Glenys HaskinsAugust 20, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) - Breaking records across the board, with more than 80,000 people attending the three day event, 79 dragon boat teams battled for victory in the 19th Annual Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival.
Victoria's Team Cream OC20 took first place, winning the Mixed Platinum Championships and title of Fastest Local Team. In the Women's Platinum Championships, it was a hard fought race between Storm/Sudden Impact Paddling Club out of Cultus Lake and the Fort Langley Canoe Club's Fast and Furious. Sudden Impact came out on top with less than a second separating these two competitive teams.
33 Local teams competed this weekend, with the remaining 46 hailing from Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Nanaimo and the Comox Valley. More than 2000 individual paddlers took part in the weekend regatta with local hotels reaping the benefits of an estimated 1200 room night bookings for the 3-day festival.
"We broke many records this weekend," said Mark Mawhinney, Chair of the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society. "We are delighted by the tremendous overall success of this year's festival. We broke last year's fundraising record, selling more than 15,000 Lights of Courage lanterns. Although all the figures are still being tallied, we are optimistic that previous fundraising efforts of $65,000 will be surpassed this year."
Glenys Haskins, General Manager, said, "Oceanus Plastics, a local company, crafted three new boats purchased by the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society this year. New teams will be training in the new boats over the next year through our partnership with Go Rowing and Paddling Association of Canada as we help spread the sport across local communities. This supports our mission of Bringing Communities Together Through Dragon Boating. "
More than $35,000 was raised for the BC Cancer Foundation through the Paddlers Pledge Program from a record breaking nine teams this year. A local Victoria team, Paddlers of the Fifth Moon, claimed the top team fundraising spot bringing in more than $15,000. These funds stay on Vancouver Island to support world class research at the BC Cancer Agency housed at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.
All race results can be viewed here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uq66bakfam1174b/2013-Victoria-Results.pdf