Two boats race neck and neck in an early morning race Saturday at the 25th annual Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival in Victoria’s inner harbour. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)

Rain not slowing racers at Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

Event runs throughout Saturday and Sunday

Rain wasn’t sinking spirits Saturday morning at the Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival.

Competitors at the event still appeared eager and energetic to hit the water as rain doused Victoria’s inner harbour, and fans, many with umbrellas, remained lined up along the railings at Ship Point to watch the action.

Rain didn’t dampen fans’ enthusiasm Saturday at the 25th annual Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival in Victoria’s inner harbour. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)

The annual festival, which began in 1994, is marking its 25th year this weekend. About 2,000 paddlers are expected to compete at the event.

Races, which started at 8 a.m. Saturday, are scheduled to run throughout the day, as well as Sunday. Heats are held roughly every 10 minutes, except during a handful of scheduled breaks — including some that allow the ferries to use the inner harbour.

Three boats cross the finish line in a tight race Saturday at the 25th annual Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival in Victoria’s inner harbour. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)

The festival kicked off Friday with a series of ceremonies, including a traditional Lion’s Dance from the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club and a ceremony by a group of Taoist priests from the International Taoist Church of Canada.

Apart from the races, the event features several food vendors as well as live music and cultural performances.

Environment Canada’s forecast, as of 1 p.m. Saturday, was predicting a high likelihood of rain for much of the day.

READ ALSO: The Victoria Dragon Boat Festival kicks off with eye-dotting ceremony

—- with files from Nicole Crescenzi


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