Pyro Paddlers Dragon Boat Team

Pyro Paddlers Dragon Boat Team


Pyro Paddlers Competing at Riverfest 2013

The Pyro Paddlers is a dragon boat team open to all (regardless of racial/ethnic/religious identity) current UIC students, faculty, staff and alumni. Though paddling experience is not required, being in good physical shape helps with the endurance needed to paddle in coordinated fashion with other team members for the duration of a race. (Here, coordination is more important than strength). Financial support for the team comes from UIC's Asian American Resource and Cultural Center and the Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Asian Americans.

We have been competing in two local races each summer and both are schedule in June for 2014: the City of St. Charles Riverfest on June 7, 2014 and the Chicago (Chinatown) Dragon Boat Race for Literacy on June 28, 2014.

We plan to have a social in April for paddlers to meet each other and get introduced to the sport and team. On Saturday morning, May 17, 2014, we plan to have one dragon boat practice to determine our race line up in June. Another practice is held before each race which is required of paddlers who are racing. One May practice and the corresponding pre-race practice (or previous Pyro Paddler experience) is the minimum to be considered by captains to compete in one or both of our races.

Leadership of the team consists of two captains who are elected each spring by racing paddlers from the previous year.


Our call for paddlers for 2014 is now closed. If you are interested in paddling for the team, subscribe to our listserv to stay in touch with team news and the call for paddlers in April 2015.




Here's a video from 2012's Chinatown race: (You can see there's room to improve coordination!)



Here's another video about paddling technique:


Competition History:

Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy

2008 - 17th out of 27 teams

2009 - 18th out of 31 teams

2010 - cancelled due to flooding

2011 - cancelled due to flooding

2012 - 7th out of 26 teams

2013 - 10th out of 26 teams

2014 - 7th out of 30 teams


City of St. Charles/Pride of the Fox Riverfest

2011 - Saturday Competition - 1st of 8 teams in Lizard Division, 5th out of 13 overall

2012 - Saturday Competition - 4th of 4 teams in Komodo Division, 4th out of 10 overall

2013 - Saturday Competition - 7th of 8 teams in Komodo Division, 7th out of 14 overall

2014 - Saturday Competition - 5th of 8 teams in Lizard Division, 9th out of 12 overall