Dragonboater calls it a day

Brian Johns has decided that at age 75 it is time to retire from international competition.

Brian Johns shows the medal haul he earned with the Vancouver Island Paddling Club (VIP) at the World Club Championship in Adelaide

After a successful run at World Dragon Boat Championships, Brian Johns has decided that at age 75 it is time to retire from international competition.

In 2013, he paddled with the Canadian National Senior C (age 60+) team at the World Dragon Boat Championships in Hungary, helping the team win three  silver medals. In 2014, he was on the False Creek Canoe Racing Club team at the World Club Championship in Italy, winning silver and bronze.

The highlight of his career was paddling with the Vancouver Island Paddling Club (VIP) at the World Club Championship in Adelaide, Australia in April this year, coming home with two gold and three silver medals in the Senior C category.

A long-time paddler with the Comox Valley Canoe Racing Club, Johns was invited to join the VIP club’s Gorging Dragons in March last year, which meant travelling to Victoria most weekends for practices.

The huge commitment was worth it.  VIP — although based in Victoria — is an Island team drawing paddlers from all over Vancouver Island, including eight from the Comox Valley.

Johns also has gold medals from two national championships, last year’s Rio Tinto and the B.C. over 55 Masters Summer Games.

He will continue to paddle his solo outrigger and crew in the six-man outrigger.

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