom I had helped coach a handful of times at Mother's Beach--spearheaded the effort to get dboat started down in Newport.
I believe the races weren't quite 500m, and that they were 3 boat heats. I know we did win the 'final' race to take home what I remember as a mini-db paddle (made of wood) trophy. That was really back in our duking it out with the Guppies days. And oh yeah, I had the world's shortest fuse. I remember Leon having to talk to me after one of the races...haha!
Dr. Chen donated (I think he did, at least) the very first Champion boats from LB that we hated paddling in. Yeah, the ones with seats so low the gunnels were like up to your armpit. Then again, I'm just 5'7"; our stroke style back then certainly couldn't have helped either, as we leaned forward A LOT. In any case, I believe 2 boats, if not 3, were brought down.
It was the first race where our aggregate times in the races determined our placing.
It was a Sunday and the weather was overcast. We had two races that day and luckily, our aggregate times for the two races was the fastest of the day and we received a first place trophy for the race and a baby dragonboat paddle.
My son Matthew got his picture taken by a photographer in the Orange County Registar newspaper with him stroking the Dragon head. In fact, I still have the picture in my house.
I think I also met some of the members from YO MAMA PARTY COW at that race: the team that Otto, Mike Lee, Jeff, and the others were on at the time. They wore bright yellow shirts from what I can recollect and they were "partying" at the beach all day!
Overall, it was a fun race for the 1st annual Newport Aquatic Center dragonboat race.
I think they cancelled the event thereafter!