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Dragon boaters show their racing skills and resilience during the competition in Victoria

Dragon boaters show their racing skills and resilience during the competition in Victoria
Dragon boaters show their racing skills and resilience during the competition in Victoria

Nearly 700 athletes from across British Columbia and beyond are expected to showcase their racing skills, community spirit and resilience on Victoria’s Gorge Waterway this weekend at the South Island Dragon Boat Festival.

The nonprofit Fairway Gorge Paddling Club is hosting teams from Oregon, Washington State, Alberta, the Lower Mainland and a host of paddlers from Victoria for the two-day festival on July 13-14.

The event includes 500-meter races and 1,500-meter Guts-&-Glory races featuring women, mixed teams and several teams of breast cancer patients.

According to Erik Ages, race director and general manager of the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club, watching dragon boat races from the banks of the Gorge Waterway at 2940 Jutland Rd. is a great way for spectators to beat the heat and enjoy a few fun, family-friendly days of competition.

“We are thrilled to welcome such a diverse and dedicated group of athletes to the Gorge Waterway,” Ages said. “The energy and camaraderie between the teams is truly inspiring.”

The festival showcases the competitive spirit of dragon boat racing and highlights the resilience and strength of breast cancer patient teams.

“These athletes are a testament to the power of community and the spirit of perseverance. Their participation adds a deeply meaningful dimension to our event,” Ages added.

The Fairway Gorge Paddling Club is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and this festival is one of three major events the club is hosting this summer.

For more information, visit fgpaddle.com.