Weather can’t sink dragon boat fest

Rain and win forced organizers to alter the schedule for the first-ever Oceanfront Suites Dragon Boat Festival.

Rain and win forced organizers to alter the schedule for the first-ever Oceanfront Suites Dragon Boat Festival at Cowichan Bay on Aug. 29, but the shortened event was still a hit.

“Even though the weather did not cooperate and we had to cancel after the first round of races, everyone said what a great time they had and would come back again next year,” spokesperson Mandy Richards said. “Who would have thought that Mother Nature would create such havoc on this day with 84km/h winds and the first real rain we have seen since April? Oh well, it is a water sport.”

Richards is now focused on bringing back the event.

“I am extremely pleased with the way the first dragon boat festival went and want to express my heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors who made it happen,” she said. “Without them, we could never have done it. The opening ceremonies were a hit and hope the Cowichan Tribes dancers will be back next year.”

All six of the dragon boat teams that call Cowichan Bay home took part in the festival, including Stroke the Dragon, who capped off a brilliant season by winning the platinum final of the women’s event. Stroke the Dragon nipped Chix with Stix at the finish line, 2:35.60 to 2:35.64. In third place was River Spirit at 2:39.55.

The women’s diamond final went to Easy Riders (2:43.95), followed by Sea Sisters (2:46.79) and FGPC Dappled Dragons (2:48.31). Poetry in M’Ocean won the jade final in 2:48.81, followed by the NautiGals (2:50.96) and the Cowichan Valley Dragon Divas (2:54.29).

The mixed platinum final was won by FGPC Gorge United with a time of 2:15.60, followed by the Cowichan Bay Spirit Dragons (2:21.87) and FGPC Fairway Express (2:27.49).

The diamond final went to FGPC Outta Site (2:27.68) followed by FGPC Momentum (2:31.12) and FGPC Westshore Dragon Hornets (2:33.62). Prevailing Wins won the jade final in 2:37.52, followed by the Cowichan Bay Jolly Dragons (2:48.08) and Full Throttle (2:48.38).