Victoria's Gorging Dragons will return to the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival before heading to Ravinca; Italy for the Club Crew World Championships

Gorging Dragons take on the world

Victoria team will represent Canada at Club Crew World Championships, in Ravena, Italy.

Dragon boats competitors will hit the Inner Harbour next weekend for the annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, and this year’s festival will be a key stepping stone for the  Gorging Dragons internationally.

For the third time in 20 years, Vancouver Island’s first dragon boat team will be representing Canada at the International Dragon Boat Federation’s 9th Club Crew World Championships, in Ravena, Italy

“Its been a long process,” said coach Tom Arnold, 39.

“We qualified at the Canadian National championships last year, so between that and Italy we’ve spent the last two years in training – right through the winter, three times a week as a team and a lot more solo training.”

Arnold described his entry into dragon boating as fairly typical. Having grown up canoeing on lakes, he decided to try out dragon boating when the company he was working for in Toronto formed a corporate team. By the time he moved to Victoria, he felt he was ready to paddle competitively, and ended up with the Gorging Dragons.

The team landed a spot in the 2004 Cape Town Internationals, becoming the first Vancouver Island team to compete, and medal, on an international level.

“Nobody was more surprised than us,” Arnold said. “The entire team had worked up from a recreational to a competitive level, and to be there with the best teams in the world – Germany, Russia – and to medal against them, it was amazing.”

Despite the Gorging Dragons becoming an international force, the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival is still an annual highlight for Arnold.

“Its all about finding those moments when everybody is perfectly in-sync,” Arnold said. “When it feels like the boat is lifting into the air, and you’re flying down the race course. It’s a hard feeling to match.”

The Victoria Dragon Boat Festival takes place Aug. 15 to 17. The Gorging Dragons will be competing before moving on to Ravinca, Italy for the Club Crew World Championships on Sept. 3.

reporter@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Saanich rental project wins silver by going ‘green’

The Verve rental housing project stands at the corner of Boleskine Road and Whittier Avenue

Volunteers needed for annual Mother’s Day walk

Breast Cancer Society of Canada hosts annual Mother’s Day event

Sidney Lions dish $4,000 to help build on growing trishaw bike charity

Cycling Without Age Society draws attention as far off as Washington

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read