Dragon Boat Races in the Vancouver Area Part 1

8th Annual Lotus Sports Club / Bill Alley Memorial Dragon Boat Regatta

May 21st 2005

Barnet Marine Park

Burnaby, B.C


This is a small but real friendly
race. The water is clean and the competition is friendly. One of my
favorite races because the people at Lotus Sports Club are so friendly.
Lotus is the group that started the Golden Spike Races in Port Moody on
Canada Day – but moved the races due to safety concerns with power boat
traffic / sand bars and a paddle wheeler.

June 11/12

Portland-Kaoshung Dragon Boat Race

Portland Oregon


This is the race with the infamous
“barge” Taiwanese boats – they seat 16 people and you have to “grab” a
flag. These boats are not the sleeker Taiwanese Racing boats that came
to Vancouver in 2003 which seat 18 paddlers, and are made of Alaskan
cedar. Be prepared for the boat NOT to move much on the start. Go slow
and long for the entire race. This event is run with the Portland Rose
Festival. Portland is a “city of gardens” – famous for its Rose
Gardens, Japanese Gardens and incredible Chinese Classical Gardens
built in 2001 – puts Vancouver's to shame!

July 4th

Washington Dragon Boat Festival

Commencement Bay

Tacoma, Washington


This event is hosted by the Tacoma
Dragon Boat Association – another of my favorite teams. A great group
of people which hosted the world's first Dragon Boat barrel races last
year, and subsequently replicated at the Vancouver International
Taiwanese Dragon Boat races in Hong Kong teak boats. TDBA owns their
own BUK boats. This race includes FIRE WORKS at the end of the
evening… be prepared for lots of American Rah Rah!

July 16th

Kent Cornucopia Days dragon boat races

Lake Meridien

Kent, Washington


Lovely park setting – just a few
hours drive south of the border. In 2001, the festival used BUK boats,
so that both FC Women and Wasabi could race in them before going to the
World Championships in Philly. This event collects some of the top
teams in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. More Vancouver teams have
been discovering it each year. This event includes an outdoor buffet
dinner. Make sure you stay in town on Saturday night to go to the
Cornucopia Days Festival in downtown Kent Wa. Cool medals too!

July 16th

1st Annual Fraser Valley Dragon Boat Festival

Harrison Hot Springs


This could be fun… Fraser Valley
dragon boaters have wanted to host their own race on Harrison Lake for
a few years. The wind could whip up, like it does in the Okanagan – but
the Fraser Valley boaters want to brave the chop. The Harrison Festival
of the Arts is a great cultural festival to tie in with. Fraser Valley
paddlers are a good friendly bunch too!

July 23/24

1st Vernon Dragon Boat Festival

Kalamalka Lake

Vernon, BC


Lake Kalamalka is one of the most
beautiful lakes I have ever paddled on. It is very clean with a great
beach! I've wanted to see a dragon boat race here for the past two
years. It's being organized by the same people who organize the Calgary
races. This is a good event to get the Kelowna teams paddling earlier.
Kal Lake is colder than Okanagan because it is deeper, and fed by snow
pack. It doesn't get swimable until late June. No Ogopogo to worry

August 5/7th

Calgary Dragon Boat Festival

Glenmore Resevoir

Calgary Alberta


Clean water, an Olympic quality race
course – what more could you ask for? Lots of teams really like
Calgary. This race will also attract the paddlers from Edmonton,
Regina, Kelowna, Lethbridge and Winnipeg.

There are many reasons why the Dragon Boat Canada race-offs are held in Calgary.

August 6/7th

Portland Dragon Boat Races

Sellwood Park,

Portland Oregon


This is the site of the infamous
T-bone collision between LA Racing Dragons and Gung Haggis Fat Choy in
2003. This is a lovely park setting and a very friendly environment.
Lots of paddler swapping went on in 2003 – hence LARD had a boat
containing V02 Max paddlers with a steersperson from Pink Phoenix and
Gung Haggis had paddlers from Wasabi, and Zamboanga. If you have an
extra day for travel, drive out to the Oregon Coast for your ride home.
Great beaches + the famous Haystack Rock monolith.

September 10th

Penticton Dragon Boat Festival

Okanagan Lake

Penticton, BC


Another lovely park and beach setting
on the south shores of Lake Okanagan, and right beside a casino! About
24 teams last year. I paddled with Tacoma DBA, and we had the fastest
time, until the wind blew up and the races were post-poned before being
cancelled. Good fun alternate choice if you can't get into the Kelowna
DBF. Great chance to visit Canada's only pocket desert near Oosooyoos

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