Verdun at the Rideau Canoe Club dragon boat festival

Group shot at Rideau Canoe club - Verdun DBC - Force

August 25th – A hot, beautiful day in Mooney’s Bay, Ottawa. Our premier mixed team, Verdun Force arrived en masse in the early morning to take part in the RCC festival hosted by the Rideau Canoe Club. We were joined by our friendly rivals RBC Comets under the coaching of Ira’s brother, Jode.

As this was the first time this year racing in the 20-person boat, we were starving to win, to show our Ottawa neighbours, which includes crews that have been around for many years to take note, that whenever Verdun is in town the racing isn’t going to be easy… and It wasn’t easy at all! We fought tooth and nail like dragons, taking down formidable opponents while paving our way to a Final A showdown, which included crews that competed in Hungary at the World Club Crews.

We raced hard in our 200 and 500-meter finals like there was no tomorrow! While we didn’t win those finals, we scored a victory over our friendly rivals RBC Comets in the 500m while they just edged us out in the 200m. We accomplished our goals, we stayed focused, we tasted victory and we wanted more.

However, we weren’t done. It just so happens we had an additional 1000-meter race, though optional, right after the 200m final, it was never going to be optional for us.  With this, none of our paddlers was allowed to leave the boat, which meant that some of Force had to figure out a creative way to “freshen up” before the 1000-meter race.

The 1000m race was like no other, none of the boats really knew how to line up, with a 5-second staggered start and a tight deadline, the officials decided to start the race before anyone was really ready. For us, we decided to walk the boat up to start (ninja like) to get us into position without the officials noticing. It was an interesting experience to say the least. Officially, no one won the 1000m race as there were no times. Though in our hearts we knew that we won, Verdun Force.

We are Verdun, we are Force, and we are here to stay.

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