The Comox Valley’s Prevailing Wins dragonboat team raced out of the fog enveloping Queen Charlotte Strait to finish first in the A Division of the second annual Triport Dragon Boat Society’s Regatta held in Port Hardy on Sept. 10.
Competing in the mixed category, the team also achieved the best overall time in a series of 350-metre races. “The most challenging part of the first two races,” said tiller Norm Flower, “was the fog at the finish line.”
By the time the fog had dissipated and the sun glittered on the waters, Prevailing Wins posted its best time of 1:30:22 in the final race, to place first and take home a trophy and gold medals. As a fun event, the team entered in the 750-metre Guts and Glory Tillers’ Challenge and the Namaxsala team came back to win first place with Prevailing Wins second.
The regatta, which raised funds for youth in sports as well as the local women’s shelter, brought together teams from the Comox Valley, Sointula, Port McNeill, Port Alice, Port Hardy, and Campbell River for a day of exciting competition and friendship.
Namaxsala — the Kwagiutl dragonboat team from Fort Rupert and Alert Bay — hosted Prevailing Wins with traditional Kwakwaka’wakw hospitality and foods. They welcomed all the visiting teams with songs and speeches in Kwak’wala. After the races, Namaxsala provided a salmon barbeque for all the participating teams.
“The hospitality of the Namaxsala team made it the highlight of our season,” said captain Leon Van Noorden.
Prevailing Wins, whose mission statement includes providing opportunities for youth and other groups to experience the thrill of dragonboat racing, thanks Namaxsala and the Triport Regatta organizers for their hospitality and a well-run competition. The team salutes the expertise and leadership of coach Bill Jay, captain Leon Van Noorden, tiller Norm Flower, drummer Karen Petersen and lead strokes Kathy Tae and Michelle Murphy.
Prevailing Wins will compete in Sproat Lake on Sept. 25 to conclude their season.
— Prevailing Winds