Gung Haggis dragon boat team places 2 teams in A Final at Ft. Langley Cranberry Festival Canoe Regatta.
We arrived before 9am, and the temperature was just above freezing. Fog hid the river. But the sun came
out… and it warmed us.
We had 2 teams: Gung Haggis Fat Turky and Gung Haggis Fun Cranberry. We had a strong and enthusiastic dragon boat team this year. Last year we 7 non-Gung Haggis paddlers join our two teams. But this year, we had 20 current Gung Haggis paddlers + 3 Gung Haggis alumni.
It's a crazy race finale. Put 10 voyageur canoes on the water – 100 paddlers.
Point them in the same direction up river. Sound the horn. drop pumpkins in the water.
Paddle towards a pumpkin. Fight another team for a pumpkin. Paddle under the bridge. Take a 1.5 km loop. Go around a marker go to the other side of the river, where a paddler jumps onto the beach. They balance a glass of juice on their paddle and walk up the beach, before jumping back in the boat. Go back around the marker, then under the bridge to the finish line.
Do canoes bump into each other going around turns, and along the straight-aways? You betcha!
But first of all, each team had to race 2 preliminary heats: 2 laps around a 250m length with turns for a possible 1.5 km distance.
While Karl and Raphael walk up the beach balancing glasses of cranberry juice on their paddles, the Gung Haggis Fun Cranberry team tries to catch up to the Gung Haggis Fat Turkey team. – photo Deb Martin
With Karl and Raphael back in the boats (look for a yellow vested Karl who managed not to get run over by the boat), the GH Fun Cranberry team blocks the GH Fat Turkey Team from going forward. But really both teams need to turn right to catch up to the Pirates team, who finally bailed their boat that they tipped over at their beach landing. – photo Deb Martin.
Free from the beach, Gung Haggis Fat Turkey team goes after the Pirates. Tzhe in lead stroke, Kristine and Hillary in 2 seat, Joe and Stephen in 3 seat, Jim and Dan in 4 seat, Raphael and Debbie in 5 seat, Todd steers – photo Deb Martin.
Gung Haggis Fat Turkey team catches up to the Pirates team on the turn, and grabs the inside edge. They will effectly hold off the Pirates team and beat them to the finish. The Gung Haggis Fun Cranberry team is still catching up – photo Deb Martin.