The Northwest Wave Riders competed in the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival from Aug. 9 to 11.
The team made it to the finals of the Ladies’ Diamond A event where they were then beaten by the Northern Spirit team from Kitimat.
Pam Bibby, Northwest Wave Riders’ team member and manager, says this was the first time any team from northern B.C. competed in the festival in 25 years and was proud to put the region on the map.
Although they didn’t return with any medals, Bibby says they paddled their personal best race times in each of the four races. With paddlers from Terrace, Smithers, Kitimat and Prince Rupert, the regional team has been practicing since May to compete in the festival.
“It’s a great team because it’s women from those four communities and they’re very dedicated to come together to practice. We take turns practicing in different places,” says Pam Bibby. “It’s one of those groups that if something needs then people just step up and do it.”
Bibby says the team has members ranging in all ages, from 35 to 70 years old. For them, a shared interest in dragon boating has brought them together and they plan on competing in more events next year.
“Like most sportspeople who are quite passionate about it, you form a community around that sport and the people that participate in it,” she says. “There’s no standing by on a dragon boat team, you’re all the same and you’re all work together to get moving.”
The Northwest Wave Riders will continue practicing on the water until September.