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JFD Clermont 2024 (Credit: MJ Photography)

ABOUT US

We are an active community of enthusiastic paddlers of all ages, fitness levels and walks of life. Our mission is simple: Encourage physical fitness, team spirit and social interaction through the sport of dragon boating. 

 

Our competitive team has achieved significant success, securing numerous medals at both festival and national levels, and has even participated in the world championship with our senior team. Yet, our true distinction lies not in our accolades but in our cohesive teamwork. 

 

The essence of our club team paddling is the collective effort by every member to paddle in unison, propelling the boat smoothly and swiftly through the water. It's about fostering trust in our individual abilities and in our teammates all while having a great time!

The History of Dragon Boating

Dragon Boat Racing, recognized as the world's fastest-growing water sport with roots extending over 2,000 years to a folk ritual in Southern China, involves a standard boat that accommodates 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a steer-person. The sport, which has evolved from local contests into an international phenomenon since 1976, is governed by the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF). Races typically cover a distance of 500 meters, with occasional 250-meter and 2,000-meter options, reflecting the sport's versatility and broad appeal.

 

Traditionally integral to the Duanwu Festival in China, celebrated across Asia in June, dragon boat racing today goes beyond being a competitive and global sport; it also serves as a powerful advocate for Breast Cancer Awareness, with over 100 Survivor teams worldwide, underlining its significance in promoting health and unity across the globe.
 

THE BOARD

CYNDI TEITELBAUM

President

Cyndi Teitelbaum

DARIN TAYLOR

Vice President

 Darin Taylor

LINDA KELLY

Treasurer

Linda Kelly

PAULA O’NEAL

Member at Large

Paula O‘Neal

ANDY FRADEN

Past President

Andy Fraden

ANGELA BAKER FORBES

Secretary

Angela Baker-Forbes

Meet Our Coaches

Coach Kathy Scherer

Coach Kathy's journey in the paddling world commenced in 2014 amidst the serene waters of Hawaii, igniting her passion for competition. Spanning across 7 states, her paddling odyssey has been adorned with cherished moments, including participating in the Nationals in 2021 and the esteemed World Crew Championships in 2022. Joining the Jax Fire Dragons in 2018 marked a pivotal chapter, where she contributed significantly as a foundational member of the BCS team, Limitless, in 2023. Beyond her exploits on the water, Kathy's dedication as an educator has seamlessly intertwined with her coaching endeavors over the past three years, culminating in her achievement as a USDBF Level I Coach in 2022. With paddling as her compass and education as her anchor, Kathy's narrative embodies a harmonious blend of passion, dedication, and commitment to both her profession and her sporting pursuits.

Credit: MJ Photography

Coach Linda Kelly

Coach Linda, a JFD member since March 2017, boasts a remarkable journey marked by dedication and resilience. As the inaugural Limitless member in 2023 and Board Treasurer, she's a pillar in the paddling community. Linda is a USDBF Level 1 Coach and her achievements include paddling with Team USA Paradragons and contributing to JFD Premier's bronze finish at the 2021 Nationals. Beyond paddling, she's a grandmother of three, mother of two, and a former D1 collegiate gymnast from Ohio. Despite facing adversity, including two hip replacements, a knee replacement, and surviving breast cancer in 2013, Linda remains indomitable. She finds joy in family, cheering for college football, baking, and her cherished 4th of July traditions.

Credit: MJ Photography

Head Coach Ray Vallecer

Since 1999, Coach Ray has been making waves in the paddling world, both as a competitor and as a coach. With a rich history of leading and mentoring club teams internationally, he has represented both Hong Kong and the Philippines in numerous prestigious races across the USA, Hong Kong, Macau, and the Philippines. Outside of the water, Ray has carved out a successful career in finance, working with a global firm for over 15 years. When not navigating the complexities of finance or the competitive waters of paddling, he enjoys outrigger canoeing and exploring new places with his family. An interesting blend of experiences marks Ray's journey — from nearly taking vows as a priest to setting the stage alight as a club DJ and competing in a DJ mixing championship. 

Credit: MJ Photography
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