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Racing in the rain at the Rideau Canoe Club Dragon Boat Festival

August 30, 2009 @ 11:50 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats

The Second Annual Rideau Canoe Club Dragon Boat Festival took place at the Rideau Canoe Club yesterday. Twenty-five to thirty teams came out for a full day of racing on the Rideau River just above the entrance to the canal locks at Hogs Back.

If you were in Ottawa, then you know that it rained. All day. And it was windy. All day. At least it wasn’t really cold, though it wasn’t super warm either. Still, people seemed to be having a good time, even when they were huddled in their tents.

Many of the teams that participated were what I’d consider the “hard core” teams of dragon boat racing in Ottawa who practice  once or twice a week from the moment the river thaws in the spring and go to all the local races (ODBF, RCCDBF and the Fall 400 in Carleton Place).

My team, the Algonquin College Singapore Slings, had a great day of races (except for the 500m race where we were stuck in the wake of Gung Ho, who leapt off the start line and finished the race a good 10 seconds ahead of the next fastest boat (which wasn’t us)). Our 200m races were particularly satisfying and our last 500m race felt really good, top. We had the option of doing a 1000m race, which I would have liked to do, but given that even the Goretex-clad people were soaked, we decided to opt out. I don’t think there were many teams who took part in the 1000m.

All in all, we finished third in the Mixed Final C block of teams, which we’re very happy about. I think we get a trophy for this accomplishment, which we’ll probably receive at our practice on Tuesday.

We had a new caller for the RCCDBF: Mary Anne. Normally, she paddles for the Slings, but she volunteered to call for us when we learned our summer caller wouldn’t be able to make the race. Her first time calling was at last week’s practice and I’m happy to report that she rose to the challenge and did a great job calling under less than ideal conditions. The caller’s job is probably the hardest in the boat. I’ve been steering dragon boats for several years, something many people consider difficult, and I wouldn’t want the responsibility of being the caller.

Congratulations to the organizers at the Rideau Canoe Club for another great festival and thanks to all the volunteers on the docks and in the marshal boats on the race course!

One Response to “Racing in the rain at the Rideau Canoe Club Dragon Boat Festival”


  1. Stefanie says:

    It was, indeed, a very fun day despite the weather! I am part of the women’s team The Floating Words and we were there on Saturday. Like you said : not cold, but not warm… yet I’d say it was a little colder than warmer ;-). Congratulations on your third place! We also finished third in final A. We were pretty proud of ourselves as we beat our own personal records. 🙂



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