This past weekend the 19th annual Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival was held in Mooney’s Bay Park. With over 200 teams taking part this year, it has become the largest dragonboat festival in the world. Because they’ve increased the number of teams, they changed up the schedule a bit and moved the charity pledge challenge races from Saturday to Friday evening and changed the format of the races on the Sunday so that everyone had three races on Sunday: a 200m race, 100m sprint and 500m race. In past years, the shorter 100m and 200m races were exhibition races for the top-ranked teams. Personally, I liked the variety of races on Sunday, particularly the 100m sprint.
As in past years, I steered for the Algonquin College Singapore Slings and we’re happy with our results (even though we didn’t win our challenge cup this year):
|Friday||Pledge challenge (500m)||2:24.47|
|Saturday||Hospitality & Tourism Challenge Cup (500m)||2:25.19|
|Block 4 Final (500m)||2:32.20|
|Sunday||200m Mixed H Final||0:56.05|
|100m Mixed H Final||0:28.16|
|The Ottawa Citizen 500m Mixed H Final||2:28.12|
The Slings were one of the top fund-raising teams again this year, so we got to race Friday evening. Many thanks to everyone who sponsored us!
I also steered one race for a women’s team called Domina. They raced well, but sadly at the end of Saturday they missed advancing to Sunday by less than one second!
This year they put together some all-men’s teams for an exhibition 200m race. Many of the men paddlers from the Slings got together with paddlers from a couple of other teams and raced against 5 or 6 other teams. The power in the boat was pretty impressive and we had a lot of fun!
Overall, the weather was just about perfect all weekend. There was a little burst of rain Sunday afternoon, but that was it.
A big thank you to the volunteers who kept the races running smoothly, but most of all a big thank you to everyone on the teams I steered for: You guys paddled well and should be proud of your results!