Dragon Boat races have friends paddling

By Rhonda Massad

Long-time West Island friends Donna Morris and Elizabeth Nader DiGenova took on the third edition of the Montreal Dragon boat challenge held at the Olympic basin recently After 10 weeks of one hour practicing sessions in the Lachine Canal with their team, Chasse-Galerie of the 22 Dragons Club, the beginner mixed team made up of 19 women and one man got the feel for the sport.

The team presented in three events on Saturday, the two first races were qualifying races of 500 m each, and the official third race was completed in just over two minutes. A 2 km race took place on day two of the event, the team finished 12th in just over 12 minutes.

“It is not about winning at this stage,” DiGenova explained to The Suburban in an interview, “but about working as a team. With every stroke we pushed to find extra strength hidden away that we didn’t think we still had.”

According to DiGenova the club provides everything you need to join: boats, paddles and personal flotation devices. Certified instructors work with beginners to coach the teams weekly. The cost is $140 for the ten-week training sessions.

The 130 teams could have family and friends on site to cheer them on. There were vendors and food tents.

“I do like things that challenge me out of my comfort zone. A little competitiveness makes me feel alive,” DiGenova said, “I would recommend this to anyone who likes water and enjoys working in a team.

All crews racing in the sport division follow Dragon Boat Canada rules. For more information and race results please visit www.dragonboat.ca
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