Katy Milne (right) encourages paddlers of the Snappin' Dragons during a practice in the Gorge Waterway. The Snappin' Dragons are one of roughly 80 teams who will be competing in the 22nd annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival this weekend.

Local paddlers gearing up for dragon boat festival

When Katy Milne hopped into a dragon boat for her first session, she admits she didn't want to get back in after.

When Katy Milne hopped into a dragon boat for her first session, she admits she didn’t want to get back in after.

In 2001, Milne and a co-worker had seen information on novice dragon boating and decided to check it out. However, she quickly discovered it wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be.

“It’s not natural movement. It seems like a simple thing, but there’s a lot of intricacies to how you move and how to make the boat move effectively and especially trying to coordinate that with 20 other people is quite a challenging thing,” Milne said.

But instead of dropping out, Milne did the opposite — she volunteered to be the captain. Quickly her love for the sport grew and a few years later she became the team’s head coach.

For the past 15 years, Milne has been coaching and paddling with two dragon boat teams, the Snappin’ Dragons, a women’s boat, and Paddlers of the Fifth Moon, a mixed boat, spending about six hours a week on the water between April to August.

“I’ve met some fantastic people throughout both my teams and the other teams as well. There’s a lot of camaraderie within dragon boating,” said the 38-year-old, adding dragon boating is a very inclusive sport with everybody from breast cancer survivors to seniors citizens to youth boats.

“They’re all out for different reasons. I think it’s pretty cool that you can have that range of people in one sport.”

Milne is one of dozens of local paddlers who will be competing in the 22nd annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival this weekend. The three-day festival brings together more than 80 teams from Vancouver, Cowichan Bay, Edmonton, Tacoma, Comox, Prince George and Portland, and thousands of spectators to the city’s Inner Harbour.

As part of the festival, paddlers are also raising money for the B.C. Cancer Foundation. It’s a cause that’s close to Milne’s heart as she is a cancer researcher at the Deeley Research Centre in Victoria. Recently, renovations finished on a multi-million-dollar immunotherapy lab and researchers are gearing up to do clinical trials on patients.

“For me it’s special because I can actually see where the money goes. The pledge drive from the paddlers is helping support that. I’ve had a few paddlers in and around the lab to see where the money has gone and I think they’re all quite excited about that,” said Milne, adding her two teams have raised roughly $21,000 for the foundation.

The Victoria Dragon Boat Festival runs from Friday, Aug. 12 to Sunday, Aug. 14. For more information visit victoriadragonboat.com.

 

 

Just Posted

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Scorpion found in B.C. woman’s kitchen finds new home in Victoria

The Victoria Bug Zoo welcomed the scorpion on Saturday

B.C. getting less bang for its buck

B.C.’s CPI topped 2.7 per cent in April 2019, compared to two per cent for all of Canada

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read