Spirit Intact Despite High Winds at Dragon Boat Fest
LETHBRIDGE: Spirits were high at this weekend's dragon boat festival in Lethbridge Saturday, despite some challenging weather. Some races were delayed due to white caps from high winds at Henderson Lake. But organizer Dianne Randell says the weekend is about much more than the races themselves.
"I think for the community it's an opportunity for people who normally don't come together to do so," she said. "And to do it in the spirit of fun, racing and to promote a sport, which is the second team sport in the world - second only to soccer." That may seem like a surprising statistic at first, but visit the festival site and you'll immediately see evidence to support it. More than 2,000 athletes are scheduled to participate in this, the 10th annual edition of the festival, an event that's grown from 17 crews in 2002 to 68 in this year. As well, there are three crews doing qualifying times for the nationals and the world cup with Dragon Boat Canada.
"This festival has just grown exponentially, and it just keeps getting bigger and better every year," said Randell. She added they are making a few changes to the lineup this year, including scheduling the rose ceremony for breast cancer awareness for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 25. The closing ceremony is set for 4:15 p.m. Sunday.
Photos by Country 95 News: top - members of the "Prairie Fire" paddling team from Medicine Hat cheer before their next race Saturday at Henderson Lake
bottom - athletes huddle in the chill wind Saturday, watching competitors take their mark
Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 12/7/2013 11:23:51 AM
Source: Marion Warnica, Country 95 News