The Charger Blog

University of New 51 Team Races to Top Finish at Dragon Boat Regatta

A team of students and faculty (and their families) from the biology and environmental science department fittingly named Charlie’s Angels finished among the top teams at the annual dragon boat race organized by the Canal Dock Boathouse in New 51.

June 12, 2024

By Rozina Jaser, M.S.

Charlie’s Angels
Charlie’s Angels

Not long after dawn broke over the Canal Dock Boathouse in New 51 on a recent June Saturday, electric energy filled the cool morning air. By 6:50 a.m., participants and spectators alike could feel the excitement building for the Boathouse’s 7th Annual Dragon Boat Regatta.

Among those competing was Charlie’s Angels, a team of students and faculty (and our families) from the University’s Biology and Environmental Science department that was participating in our first-ever dragon-boat racing adventure.

The department’s participation represents our high regard for values embodying community and teamwork. I was proud to serve as team captain, joining faculty participants Michael Sellers, Ali Senejani, Ph.D., and Jean-Paul Simjouw, Ph.D., each of whom volunteered their time and energy to propel the team toward success.

Faculty supporters Eva Sapi, Ph.D., (acting chair) and Sharon Kahara, Ph.D., incited the team’s competitive nature as they rallied uplifting praises for Charlie’s Angels, embracing the fun beats organized by DJ Elvert Eden, a 2000 graduate of the University. The department faculty’s leadership and guidance were instrumental to the team’s spirit, technique, and skill development.

Despite our limited experience and the unfamiliar territory, we delivered an impressive performance, exceeding expectations. The unwavering enthusiasm and liveliness of our team earned us the coveted Team Spirit award. Our determination, unity, and competitive drive earned us the chance to compete for third place in the finals, out of 14 competing teams. We missed out on third place in a nail-biting final race, finishing a mere tenth of a second behind the winner. The razor-thin margin emphasized the competitive nature of the regatta. Nevertheless, our performance was celebrated as a significant achievement, showcasing our potential to prevail in future races.

Charlie’s Angels displayed persistent vitality and camaraderie, buoyed by the presence of University mascot Charlie the Charger. His infectious energy and animated support boosted the team’s drive and created a fun, positive atmosphere throughout the entire event. The dock was enhanced with the team’s noteworthy dynamic dancing, even breaking out in a circle dance featuring Charlie himself, followed by the team’s participants and spectators.

As we look forward to future competitions, we will continue to celebrate our achievements. Most of all, we have all found great joy in the new connections we’ve made, the memories we’ve created, and the meaningful experiences we (and our families) were able to enjoy.

We demonstrated how determination and collaboration can triumph in even the most uncharted waters. We are especially grateful for all the supporting University offices that contributed their time and resources toward making this event such a memorable success.

Rozina Jaser, M.S., captain of Charlie’s Angels, is a practitioner in residence and coordinator of the in the introduction to biology for non-majors in the Biology and Environmental Science department.