Dragon boaters participate in the Aug. 5 'Get Dragon Boating’ event held at the Furlong Bay boat launch.

Dragon boaters stay active on the water

Terrace keeps its hand in the ancient but growing sport of dragon boating, as the Lakelse Dragon Boat society gets set to end its season with a regatta on the waters of Lakelse Lake, Sept. 10.

Terrace keeps its hand in the ancient but growing sport of dragon boating, as the Lakelse Dragon Boat society gets set to end its season with a regatta on the waters of Lakelse Lake, Sept. 10.

Carole Marcellin, president of the society, says that interest in the sport is holding strong as Terrace marks its sixth year in one of the fastest growing team water sports in Canada.

“It’s a really cool thing to have up in Terrace,” Marcellin said.

The Lakelse Dragon Boat society got its start in Terrace six years ago after a group of people tried the sport at Kitimat regatta, held in the spring of 2006.

With the help of a dozen committed volunteers an $8,000 second-hand boat was soon purchased from Vancouver, and that September the Lakelse Dragon Boat society was born.

A dragon boater from Kitimat had recent moved to Terrace and helped coach the two dozen people who were initially involved in the creation of the society.

“It’s been wonderful,” Marcellin said, of how everything came together for the group.

Marcellin is herself is now a dragon boat coach, and explains there are key components to dragon boating, such as executing the perfect paddle stroke and working in complete team unison.

To hit a perfect stroke, correct posture is needed, as well as proper set up, entrance, pull and exit.

Team unity is key in dragon boating as 18 – 22 people work together to paddle as one, perfecting the timing necessary to motor a 48 ft. boat weighing in at 800 pounds.

Along with paddlers, every team includes a steersperson, and a coach to help keep everyone working together.

In some cases a drummer will be onboard, pounding out a rhythm for people to keep time too.

Team work is so much a part of dragon boating that Marcellin says the society was asked to take out a businesses staff out as a part of a team building exercise.

“It was awesome,” she said, adding a few people who attended that day ended up as members of the society.

The society keeps its boat in the water at Lakelse Lake for the season, putting it in mid-May and pulling it out at the end of September.

It will continue to hold practices once a week out at Furlong Bay on Lakelse Lake on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

Marcellin says anyone interested is welcome to come out for a free paddle, although she asks people to bring their own life jackets.

On the day of the regatta team practices on the day will begin at 8 a.m., opening ceremony will be at 11 a.m. And races are set to begin at noon.

Anyone interested in taking part can contact Marcellin at 635 2627 or call Penny Dobbin at 635 3410.

Marcellin encourages interested people to come out saying dragon boating is great exercise, and a lot of fun.