World Dragonboating Crew Championships: Toronto

1st IDBF World Crew Championship Race – Toronto

Starting on Thursday, August 10th til Sunday August 13th, the IDBF-International DragonBoat Federation is putting on the World Crew Dragonboat Championships in Toronto. The location is just west of Ontario Place in the new rowing basin created specifically for the Dragonboat competitions at Marilyn Bell Park.

The setting is just a bit strange because GWN-Great White North puts on a series of dragonboating races every year just 1000 meters to the east at the Ontario Place breakwater channel. True, the GWN course is a bit tight for use for 2000 meter circular races and there is Ontario Place Marina traffic that also wants to use the same channel as the GWN race course.  so now Toronto will have three dragonboating venues all on the Lakeshore within 5 kilometers of each other.

However, there can be no doubt that the Toronto area, from the Pickering clubs in the East through to the Missisauga and Welland area clubs in the West is a real hotbed for dragonboat racing. Not just Toronto – but the whole of Southern Ontario now starts to rival BC and Montreal for dragonboating popularity and participation (although the IDBF competitions will prove which area in Canada will retain best in Dragonboating rights).

And one can see the attraction – as two hikers along the Lakeshore trail remarked upon seeing the GWN Dragonboating competitions¬† – “We’ve got to try that!”. There seems to a natural attraction, and so Toronto and Southern Ontario gets to show to the world how keen it is on an ancient Chinesesports craft – Dragonboating. Its quite simple. 20 paddlers plus a drummer to set the stroke beat and a cox in the rear to steer the boat race 200, 500, or 2000 meters down a straight course, first boat across the line is winner. The challenge is getting 20 paddlers to work effectively together.¬† And that is is part of the ttraction too.

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