The Dragon Boat Festival Returns

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The Pittock Conservation Area will be hosting the 22nd annual Dragon Boat Festival this Saturday. The Woodstock Wave will be among the 40 teams competing in this year's event.

WOODSTOCK - The Pittock Conservation Area will be hosting the 22nd annual Dragon Boat Festival this Saturday.

40 teams from across the province will be competing in one mixed open division this year.

Festival Chair Dave Harris says they are looking forward to an exciting day of racing.

"Dragon boating is a unique team sport that requires 20 paddlers in a large canoe, essentially it's a long 40-foot canoe. We put 20 paddlers in there, we've got a steer person at the rear and of course we need a drummer at the front to keep the beat so everybody can keep in sync. So it's all about teamwork, paddles hitting the water at the same time and keeping on pace."

The Woodstock Wave will be among the 40 teams competing in this year's event. Harris says there are teams coming from as far as Ajax.

"I think one of the great things about our event is the location. The Upper Thames Conservation Area, the City of Woodstock now runs, is a great park setting for people to come and relax for the day and cheer on their teams from the shoreline. It's a nice venue, good viewing and lots of parking and park space."

There will also be another community team in this year's race called The Strokers. The event will also feature two challenges, which is a junior challenge and the community challenge. 

He adds registration is now closed and the schedule has been created. It is now available online.

Harris says the Woodstock Rotary Club is really pleased to be running this event for the last 22 years. 

Some of the money is raised from this year's race will be going back to six paddlers who are on youth Dragon Boat teams representing Canada, who will be competing at the World Dragon Boat Racing Championships in Thailand near the end of August. The funds will also be going towards other local and international projects that the Rotary runs.

The race goes from August 10th to the 11th at the Pittock Conservation Area. It starts at 9:00 am.

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