Michael Chiang
Head Coach

Head Coach since 2022

Member since 2017

While paddling with UCSD Dragon Boat Team from 2013-2017, Michael served as Vice President from 2015-2016. After graduating, he pulled double duty by paddling with SDDBT and serving as Head Coach of his former collegiate team.

Michael’s experience also includes paddling with Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club since 2017 and Southbreeze Dragon Boat since 2018. He was selected to be a member of Team USA U24 in 2017.

In the coaching realm, Michael draws inspiration from all of his previous coaches who shared their passion for paddling with him. And he is now excited to spread that passion to those around him. “As a coach, I love working with paddlers of all abilities and helping people realize their own potential, one ‘lightbulb moment’ at a time.”

Steve Jewel
Assistant Coach


Assistant Coach since 2019

Head Coach from 2014-2019

Member since 2004

For many years, Steve and Karen enjoyed whitewater kayaking and were guides in San Diego waters as well as on the Kern River.

Steve was late to the dragon boat party, and for good reason. He wanted Karen to have something of her own that she could use to get away from him. Then one day at a wedding reception in 2004 (and after one too many fruity rum drinks), Steve agreed to go to practice early the next morning. Once the hangover and nausea subsided, he realized that this dragon boat thing was pretty cool.

Steve raced in Kaohsiung Taiwan in 2005, World Club Crew Championships in Toronto in 2006, and then the World Championships in Sydney in 2007, where he brought home a bronze in the 200m sprints.

Steve also competes with the Hanohano Outrigger Canoe team and enjoys hitting the ocean regularly on his personal canoe. After taking a break to focus on outrigger for several years, he returned to SDDBT in 2014 and found that there was a need for a new coach. Naturally, he stepped in to the fray. Over his tenure, Steve watched the team grow and blossom into a true “team” and watched paddlers, who “never thought they would be doing something like this” develop and mature into excellent paddlers and teammates.

Steve found that he was driven by the desire to grow and nurture a true team. And SDDBT provided an excellent avenue to do just that.

Steve served as SDDBT’s President from 2005-2010. Aside from the growth and prosperity of the team, Steve’s legacy was in helping to develop the initial years of the San Diego Dragon Boat race on Mission Bay and also the purchase of a new fleet of 10-man boats.

Karen Jewel
Assistant Coach


Assistant Coach since 2014

Member since 2002

Assistant Coach since 2014, Karen Jewel switched gears from whitewater paddling to outrigger paddling when joining Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club in 1994. As a paddling die-hard who wanted to experience other options, Karen joined San Diego Dragon Boat Team in 2002 to pursue the challenges presented by the ancient Chinese tradition. She also became a skilled steersperson of these 20-crew member boats.

Coach Karen has competed on the Premier Women’s Team at World Championships in Poznan, Poland and Shanghai, China, Senior A in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, and Senior B in Kunming, China in 2017. She has also competed on several Club Crew World Championships with SDDBT.

Karen was most recently a member of the SDDBT Premier and Women’s B teams that both earned berths to compete in the 12th IDBF Club Crew World Championships (CCWC) scheduled for Aix Les Baines, France in August 2020.

Alan Loi
Assistant Coach

Assistant Coach since 2021

Member since 2018

Lured to Southern California’s water from his landlubber days as a diehard runner, Alan has amassed an impressive paddling resume in a relatively short amount of time. Joining SDDBT in 2018 after a two-year paddling stint with UCSD Dragon Boat Team, he competed on Team USA U24 in the 2019 IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships in Thailand where he hauled in four bronze medals in the international competition.

In 2021, Alan also raced with Southbreeze Dragon Boat’s Premier team in Sarasota, Florida, where they took first place overall at the event. Aside from dragon boating, he has become an avid outrigger paddler with Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club and completed his first Catalina Island crossing in 2021.

Alan enjoys being an assistant coach because if provides him with an opportunity to share his love for paddling with others. His goal is to help SDDBT members become faster on the water through good paddling basics, technique and solid conditioning. And through it all, Alan hopes paddlers understand that they don’t necessarily have to be the strongest, nor the most fit person on the boat to be able to move the boat fast.

Aside from his Assistant Coach responsibilities, Alan also serves as Assistant Treasurer on the SDDBT Board of Directors.

Zoey Chesny
Assistant Coach

Assistant Coach since 2022

Member since 2019

Launching into water sports in her family’s backyard pond in Illinois and during camping adventures in Wisconsin, Zoey was excited to head to west and be near the Pacific when attending UCSD. While maintaining interest in canoeing and kayaking, she was eager to tackle a team sport that would put her on the water. Dragon boating was a natural.

Zoey was a member of UCSD Dragon Boat from 2016-2020, where she served as President, Vice President and Safety Officer. She competed in the Team USA U24 division at the 2019 IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships in Pattaya, Thailand and was also selected to compete in the 2021 IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships in Hong Kong which was canceled due to COVID. Zoey also paddles with Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club and Southbreeze, which placed first overall in Premier Mixed and Premier Women’s divisions at 2021 Club Crew National Championships in Sarasota, Florida.

What Zoey enjoys most about coaching is sharing her love of water and sports with others. Her focus is on helping SDDBT paddlers develop skills and technique in a manner that fosters a sense of teamwork and camaraderie as individuals progress together.

Ernie Rivera
Assistant Coach

Assistant Coach since 2021

Member since 2017

Ernie became a dragon boater by default. Joining his wife at an SDDBT Open House with no intention of participating, he was almost off the hook until someone requested that he occupy an empty seat. Being the good sport he is, Ernie jumped into the boat. And the rest is history.

Beyond his paddling prowess skyrocketing since that Open House experience, Ernie has quickly excelled as a steersman for the team both in practices and competitions.

Involved in sports for more than 40 years, he has coached several team and individual sports, and has been a baseball umpire up to the college level. Ernie also take pride in understanding SDDBT’s on-water goals, coaches’ training/paddling techniques and team’s competitive paddling strategy.