Pamela Caldwell, centre left, Carole Jones and the rest of the NPC Nusa’Lon Dragons dragonboat team give a cheer after a race Saturday afternoon at Maffeo Sutton Park. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo dragonboat coach aims to beat competition, remember friend

Save-on-Foods Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival takes place at Maffeo Sutton Park till Sunday

The coach of the Nusa’Lon Dragons dragonboat team has her sights set on beating the competition and helping others beat breast cancer this weekend.

The Save-On-Foods Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival is taking place at Maffeo Sutton Park from July 5-7 and Holly Wylie and her team, part of the Nanaimo Paddling Centre, were among over 60 teams racing through the waters in Nanaimo’s harbour.

Besides competition, Wylie said she has personal reasons for taking part.

“My sister is a breast cancer survivor,” said Wylie. “Also my best friend died of breast cancer and that’s how I got involved in this sport … and they started this event for breast cancer research, so for me it meant everything. It meant to honour her and I still come out and honour her every year.”

RELATED: Dragonboat festival brings ‘guts and glory’ to Nanaimo

As for the team’s performance, Wylie said she was happy with how the Nusa’Lon Dragons competed on Saturday afternoon.

“We like to try and beat all the local teams,” said Wylie with a laugh. “Our team is doing awesome. We’ve won both our first races today.”

Kix Citton, Nusa’Lon Dragons women’s team captain, said the team’s appearance at this year’s festival was preceded by a lot of hard work.

“I think we’re doing really well,” said Citton. “Everyone’s trained really hard all season. We trained throughout the winter as well. This is what we trained for and Nanaimo festival is a fantastic experience, so the whole team is really excited and happy to be here, so you can really feel that positive energy and the strength of the team coming together.”

This year’s festival will feature Guts and Glory races for the first time, a pair of races with 1,500-metre long routes, and Wylie said it is different than other races.

“Guts and Glory is a very tricky race in that you have to have a really good steersperson that knows how to manoeuvre that boat around the buoy and because these boats weigh 850 pounds on their own, these boats are really hard to manoeuvre around the buoy and it’s like doing three race pieces, three 500-m races altogether.”

Proceeds from the event will go to the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation and Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. The event began in 2003 and in that time, over $700,000 has been raised to aid breast cancer patients.

View this post on Instagram

#Metis dancers performing at #dragonboatfestival in #Nanaimo.

A post shared by Karl Yu (@karlyubulletin) on



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. missing out on ship-building industry

B.C. now losing out on the economic benefit of building ferries, says letter writer

Highland dancer wins North American junior title

Annalise Lam leads Brigadoon Dance Academy contingent in U.S. competition

On Remembrance Day, community pledges never to forget

Images from Remembrance Day ceremonies in Lantzville on Monday, Nov. 11

VIU graphic design students propose less wasteful packaging in new exhibition

‘Unwrapped’ show is on display at the school’s View Gallery until Dec. 1

Cadets begin 24-hour honour guard at Nanaimo cenotaph

Remembrance Day ceremony to be held Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at Dallas Square

On Remembrance Day, community pledges never to forget

Images from Remembrance Day ceremonies in Lantzville on Monday, Nov. 11

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Dozens of planes went down on Vancouver Island training for war

Exhibit at Vancouver Island Military Museum depicts dangers of flying B.C. coast during war years

Man seriously injured after shock and fall from electrical tower in Nanaimo

20-year-old was being transported to hospital in Victoria

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read