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The Villages Champions 2012

Congratulations From Our Captain Gordon Gillis

What a fantastic ending to the 2012 Dragon Boat Racing Season for the Black Sheep!!! The great thing about Friday was that we had the privilege to compete here in our own backyard at Lake Sumter Landing in The Villages with our fellow teams of the Grand Masters Dragon Boat Club. We were able to walk away with a good feeling about our performance. Congratulations Black Sheep!!! You should be extremely proud of your accomplishments at the first Village Dragon Boat Races. We finished first in both the 200m heats and the first 500m heat and came in a close 2nd in the last 500m heat. Ray & Greg mentioned our fantastic best times of 52+ seconds in the 200 meter and an impressive 2.21+ seconds in the 500 meter. Our combined best times of 3.14.4 gave us the 1st Place win. To achieve these times is remarkable with just 16 paddlers in the boat verses mostly 20 paddlers in the other Village's team's boats. I am sure this left a distinct impression with everyone. The Black Sheep have come a long way in less than one year. Your commitment, hard work and dedication has produced these impressive results and you have become A Great Dragon Boat Racing Team!!!

Special thanks to Greg our coach and great motivator. His paddling expertise and encouragement is making us the best we can be! We should look forward to the excitement and challenges that the 2013 Dragon Boat Racing Season may hold for us. Well Done Sheep!!!

Semper/ Fi Gordon

Hall of Fame by The Script

Dedicated to the Black Sheep Marines 2012 1st Year Achievements

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Special thanks to Mary Lou Bremer's neighbors Charlie and Jean Holder for contributing this beautiful action shot of the Black Sheep Marines 200m race at The Villages Challenge on December 7, 2012 

Gold Medal Military Cup Winners!

Bronze Medal-Mixed A Division

Walgreen's Orlando International

Dragon Boat Festival

October 19th-20th, 2012

Flying High...After A Fantastic Weekend For Our Team!

In our first race early on Saturday morning, we won the Military Cup and gold medal, beating The Leathernecks and The Leatherneck Warriors with a time of 2:31.05. We then went out and won our second race (Heat 2) with an even better time of 2:30.00, the fifth best time of the 30 teams that we competed with in Heat 2. That run put us in the A Division Grand Final Medal Race. We then improved our time again by 5 seconds to an outstanding 2:24.99, good enough to win us the Bronze Medal and post the third best time of not only the Championship Round but of the 90 times posted by each team competing in Community Mixed Division for the entire day. Everybody on the entire Black Sheep Marines team deserves credit for our accomplishments this weekend, but especially Ted Kasubick, our steersman, for keeping us on the straight and narrow and thus playing a major role in our success. Also, Chris Gillis, our team's manager and lead starboard paddler and Marie Heidemann, port lead paddler both deserve special credit for setting exactly the perfect pace for our starts, mid race tempo, our runs across the sand bar, the last 100 meters and finally through our incredible finishes. Kudos to our coach Greg Walker, not only for stepping up to the task of being our coach, but for his talent and knack to bring out the very best that we have to give. Most of all, thanks goes to our founder and leader, Captain Gordon Gillis, for assembling this amazing team and giving us the vision and belief that we can and will win. Lastly, I want to thank each of my teammates present at The Disney Festival and also those unavoidably not able to be there. It is your friendships and spirit that defines our team and the reason I love being a part of it. All of this led to a wonderful and memorable experience (and two medals). It's a day I'm sure none of us will forget.

Ray Vail - Co-Captain

We shall not forget our Co-Captain, Ray Vail's role in contributing to these wins. The technology he has brought on board our boat has given us invaluable insights into our strengths and weaknesses both individually and as a team, so that we could improve and achieve our goals and dreams. His behind the scenes efforts to enter us in the races and manage the details has not gone unnoticed. It takes hard work and dedication on everyone's part for a team to reach this caliber, and now we can enjoy the much deserved medals around our necks!

Special Thanks To Our Canadian Snowbirds; Coach Greg Walker, Nancy, Mike and Janice who flew south in time to participate in this race. We can not thank you nearly enough for contributing your immense talents and experience to our team.