Dragon Boat Racing
On Vancouver Island
by Nancy Bryson
(Campbell River, B.C.)
Prevailing Wins, a team from Comox at the Tri-Port Festival
Almost every community on Vancouver Island has Dragon Boat teams to join.
Some are exclusively for survivors of Breast Cancer or other Cancers, but some of these also accept "supporter" paddlers.
There are also mixed teams, youth teams, seniors teams, and teams whose members have a special hobby or medical condition they are promoting.
The great thing about Dragon Boat Racing (one of many!) is that almost anyone can do it! Ages of paddlers are from 14 years to well into their 80's. It is great exercise, you meet a lot of wonderful people, and it is fun!
Vancouver Island has quite a few Dragon Boat Festivals. To name a few...
- Victoria Dragon Boat Festival
- Gorge Super Sprints
- Gorge Fest
- VCKC Champion Sprints
- Women's Island Cup
In Port Alberni
- Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival
Other Island Communities
- Sproat Lake Ladies Festival
- Sproat Lake Dragon Boat Challenge
- Race the River in Campbell River
- Comox Nautical Days
- Tri-Port Regatta in Port Hardy
Dragon Boat Racing is one of the fastest growing water sports in North America and has its roots beginning in China 2000 years ago.
The boats are over 48 feet long and seat 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a tiller. Just imagine the thrill from the sounds of the drums while 20 paddlers in each boat thrash through the water with their paddles, all trying to come in first in a race with their supporters cheering them on!
Racing generally starts in May and goes through September. As we all say, "Paddles Up!"