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Sproat Lake dragon boaters celebrate 25 years at annual regatta

18 teams from across Vancouver Island raced in the regatta

A total of 18 teams from almost every town on Vancouver Island came out to participate in the 25th annual dragon boat race at Sproat Lake. The theme this year was Tacky Tourist, and teams went all out for the costumes.

Donna James, originator of the local West Coast Dragon Boat Society, and Betty Chan, a member for 20 years, did the honours of cutting the 25th anniversary cake. James recalled that when the team first practised, It was in a church sitting on stools and using sticks as paddles. 

In the Mixed Teams category, the Dragon Slayers of Nanaimo took gold with a time of 4:06. Silver went to Mid Island Masters with a time of 4:25.12, bronze went to Snogard for a time of 4:25.88 and Prevailing Winds came in fourth with a time of 4:45.98.

In the Ladies category, Ladysmith's Sink or Swim took first overall and Chicks with Sticks took second.

In the Ladies Bronze category, first place went to Welly Wave Riders with a time of 5:22.57, second place went to Paddling for Life (5:29.22) and third place went to Breast of Life (5:33.87).

In the Ladies Silver category, first place went to Dragon Flies with a time of 4:59.69, second went to the home team Sproat Lakers with a time of 4:74.44 and third place went to Blazing Paddles (5:04.78).

In the Ladies Gold category, first place went to River Spirit with a time of 4:56.75, second went to Sea Dragons (4:58.02) and third place went to Hot Flash (4:58.51).

In the Ladies Diamond category, first place went to Let Her Run (4:32.86), second place went to The Warriors (4:47.36) and third place went to Flying Dragons (4:51.60). 

The emcee this year was Craig Brooks, who played some tunes that really got the teams going. Hot Flash won the conga contest and get their entry fee for next year reduced.

Everyone had a great time and complimented the Port Alberni crew on a great race. 

Local dragon boaters are looking for a few good men to participate so that they can have a local mixed team. Want to get some fresh air and exercise? Call Lindy at 250-731-7740 for more information.