Dragon boat festival coming to Wallaceburg

Sydenham Challenge Dragon Boat Festival 2017. (Photo courtesy of the Chatham-Kent Summer Road Crew)

Time is running out to get registered for Sydenham Challenge Dragon Boat Festival.

The competition is set to take place on Saturday, August 20th in Downtown Wallaceburg.

“You’re looking at about a 43-foot boat,” said event chair Brian Armitage. “It’s a team of 21 people plus a steerage person, and they’re basically competing against their own times, but they’re paired up with another team to kind of give them the energy to move a little faster.”

Armitage said no experience is necessary.

“All equipment is supplied. They go through training, and then they go out on the water. All our stern people, the coaches that we bring in for the day, are all certified by Dragon Boat Canada, so they’re getting top-notch training.”

The course is just over 300 metres long, and Armitage added that the event is always a lot of fun.

“It’s a very festive environment. There’s families, there’s corporate teams, there’s service clubs, we even have the Wallaceburg concert band,” said Armitage. “They showed up last time and they went down in their boat, all playing instruments.”

At last check, there were 18 teams registered from Windsor, Chatham, Wallaceburg, and Lambton Shores

“Normally it’s a June Dragon Boat Festival,” said Armitage. “By the time the conditions of the pandemic got lifted and we started throwing things together, the date was August 20th that everybody could do it.”

A portion of the proceeds raised will go to support Breast Cancer Survivors, WAMBO, and a family from Ukraine.

The deadline to register a team is Monday, August,15, 2022. You can register online at www.sydenhamchallenge.ca.