Three Fort Langley Canoe Club dragon boat teams – Fast and Furious, Paddles Up Titanium, and D’fyance – have returned from the Pan American Club Crew Championships in Tobago with a number of medals in tow.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Belinda Burke, who paddles with Fast and Furious.
According to Burke, Fast and Furious and Paddles Up Titanium took home multiple silver medals, and D’fyance took home a bronze.
Team D’fyance competed in a senior C team division, meaning all competitors are 60 and older. However, many of the paddlers on D’fyance are 70 and older.
“D’fyance received a lot of attention as the oldest, most tenacious group on site. In all the races, they wern’t left behind, they were in a respectable distance,” Burke said.
In Tobago, the teams raced in 10-person boats on the open ocean, so conditions were a bit different than what the Fort Langley paddlers are used to.
“There was wind and waves sloshing over the side of the boat. It was fun, exciting, and gruelling to get out there and do that,” added Burke.
“It was very exciting. You never knew what to expect from one paddle to the next, where the water will be. You just never knew what you’d hit a long the way, and there was a lot of water in the boat.”
All three teams competed in one and two kilometer races, and 500 and 200 meter races.
While they wern’t on the water, Burke added the teams had the chance to tour the island.
“There was a breeze off the ocean, it was just gorgeous.”
Burke said she had the chance to swim in an infinity pool, stand under three gushing waterfalls, see the coral reef, go snorkelling, and more.