The annual WetDashe event took place on Saturday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Fairway Gorge Paddle Club. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

Outrigger canoe teams race over two days to raise money for men’s health initiatives

WetDashe for men’s health highlights benefits of year-round sport on the West Coast

All weekend, outrigger canoes raced back and forth across the Gorge Waterway for the Fairway Gorge Paddle Club’s (FGPC) annual WetDashe event in support of men’s health initiatives.

Many racers wore mustaches – fake or real – to pay tribute to Movember, a global moustache-growing initiative raising money and awareness to tackle mental health, suicide prevention and prostate and testicular cancer.

FGPC General Manager Erik Ages, who paddled with one of the teams who completed the 34-kilometre race, said the teams were enthusiastic about raising money for men’s health.

“The figures aren’t in yet, but it looks like we’ve raised a couple thousand dollars for men’s health, which is awesome considering tickets and participation were in low denominations,” Ages said.

READ ALSO: Mixed dragon boat pulls cancer survivors together

He said the rainy and windy weather hardly slowed the teams down at all. “I think everyone had an awesome time despite the fact it was pouring rain today, and then very high winds this afternoon. From a technical perspective in our sport, it was very technical this afternoon.”

Ages said only one team had issues – a Vancouver canoe capsized and then self-rescued to continue the race on Saturday. He said they didn’t need the safety boats on the water during that or any other incidents.

Ages said this is the first year the event has taken place in the two-day format. In previous years the event has sold out, and the FGPC has had to turn people away.

“I was really happy with the uptake from that, there were teams from across B.C. that came to participate in 12 km, 24 km and 38 km loops. No one took us up on the 96 km race,” Ages said.

There were eight winners of draws over the weekend, four Saturday and four Sunday. Winners took home paddles, personal flotation devices, marine safety kits and more.

READ MORE: Fairway Gorge Paddle Club outrigger relay race raises money for men’s health

Ages called it a privilege to be able to practice water sports year-round on the West Coast, which is unheard of in most places in Canada. He said it’s a real tribute to West Coast culture that paddlers push on even when the weather turns.

“People on the West Coast often grumble about the weather, and the most extraordinary thing about [outrigger] is that most people in Canada cannot train or paddle on the water for months and months in winter. We in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island get to have fun on the water, like we did today, all year round.”

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


@yrlocaljourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Some 500 people attend Sidney vigil for victims of Iran airplane crash

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died when Flight PS752 crashed

Saanich Police ask for help locating missing high-risk youth

Robyn Coker-Steel has not been in contact with anyone from her home since Dec. 27

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Victoria’s reconciliation dialogue on newcomers, Indigenous peoples takes place Monday

The third of six discussions on reconciliation will take place at the Crystal Garden

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read