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Record-breaking 1,000 dragon boaters race Victoria waterway this weekend

Fairway Gorge Paddling Club hosts super sprints on Sunday
More than 1,000 paddlers are expected at the 2024 Fairway Gorge Paddling Club Super Sprints on Sunday (May 26). (Courtesy Fairway Gorge Paddling Club)

A record number of dragon boat athletes from across Vancouver Island are set to ply the waters of the Gorge this weekend.

More than 1,000 paddlers are expected in the Fairway Gorge Super Sprints on Sunday (May 26).

The 200-metre sprint races promise to provide spectators with great viewing opportunities from the Selkirk Trestle and from the shore in and around the club on Jutland Road in Victoria.

“This is (Fairway Gorge Paddling Club’s) largest super sprints ever. The number of competing teams suggests a return to pre-COVID dragon boat attendance records,” club general manager Erik Ages said in a news release. “Paddle sports may be turning a corner in their post-COVID recovery as people return to team sports, and as dragon boat clubs rebuild.”

The Fairway Gorge Paddling Club celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and hosts two more dragon boat regattas this summer: the new South Island Dragon Boat Festival on July 13 and 14 as well as the Vancouver Island Dragon Boat Festival Aug. 24 and 25.

PHOTOS: Dragon boats return to Victoria waters