Sun shines on dragon boat racers - Metro US

Sun shines on dragon boat racers

The forecast called for rain, but participants of yesterday’s annual Dragon Boat Festival enjoyed a stroke of luck as the skies stayed mostly sunny and a refreshing breeze kept competitors cool.

Around 4,000 racers from 150 teams participated in the 21st annual Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival, which took place on the waters of False Creek near Science World.

“This is probably the best team sport anyone can come up with in terms of making 25 friends immediately and working together as a team,” said Sheila Page, a participant in the event.

“There are a lot of medical teams, people who have medical or mental issues. It’s very positive … And it’s a great sport for corporate team building.”

Judy Robertson and Holly Blayney were part of the team representing Metro Vancouver — the region, not the newspaper.

“We raced hard. We came in last, but it was a very close and tight race,” said Blayney.

“But we went up two levels this year,” added Robertson. “We were paddling with the big boys.”

Anita Webster, a spokeswoman for the event, said organizers expect around 100,000 spectators came to watch the races, which started at 8 a.m. on Saturday and ended yesterday evening.

“We were thrilled with the turnout,” Webster said. “The (public area) was packed all day long.”

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