Comox Valley Team Canada members Dave Hay (left), Andrea Keenan, Rupert Wong and Joan Goodwin show off their medals from the recent dragon boat world championships in Thailand. Photo supplied.

Four Comox Valley dragon boat members earn medals at worlds

National team only fully practised together for a few days in Thailand

A group of dragon boat paddlers has come home to the Comox Valley with medals in hand from the world championships.

Dave Hay, Rupert Wong and Joan Goodwin, with Andrea Keenan serving as one of the coaches, all represented Team Canada at the recent 14th World Championships in Thailand. The competition, which featured teams from 19 countries, was held Aug. 20 to 25.

The event was broken down into categories based on distances for races of 2,000, 1,000, 500, and 200 metres. There were brackets for age groupings. When all was said and done, Team Canada ended up with the second-most medals, trailing only the host country, which won 94 medals overall.

Canada finished with 33 gold, 30 silver and 22 bronze medals, though it came out on top of the medal count for the senior brackets.

The U.S. was in third with 18 gold, 24 silver and 27 bronze medals. Australia was in fourth with 60 total medals.

There were three seniors brackets, based on ages. The three local paddlers were part of the Senior B team, which is for competitors in the 50s, though Goodwin is older. In fact, head coach Tom Arnold says she routinely competes against much younger athletes.

“She’s a special human being,” he said.

RELATED STORY: Vancouver Island Gorging Dragons win multiple medals at dragon boating world championships

Goodwin was a part of last year’s club team from Vancouver Island that attended the world event in Hungary. The Club Crew World Championships are held in alternating years from the world championship event for countries.

For Wong, the event was a new experience. He had taken part in the worlds for outrigger paddling before, but this trip was the first time for him against the best in the world at dragon boating. He found the competition stiff, with races going down to the wire.

“The room for error is very little,” he said.

The national team included paddlers from different parts of the country, including Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.

“The tryout is Canada-wide,” Wong said.

However, this year marked a first for the coaching staff, which include coaches from Victoria as well as Cumberland’s Keenan.

“It’s the first time coaches on Vancouver Island have led the national program,” Arnold said.

The team held a three-camp in July in Regina, Sask., following the national championships. Most of the team members were able to attend the camp, but the entire team did not get a chance to paddle together as a unit until three days before the world championships.

“We’ve never actually all paddled together until Thailand,” Wong said, adding, “We’ve got a very good program…. The talent pool is fairly deep.”



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Courtenay widow turns to Town of Comox for commemorative item to honour late husband

After being turned down by City of Courtenay, Laurance Stratton found Comox more receptive

Boomer Jerritt next North Island College Artist Talk speaker

Acclaimed Comox Valley photographer, artist and world traveller Boomer Jerritt is coming… Continue reading

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

School district launches catchment consultation process in the Comox Valley

Comox Valley Schools is commencing an important boundary catchment consultation process beginning… Continue reading

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Most Read