All four Tri-Port Dragon Boat Society teams gather for a group photo during the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival.

All four Tri-Port Dragon Boat Society teams gather for a group photo during the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival.

Dragon boaters wrap up busy season

The North Island's TriPort Dragon Boat Society is coming off a season of high achievement.

The North Island’s TriPort Dragon Boat Society is coming off a season of high achievement. Next year, it’s aiming even higher.

“We’re planning to compete in nationals next year,” said Boni Sharpe of Port McNeill, one of the leaders in a society that keeps boats and holds practices in Port Hardy, Port McNeill and Sointula. “If things go well, we may consider going to the World (championships).”

Part competitive paddling club, part fund-raising organization and all social enjoyment, the society wrapped up its 2012 competition season last Saturday with a runner-up showing by the Warriors in their division in the Sproat Lake Dragon Boat Festival, near Port Alberni.

That showing capped a season that saw the boaters host their third annual TriPort Dragon Boat Regatta and appear in several other local events, including Sointula’s Canada Day celebration and the annual Alert Bay 360 Eco Paddle Challenge.

Society members also competed in several competitions across the Island, highlighted by the Pussycats earning bronze in the top-level Platinum final at the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival — a race in which the five finalists were separated by only 1.5 seconds.

Also, an unprecedented four local teams appeared in the Save On Foods Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival in July. In that regatta, the Paddling Pussycats and the Warriors went head-to-head in the Ladies Diamond A final and Na’max’sala won the Mixed Diamond B final.

“We’re a high-level competitive crew up here,” said Cheryl Middleton of Sointula. “In Nanaimo they were shocked, because we had four teams from one club, in the smallest demographic area. And they all did so well.”

But the society is not only about competition. Many members paddle recreationally during the weekly in-season practices, and the society welcomes new members whether they are interested in competing or just in taking part in the fast-growing sport.

Registration fees and a variety of fund-raising activities by the group have helped fund a variety of beneficiaries since the society was established with the purchase of a single Dragon Boat a little more than four years ago.

The society drew three down-Island teams to its third annual Dragon Boat Regatta, held this year during Port Hardy’s annual Filomi Days festival in July. A paddle auction, with paddles decorated by local artists, drew $1,200. Additional fund-raising resulted in a $3,200 donation for the battered women’s shelter and another $500 to Operation Track Shoes. Additional funds, targeted for youth in sports, covered registration fees for needy young athletes in soccer, hockey and gymnastics, said Cheryl Middleton of Sointula.

Also, 10 per cent of funds raised during the Filomi Days Regatta were donated back to the Filomi Days committee.

The numbers of participants continue to swell, and the society is now up to three full-sized Dragon Boats and a smaller, 10-person practice boat that can be used for practice by smaller groups.

To inquire about joining the society or for more information, email triportdragonboat@gmail.com or visit TriPort Dragonboat Society on Facebook.

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue responded to an early morning fire around 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 13. Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-949-6335. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Firefighters respond to early morning fire near visitor centre in Port Hardy

Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Dr. Prean Armogam hands over a cheque for $10,000 to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society president Rosaline Glynn. The money will be going towards a new roof for the Port Hardy seniors centre. This is the second donation Dr. Armogam has made to the society, giving them $5,000 a little over a year ago. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Doctor donates $10k to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society for new roof

This was the second donation Armogam has given to the society

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

Most Read