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13 Vancouver Island teams go ‘Paddles Up!’ at Comox Dragon Boat Festival

Three Comox Valley teams among those in the competiton

The second stop of the Vancouver Island Dragon Boat Race Series - the Comox Dragon Boat Festival - took place Saturday, June 11, at the Comox Marina.

The Comox event featured 350-metre races, with women’s and mixed divisions (13 teams total), and the Comox Valley had representation in both.

Hope Afloat and the Comox Flying Dragons battled it out in the women’s division, while Prevailing Wins competed in the mixed division.

Hope Afloat and the Comox Flying Dragons met up in the same semifinal race, after finishing first and second, respectively, in their (opposing) qualifying heats.

They were joined in the semifinal by the FGPC Gorge Us Gals, out of Victoria.

Hope Afloat won that semi, with a time of 1:38.569, and although the Comox Flying Dragons finished second in that race, there were two faster times in the other semi, relegating the Flying Dragons to the Women Platinum B Final.

Hope Afloat was joined by a couple of Nanaimo teams - Nusa’Lon Dragons and Chix with Stix - in the Victor Simonson Women’s Platinum A Final.

The Nusa’Lon Dragons proved too strong for the competition, cruising to a four-second win. Chix with Stix edged out Hope Afloat by 0.80 seconds for the silver.

The Comox Flying Dragons squared off with the FGPC Gorge Us Gals and River Spirt, from Campbell River, in the B finals and came away victorious, edging the Gorge Us Gals by half a second.

The mixed event had seven teams, racing in three qualifying heats.

Prevailing Wins competed in the three-boat qualifying heat, and finished second, although quite a distance behind the Navy Dragon Anchors (Victoria), who won the heat by more than 13 seconds, giving them a bye straight into the Victor Simonson Mixed Platinum A Final.

The Navy Dragon Anchors were a stroke - or 10 - ahead of the competition all day, and won the mixed championship by nearly eight seconds over NPC Not Enough Men (Nanaimo), with FGPC Momentum (Victoria) finishing third.

Prevailing Wins dropped their semifinal head-to-head race against NPC Not Enough Men, and dropped the Mixed Platinum B Final race to WOTM Mid Island Masters, from Nanaimo.

The next event of the series is the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival, July 9-10. This one is a 500m event.

The Vancouver Island International Dragon Boat Festival (500m event) takes place in Victoria, Aug. 6 and 7, and the series also wraps up in Victoria, with the FGPC Guts & Glory Championships, on Sept. 17. That one-day event features dragon boats and outrigger races.
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Terry Farrell

About the Author: Terry Farrell

Terry returned to Black Press in 2014, after seven years at a daily publication in Alberta. He brings 14 years of editorial experience to Comox Valley Record...
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