Paddlers’ preparation pays off

After paddling all winter, the competitive season has begun for the Comox Valley Dragonflies dragon boat team.

THE COMOX VALLEY Dragonflies are well into their 2011 dragon boat season.

June 4 was the Comox Lake Outdoor Show in which the Dragonflies proved that the training was paying off for the many new paddlers this season. The team was awarded the Spirit Award for promoting dragon boating with the inclusion of many new paddlers and for their friendly energy paddling with other teams. They also won the tiller’s challenge event where the long dragon boat must be turned quickly around a buoy and then returned back to the start. The 20 paddlers took precise direction from the tiller to manipulate the 40-foot boat. The Dragonflies sent a women’s team to the 11-team Sproat Lake event June 12 under sunny skies. The theme for the day was hippies in the 60s so the tie-dye costumes and tent decorations including protest signs and vinyl records were very colourful. After winning all three of the 350-metre races, the team achieved a gold medal in the second division. Their best time was 1.35.45 minutes in the last race. Another well-organized event was the inaugural Race the River Dragon Boat Regatta in Campbell River featuring 13 mixed and women’s teams in attendance. CV Dragonflies won all of their 350-metre races in the mixed division and their overall average time was only 1.33 seconds behind the Aquaholics from Nanaimo. CV Dragonflies were awarded a silver paddle and individual pins.   The next competition will be in Nanaimo this weekend with 78 tough teams and two days of 500-metre races. The team is working hard and being challenged with lots of drills during their 75-minute practices twice a week in preparation for this festival.   The Dragonflies thank sponsors Black Fin Pub, Shamrock Veterinary Clinic, Brian Rice Courtenay Toyota and Scotiabank. — Comox Valley Dragonflies

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