The Northwest was represented well in the dragon boating world earlier this month.
Women from Prince Rupert, Smithers, Terrace, Kitimat competed in the annual Penticton Dragon Boat Festival on Sept. 8 and 9 as a part of the Northwest Wave Riders, a regional dragon boat team that has competed together since 2013.
The team brought home first place honours in the women’s Diamond-B division as well as placing in the top-10 overall out of 46 teams, and are hoping to continue building passion for the sport in their communities.
“It was a wonderful feeling,” said Rupertite paddler Paddy Jones. “We really gelled together as a team, practiced hard and the competition was wonderful.”
Jones, along with Rupertite riders Janice MacPhee, Joan Patriquin and Joy Sundin, had already been dragon boating as a member of the Rainbow Warriors in Prince Rupert since 2003. But, like so many other riders from communities in the Northwest, their local club was too remote to consistently compete in regional regattas.
Despite the logistical challenges involved with bringing together a group from such a large area, Jones said she is proud of the fact that they dedicated enough to log the kilometres necessary to practice and be successful at competitions.
“We can boast that our boat extends 350 kilometres from bow to stem, as we come from Smithers, Kitimat, Terrace and Prince Rupert,” said Jones.