It was truly an amazing day down at Comox Bay Marina for the annual Victor Simonson Dragon Boat races.
Sixteen teams from all over Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland came to show their stuff in this one day event. Each team consisting of 22 paddlers, a steer and drummer, paddled three races throughout the day to see who was the fastest team overall.
In the Open Division, the competition was very close, with many races separated by mere 100ths of a second. The Dragon Flies a local team from the Comox Valley came out on top with an accumulative time of 4.57.59, closely followed by the first Comox Valley youth team the Dragon Riders with a time of 4.58.22. Prevailing Wins captured third place with a time of 4.58.26.
In the Women’s Division the Flying Dragons took first place with an accumulative time of 5.13.02 followed closely by Abreast of Life out of Nanaimo with 5.22.13. Third spot was taken by Angels Abreast also out of Nanaimo with a time of 5.26.54.
In the Breast Cancer Survivor Race, four teams made up of paddlers who have been diagnosed with cancer, battled it out for a trophy and bragging rights. The race came right down to the wire with the two Nanaimo teams coming to a photo finish.
It was too close to call, so the trophy was presented to Abreast of Life and Angels Abreast of Nanaimo with a time of 1.47.34.
Immediately following the survivor race a Carnation Ceremony was held to recognize those who are currently battling this disease and those who have lost the battle. The pier was lined with spectators as four boats (88 individuals) rafted together to show their unity and support for one another in this fight against cancer.
The day was a huge success, thanks to all the volunteers who helped out with the event. Thank you to Water Pure and Simple who donated the water, which was definitely needed throughout the day and thank you to Unit 60 Marine Search and Rescue who provided the safety boat for our races.
— Victor Simonson Dragon Boat races