About SunDragons

SunDragons Mission Statement
The SunDragons will work together as ONE – on and off the boat – through commitment and respect for others. The SunDragons will strive for excellence in the sport of dragon boat racing.

Partnerships With Other Teams
The SunDragons are honored to have a close relationship with the SOL Dragons paddling team (Portland) and the Spitfire Sake paddling team (Seattle).

Club Background
Established in the spring of 1998 by Coach Vernon Lee and former Team Manager Bobbi Snow, The SunDragons Paddling Club is a local high school aged paddling team that competes in local, national, and international dragon boat races. The Club is comprised of approximately 50 male and female students from diverse backgrounds, and are from various schools in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. Our club mission is to promote a junior-mixed paddling experience in a manner that is memorable, competitive, and enjoyable.

The sport of Dragon Boat Racing is a team sport with the emphasis on commitment and team chemistry. There are between 16 and 20 paddlers (male and female) on a 45 ft long boat, with 2 paddlers per bench, and all paddle together in a perfect cadence as set by the "caller". There is a "steersman" at the back of the boat to keep the boat going in a straight line down the race course. The Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races also incorporate a "Flag Catcher". This sport requires the paddler to have technique, agility, strength, and endurance. More importantly, each paddler needs to be a "team player" with a focused and positive attitude.

Coached by Vernon Lee, a parent of former Sunset High School students, and a multi-experienced Dragon Boater himself, the SunDragons have experienced great success throughout its many years of competition. In its inaugural year, Coach Lee led the SunDragons to a 1st Place finish against 15 other teams in the Portland Rose Festival. Since then, under the leadership of Coach Lee, (now retired Coach) Phil Larkin, and Ms. Snow, the SunDragons have performed a consistently high levels , winning awards in local, national, and international competitions. The SunDragons have qualified to race in three World Championships, as representatives of Team USA, and have raced in two: 2001 in Philadelphia, PA, and 2005 in Berlin, Germany. In 2003, the SunDragons again won the rights to compete in Shanghai, China, however the SARS epidemic caused the event to be canceled.

The SunDragons have a 501(3)(c) non profit status, for strong fund-raising to help the Student-Athlete defray the cost of traveling to competitions.