Dragon boating popular with all ages

Popular water sport fun, competitive

There’s many aspects to dragon boating. Like climbing into the vessel without falling over. Once settling into a seated position, the focus turns to the drummer/coach, who belts out a rhythm to follow, keeping the team in synch. From the back, the tiller will call out various commands: Paddles Up (prepare to paddle); Take it Away (start paddling); Hold the Boat (stop); Let it Run (cease paddling but let boat glide). Gripping the paddle involves wrapping the top hand around the T grip with thumb underneath. A good stroke results in little splashing. But if the paddler over-reaches, he or she is guilty of ‘plunking,’ and might be clacking paddles with the person seated behind.

If this sounds like fun, consider dropping by a session with the Prevailing Wins, a local dragon boat team consisting of about 30 adults in the 40 to 80 range who meet twice weekly for workouts in the Comox Harbour. The group also gathers for Saturday morning practices.

“We have a couple of coaches and tillers, and also a youth team called the Dragon Riders,” said team captain/co-ordinator Leon Van Noorden. “Many of us have been doing it for a long time. It’s a real family, and a lot of fun, especially the races. We get really excited with the races. It gets quite competitive. But the rest of the time we just have a lot of fun and work hard.”

The Prevailing Wins started in 2006 when some members of the Comox Valley Blazing Paddles formed a mixed racing team. The squad has since recruited more males — which can be a challenge in dragon boating — and formed a youth team. This season, the team will compete in several dragon boat festivals throughout the Island, including Nautical Days in Comox.

“It (dragon boating) was associated a lot with breast cancer, but it isn’t any more,” Van Noorden said. “We are a mixed team, and so the races we go in are 10 women and 10 men. There are competitions around the world, especially in Asia. This summer, there’s a world championship in Hungary. A couple of Island teams are entering.”

Last year, a number of paddlers from around Vancouver Island contributed to Canada’s medal haul at the World Nations Dragon Boat Championships in China.

FMI: contact Van Noorden at prevailingwinsteam@gmail.com.

Youth members can be as young as 13.

www.prevailingwins.com

 

Just Posted

Seventh annual Campagnolo Lecture coming to Courtenay

Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould to speak

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

School for students on Hornby Island ‘normal as can be’: portables expected in new year

While it’s not an ideal situation, the return to school for students… Continue reading

Christmas comes early for residents of Cumberland Lodge

It’s Christmas in September at Cumberland Lodge. The Rotary Club of Cumberland… Continue reading

Big Beach Cleanup builds awareness of ocean debris impacts

First two cleanup days brought in 40 cubic yards of plastic and styrofoam

Fashion Fridays: Rock some animal print

Kim XO, lets you in on the latest fall fashion trends on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Liberals want to know what Canadians think of legalized weed

The federal government will comb social media for Canadians’ pot-related behaviour

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen boasts of aiding Mueller investigation

Cohen could provide information on whether Trump’s campaign co-ordinated with Russians

Landslide forces evacuations of Philippine villages

More than 1,200 people in villages near the landslide-hit area were forcibly moved by authorities

Students asked about the positive effects of residential schools

Alberta’s education minister apologized after hearing about the online social studies course

Permit to give B.C. deer birth control on hold until consultation with First Nations

Complexity of consultation will depend on level of First Nations support for the project

Feds launching review of oil tanker traffic in bid to renew pipeline approval

The feds have ordered the National Energy Board to bring recommendations on whether pipeline expansion should proceed

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Most Read