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REPORTING · 19th July 2013
Walter McFarlane
Top photo by Doug Thomson

The 8th Annual Dragon Boat regatta took place on Saturday, July 6th. The sky was blue and the water was cool.

Dragon Boating was brought to Kitimat in the form of the Northern Spirit, which was formed by Maryanne Thompson. “She put together a group of friends, mother’s daughters, beautiful women of all ages. We went down to Vancouver to compete in the 50 year celebrations of Alcan being in the Northwest,” said Ruth Mills.

Mills told us Dragon Boating is an Ancient Chinese Sport which has been growing in the Northwest. It brings people of all age out of their homes and onto the water.

“There are very few sports, especially in Kitimat down and out on the water and Minette Bay is one of the most tranquil and beautiful spots in this area,” said Mills.

The event opened at 11:00 with the Spirit of the Kitlope Dancers. Mayor Joanne Monaghan dotted the eye of the dragon and the races began. Only 9 teams raced this year.

The winning team this year was the Tragically Quick with a time of 1 minute, 5 seconds. In the A Division Race, Rio Tinto Dragons came second with a time of 1 minute, 9 seconds and the Lakeelse Dragons came third with a time of 1 minute, 21 seconds.

The three teams with the fastest times of the day were the Tragically Quick, Rio Tinto Dragons and the KMP Wave Riders.

The Tragically Quick took home the gold medal. In B Division, the KMP Wave Riders took home the silver and in C Division, the Haisla Youth took home the Bronze.

There was no Guts and Glory Race this year as the weather turned choppy.

“if you missed this regatta, please come next year or join up a team, it’s so much fun. We’re always looking for paddlers,” said Luci Leite

Mills told us there are many occasions in which people can come out and try the sport. The regatta is one of them. Many groups have fun days when members of the community can try out paddling.