UBC Day of the Longboat – Full contact voyageur canoe bumper car race mayhem
If you walked along Jericho Beach this weekend and spotted voyageur
canoes and wondered what was going on, and then ran into the
crowds of paddlers at the Jericho Paddling and Sailing Centre.
You discovered the UBC Recreation program that has expanded to almost
160 teams: from people who have only been in a canoe once before… to
seasoned dragon boat paddlers hunting for post-dragon boat bragging
It's not an event for the weak of heart, as the 2 kilometre races are 4 times as long as a 500m dragon boat race.
Check out the ongoing hot tub parties – a necessity for re-warming the
body after falling in the ocean, or running through the waves as a
designated team runner must jump in and out of the boat to shore
grabbing a traffic cone or banging a gong at the race finish.
Many of the UBC teams are brand new, young and inexperienced canoeists,
paddling out of time, slowly and for the sheer fun of experience.
The dragon boat paddlers in Sunday's communty division are seasoned
veterans of many years and races throughout the summer, demonstrating
precision timing and technique and regularly posting the fastest times
of the races.
Last year was my first time participating, as I joined up with Tacoma's
Destiny Dragons, gathering many Vancouver area paddlers to join in
cross-border friendship. This year, I became team photographer
due to a shoulder injury. But we had core Gung Haggis team
paddlers paddling, as we have a good friendship with the Tacoma Dragon
Boat Association and have joined them for events in Tacoma, Seattle,
and Vancouver over the past few years. Coach Clem is an
ex-patriate Canadian from Alberta, and balances the team on
participation and fun. It's always a pleasure to join this crew.
I shot pictures for Gung Haggis paddlers Kristine and Dave, who also
paddled last year with us, as we won the Men's Division. Pictures
coming up later…