Team Canada shows off their medals during the 13th anual World Nations Dragon Boat Championships in Kunming, China recently. A handful of paddlers from Greater Victoria also competed, winning gold and silver in their respective categories. (Contributed photo)

Greater Victoria dragon boaters have strong showing at worlds

Langford, Victoria, Saanich paddlers bring home gold, silver

Stepping into a dragon boat is like clockwork for Joanne Cowan.

As Cowan and her 19 other teammates begin to paddle, she slowly ticks off the mental checklist that she learned in training to make sure she’s performing at her best.

Rotate and reach forward as far as you can, catch the water, pull through and exit with a push, before retaking your paddle.

Langford’s Joanne Cowan shows off her gold medal during the 13 World Nations Dragon Boat Championships in Kunming, China recently. Cowan and the senior C women’s team won gold in the 200 metre, 500m and two kilometre races. (Contributed photo)

It’s that formula that led the Langford resident and the Canadian senior C women’s team (age 60 plus) to three gold medals in the two kilometre and the 200 and 500 metres races during the 13th World Nations Dragon Boat Championships in Kunming, China recently.

“We were pretty excited,” said Cowan, who is part of the Gorging Dragons that are based out of the Vancouver Island Paddling Club. “It was very interesting to see and learn how other people do it and see the results. It was fun, I really enjoyed it.”

Saanich’s Rob Stubbington and Nanaimo’s Jody Berry were also on the team to bring home gold.

Cowan’s journey to the championships began months ago, when she first applied to qualify for the team. In addition to attending a training camp last fall, Cowan also had to complete monthly time trials, as well as physical fitness examinations.

Once she had been selected to the team, training intensified. Cowan practiced several days a week, and even travelled to Vancouver weekly to train with the team’s coach.

Her hard work paid off in China during the championships, which are held every second year and considered to be the pinnacle of competition in the sport.

Now, with three gold medals under her belt, Cowan hopes to continue competing. The Gorging Dragons’ senior C, as well as senior B have qualified to go to Szeged, Hungary in July, which Cowan plans to try out for.

Cowan wasn’t the only one to find success in China. Victoria’s Tom Arnold, Mike Weirmier and Matthew Michaelis won gold in the 500 metre and 2,000 metre senior A mixed category, as well as silver in the 200 and 1,00 metre races. In total, Canada brought home 28 gold medals, 13 silver and eight bronze.

“We are very proud of our athletes and their well-deserved medals. It’s spectacular to see them dominate so many events, and prove what a world class source of athletes Vancouver Island is,” said Gabby Kalaw, vice president of VI Paddling.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstream gazette.com

 

Langford’s Joanne Cowan shows off her gold medal during the 13 World Nations Dragon Boat Championships in Kunming, China recently. Cowan and the senior C women’s team won gold in the 200 metre, 500m and two kilometre races. (Contributed photo)

Just Posted

Island Health, service providers meeting to talk about used needles in Victoria

Recent public needle-prick incidents prompt call to reduce number of needles found

Announcement for Sooke Road improvement expected this week

Premier promising ‘preliminary’ work, with more on the way

Dozens rally outside Premier’s office for sick Sooke boy

Six-year-old Landen Lanthier needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Sooke’s Most Wanted

The following individuals are wanted by the Sooke RCMP as of Jan.… Continue reading

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

LETTERS: More roads? More Cars? No thanks.

Climate change is real. Ecological destruction is real. Who out there who… Continue reading

LETTERS: Sooke roads not racetracks

What can we as a community do about the blatant law breakers… Continue reading

Most Read