Much like the club itself, the leadership team is made up of members who volunteer their time. Leadership is made up of a group of admins who take care of the day-to-day logistics behind the scenes and an experienced coaching staff who build the training strategy and programs.

Season 7 Board (aka The Admins)

Jo(anne) tsang

president

From: Bangor, Maine
Number of years paddling: 6

rick fu

vice President

From: Quincy, MA
Number of years paddling: 1

emily chan

treasurer

From: Toronto, CA
Number of years paddling: 15

cynthia lock

Clerk

From: Flushing, NY
Number of years paddling: 15

Meet the Coaches

juhx pellazar

toronto, canada

One of your favorite dragon boat races/experiences: My most memorable racing experience was racing as part of Team Canada at the 2015 World Dragon boat Racing Championships in Welland, Ontario Canada. Being able to race in front of your home crowd, watching high caliber athletes, racing with the best team your country can put together, and against the best paddlers from other countries was both humbling and exhilarating. That experience brought out the best competitor in me. 

What do you hope to bring to the team as a coach this season? My dragon boat racing background has always been on the competitive side and that translates into my coaching style and mindset. As a coach, I want to inspire our athletes to reach heights they never thought possible. This takes many forms: becoming a technically adept paddler, training to be a stronger athlete, providing a safe place to nurture coaching and steering capabilities. I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to branch out into other individual paddling sports (outrigger and SUP). I want to bring my cross-training learnings and different perspectives to how our team can become better paddlers.

A non-paddling hobby: I’m a new homeowner so DIY home improvements have been an exciting learning experience lately, whenever I’m not training or paddling.

Paddling experience

  • 11 years 
  • College team: Iron Dragons, University of Toronto
  • Club team: Hammerheads Mixed & Open (now True North Hammerheads and SLP and current world champions from Club Crews World Championships in Sarasota, Florida 2022)
  • Team Canada athlete in 2015
  • Competitive racing experience in outrigger canoe and stand-up paddle board (Back to back winner of Conquer the Current race in CT)

lesley chan

toronto, canada

One of your favorite dragon boat races/experiences: One of my memorable races was the Lachine Knock Out in 2015 at Lachine, Quebec, Canada. The race set up was different from any other race I’d participated in, making the experience unique and fun. I raced with the Outer Harbor Premier Women (now True North Premier Women) – an amazing group of strong, supportive, passionate and ferocious athletes! This was our final ‘build’ year and we fought for every millisecond on the race course to beat out the other teams and make it to each subsequent round. The heart, unity in purpose and sheer grit that day was a rush and made it a phenomenal experience!   

What do you hope to bring to the team as a coach this season? I’ve stuck with dragon boat racing for over a decade and in different countries because it’s a great way to get outside, stay in shape and meet some interesting people. I’ve always been inspired by other paddlers – seeing their grit, having them push me to level up and be my safety net if I fail, and to hear about their experiences and how it has shaped them. I hope to pay that forward as a coach: inspire our athletes, particularly our female athletes, to be stronger, teach them how to train safely, and to help them reach their goals (e.g., unassisted pull-ups – you know who you are ;P). Individually we are capable of so much, and as a team we can lift ourselves up so much further.  

A non-paddling hobby: There’s life outside of paddling?! I enjoy baking bread and trying out new recipes.  

Paddling experience

  • 16 years
  • College team: Iron Dragons, University of Toronto
  • Club team: TNPC Premier Women

Sophie hu

toronto, canada

One of your favorite dragon boat races/experiences: Going to Club Crew World Championships in Ravenna, Italy. It was really cool to race with so many international teams. Dragon boat feels like an obscure sport until you start going to big races and seeing so many different people do what you do. I love how inclusive and scalable the sport is; from community teams to cancer survivor teams to high level club teams that allow us mere amateur athletes to scratch that competitive itch. There is a seat for you on a boat no matter what your ability level is. 

What do you hope to bring to the team as a coach this season? I have 10 years of Crossfit and Olympic weightlifting experience, competing at the amateur level in both. I also have an avid interest in sport science. I love programming and experimenting to see how different workouts affect the body. My goal is to develop a structured, well-rounded strength and conditioning program while keeping it fun and interesting so we produce not just great paddlers, but great confident athletes in life. 

A non-paddling hobby: Snowboarding!

Paddling experience

  • 14 years 
  • College team: Iron Dragons, University of Toronto
  • Competitive racing experience in outrigger canoe
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fiona pachl

aschaffenburg, germany

One of your favorite dragon boat races/experiences: 

What do you hope to bring to the team as a coach this season?

A non-paddling hobby:

Paddling experience