Row, row, row your dragon boat

Matthew McCully
Staff Writer

The 15th annual Fête de l’eau dragon boat race, hosted by the Club Nautique de Sherbrooke, took place Saturday on Lac des Nations, attracting 11 amateur teams competing against each other.
Among the local businesses and non-profit organizations that threw their paddles into the race were two teams from the Eastern Townships School Board; Alexander Galt Regional High School and the Lennoxville Vocational Training Centre both entered teams for the second year in a row.
The event is a fundraiser for the Club Nautique de Sherbrooke, but according to Linda Caron, one of the volunteers who helped organize the race, it is also an opportunity to raise the profile of dragon boating, a team sport that not many people know about.
Each boat seats 20 paddlers. There is also one person at the rear of the dragon boat to steer, and one at the front to beat a drum for the paddlers to stay in sync.
Because the teams competing were amateurs, volunteers from the club took care of the steering and drum beating.
Each team had two practice runs out on the lake before competition day.
It was a perfect day to be out on the lake, according to the Galt and LVTC competitors, who both agreed they were in the race for some fun and team building more than the glory of first place.