Comox Valley Paddlers power Gorging Dragons to medals

Several local athletes competing at world dragon boat championships in Australia

The Gorging Dragons Senior C Womens team won gold in their first race

Comox Valley athletes helped Gorging Dragons teams hit the medal podium at the International Dragon Boat Federation’s (IDBF) Club Crew World Championships (CCWC).

Four local dragon boat teams are competing at the championships (CCWC) in Adelaide, South Australia from March 30 to April 7.

These crews train out of the VI Paddling club and are made up of the Gorging Dragons Senior B (over 50) Women’s; Senior C (over 60) Women’s; Senior C Mixed; and Senior C Open teams.

The Gorging Dragons Senior C Women’s team won gold in their first race, the 2,000m event. This feat represents the first CCWC gold medal for any dragon boat team from Vancouver Island.

The Senior C Open team won silver in the 2,000m event. In the 500m event, the Senior C Open won gold; Senior C Mixed won silver; and the Senior C Women’s won bronze.

The grit, hustle, and hard work of these athletes, combined with the experienced guidance of the

world-class coaching staff at VI Paddling, has paid off, a spokesperson said.

These high-performing athletes primarily hail from Greater Victoria, with many others living as far away as Port McNeill, Comox/Courtenay, Port

Alberni, Nanaimo, Duncan, Vancouver, and Nelson.

Locals competing at the Club Crews include Bob Lindsay, Joan Goodwin, Sheila Barnes, Marcy Petersen, Maggie Slassor, Leanne Reid, Bill Jay, and Ray St. Denis.

All the paddlers have been intensely training several times per week since the fall of 2014 in all weather conditions. The bulk of the training has been on Victoria’s Gorge Waterway with a smaller contingent practising on Comox Lake this past winter.

Previous versions of the Gorging Dragons team have won bronze and silver medals at the CCWC competitions in 2004, 2008, and 2014. Many of these athletes have developed from recreational paddlers to high performance athletes competing for the first time on the world stage. For others it is

their second time; having competed and won bronze at the CCWC in Ravenna, Italy 2014.

For more information, visit: Follow the Club Crews at the IDBF website (


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