All four lower Coast dragon boat teams raced at the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival, July 5 through 7, and two of the three full women’s teams came home with medals.
Ringing out their rain-soaked team shirts between races, the teams competed with 75 others, some from out of province, and an itinerant pod of orcas that was following seals and otters in the same bay the racers were paddling.
The Sea Gals earned a bronze medal in the Women’s Diamond division, with a time of 2.34.754 in the 500-metre race, despite a collision in that final race.
The placement is a big leap for the team, which has trained rigorously this year.
The MacKenzie Mussels, competing for the first time as a women-only team, posted a time of 2.49 minutes in the Silver Division final, despite the challenging weather and unpredictable waters.
Sunshine Dragons Abreast was one of the 11 breast cancer survivor teams competing. They were helped by the addition of several members of the Porpoise Paddlers recreation team.
This was the first competition for many team members and they were thrilled to come second in the Women’s Silver B final.
Dragon boating is a great sport for both women and men who enjoy the beauty of being on the water while increasing core strength and having fun.
– Submitted by Gail Riddell