Dragon Riders the winners of the Mixed Division at Campbell River’s fifth annual Dragon Boat Regatta
In a tight final race, Dragon Riders, a youth team from Comox, won the Mixed Division at this year’s Race the River regatta. Dragon Riders were seeded third behind Namax’Sala from Pt. Hardy and Angels & Demons from Nanaimo. But then in the final race Dragon Riders posted the fastest time of the day (1:48.7) to win Gold. Namax’Sala, only 0.3 seconds behind, took Silver and Angels & Demons Bronze.
For a youth team to win a local regatta might surprise some, but it simply shows the dragon-boat demographic is changing. Five years ago junior teams were a rarity on the West Coast. At this year’s Alcan Festival in Vancouver twenty-four of the two hundred teams competing were juniors. Moreover, Alcan attracts some of the world’s top teams and now it’s only the best in the open divisions who are faster than the top juniors.
Much of the credit for Dragon Rider’s success has to go to Prevailing Wins. It was their idea three years ago to recruit a youth team. They knew at the time it would be no easy thing to convince teenagers to take up dragon-boat paddling, a sport which, if they knew about it at all, was something ‘old folks’ did. However, Prevailing Wins knew from coaching adults that many good paddlers never played a competitive team sport at school. With this in mind, they promoted dragon-boating as a different sport where there are no stars and teamwork and friendship are all that really count.
Women’s Division Winners:
First Place (Gold) – Chix with Stix (Namaimo)
Second Place (Silver) – Dragon Slayers (Pt. McNeil)
Third Place (Bronze) – River Spirit (Campbell River)
Chix with Stix
Campbell River’s own River Spirit
- Hope Afloat (Comox)
- Island Breast Strokers (Victoria)
- Comox Valley Flying Dragons
- A Breast of Life (Nanaimo)
- Chix With Stix (Nanaimo)
- Welly Wave Riders (Nanaimo)
- River Spirit (Campbell River)
- Dragon Slayers (Pt. McNeil)
- Sea Sisters (Duncan)
- Tri-Port Warriors (North Island)
- Cowichan Valley Dragon Divas
- BraveHearts (Campbell River)
- Prevailing Wins (Comox)
- Comox Valley Dragon Riders
- Spirit Point Dragons (Salt Sprint Island)
- Comox Valley Dragonflies
- Angels and Demons (Nanaimo)
- Namx’Sala (Pt. Hardy)
- Zunga Warriors (Powell River)
River Spirit, BraveHearts and the whole Race the River organizing team wish all of you the very best of luck for the rest of the 2015 racing season.