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Paddler Profile: Jeff H.

jeffRacing Class: Premier

Why do you dragon boat?
I love being on the water, and I’m a competitive person. Combining the 2 just makes sense. Dragon boating is a great challenge – physically and mentally. You have to trust your teammates and work together in unison to really excel. I love my team – we’re a diverse group of people that just works really well together. We’re an eclectic mix of young and old, male and female, experienced and inexperienced, but it just works. I love this team and wouldn’t trade it for anything. One of my favorite sounds is the sound of 20 paddles slicing in to the water in unison on a calm day, and feeling the boat shoot forward with every stroke.

What motivates you?
I want to win, and I want to feel the love from my teammates. Knowing that any of them would help in pinch is a great feeling, and I would do the same for them.

How did you get into the sport?
A friend and co-worker was talking about the sport to a few of us at work a few years ago. I remember seeing the boats on Lake Champlain, and thought “that would be fun – how can I join?” I ended up going to an early season BBQ – it poured so we couldn’t get on the water, but everyone was very welcoming. Once I got in the boat, I was hooked. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but it was so much fun.

What would you say to others considering trying or joining Malia?
See above – we are an incredible mixture of motivated, fun loving people. Everyone is welcoming, and willing to help out. We also have a great end of season party each year.

Who are you?
I’m married, and have been in Burlington since 1999. We live in Colchester, and I’m a Business Analyst for a rather large IT company in downtown Burlington – you can’t miss the large, painted silos on Pine Street. I snow board in the winter (when there’s snow) and paddle in the summer. My wife and I also chase our rambunctious two year old around all the time – she’s the team mascot, and maybe a future paddler. When we’re at home, I love to fire up my smoker (year round), and relax with my family.

Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
~ General George Patton