Nine local dragon boaters and their coach will be in Hungary next at the Club Crew Worlds. Photo supplied

Local dragon boaters off to worlds

Szeged, Hungary hosts July 17-22 championships

Nine local dragon boaters will be in Hungary next at the Club Crew Worlds. They and other members of the Victoria-based Gorging Dragons qualified for the July 17-22 event in Szeged.

The Comox Valley contingent includes Barb Bock, Dave Hay, Patty Watt, Jo-Ann Denniston, John Thornton, Dan Walden, Joan Goodwin and Marcy Petersen. Colleen Salter from Campbell River is also on the team. Ray St. Denis, who helped the squad qualify at nationals, won’t be joining his teammates due to a shoulder injury.

The Dragons will compete in four events in senior B and C divisions, 50-59 and 60-69 years, respectively.

Club Crew Worlds include 200-metre and 500m races, and a 2-kilometre event. The latter involves three turns on the 500m course.

“They’ll start the fastest team last,” coach Andrea Keenan said. “It’s exciting on the corners. Forty-foot dragon boats trying to go around a three-point corner. It can get a little bit hairy.”

Keenan has coached the Gorging Dragons at previous Club Crew Worlds in Malaysia (2008) and in Australia. Before coaching, she had competed at worlds in Italy.

Cumberland resident Julie Catania has been helping Keenan coach the team.

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