Haliburton made its mark at the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday Aug. 26. The three-race effort paid off: the Haliburton Highlands Paddlers placed second in the festival’s Female Consolation final.
Race coach Lois Deacon made sure the 21-member all-women team had fun paddled hard and paddled in unison. Club chairperson and race drummer Elli Armstrong is pleased with Saturday’s results.
“It is unfortunate that we ended up in the consolation finals. Our final time was actually faster than all the times posted in the women’s finals” said Armstrong.
Saturday marked the Barrie festival’s 15th year. A total of 48 teams from across Ontario competed.
“All dragon boat teams were energized; the weather was superb and the venue was stunning” said Armstrong. Dragon boaters were asked to be mindful of the need in their local communities. Festival organizers specified that each team raise a minimum of $500 for charity.
The Haliburton Highlands Paddlers raised $1696 to be shared by the Haliburton Food Bank and the Rowan Pettinella Fund. The Haliburton Highlands team competes in two dragon boat festivals each year.
In June the local team won a silver medal at the Port Perry festival. The Haliburton Highlands Paddlers a women’s and men’s club paddle two days a week on Monday and Wednesday at 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. New members are always welcome. Club coaches are Scotty Boyd Lois Deacon Janine Papadopoulos and Margaret Cox.
The club’s 41-foot dragon boat affectionately known as Susanna Foo is docked at Patient News on Haliburton’s Grass Lake from May to mid September.
This year’s season is about to draw to a close. “It’s been a very very successful season” said Armstrong.
On Thursday the 50-member club will host its annual Coaches Appreciation Night at the Fish Hatchery.
Submitted by Joannie Ransberry