Dragonboat teamup leads to gold

Three Chilliwack Optimist Eagles helped Sudden Impact's Liquid Silver youth team win gold at the Rio Tintan Alcan Dragonboat Festival.

Three members of the Chilliwack Optimist Eagles youth dragonboat team joined forces with Sudden Impact’s Liquid Silver youth squad, and together they earned a first place finish.

Competing at the massive Rio Tinto Alcan Dragonboat Festival in Vancouver, the team earned a gold medal in the C division.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the two-day festival, held on the waters of False Creek with over 200 teams competing.

Competing in their first ever dragonboat festival, Eagle paddlers Claudia Godkin, Ashley Ergoff and Mike Rogers helped the crew post competitive times in the qualifying rounds.

They saved their best for last, posting a time of 2:16.28 in the final to win by more than three seconds.

Co-captains Christine Mrak and Oliver Sinnott, and coach Karmen Aulakh, were all very impressed.

“They came together as a group when they needed to, and wanted it more than any other team in the final,” he said. “We are so proud of this team.”

With one under their belt, the Eagle paddlers head back to their own boat and prepare for the Harrison Dragonboat Festival, which takes place July 20. The team is still looking for paddlers.

Anyone with interest can call Kathy Preuss at 604-792-9336.

Sudden Impact is always on the lookout for new paddlers too. Contact   SIPC youth director Donna Boucher at youth@paddlesi.com.


— The Crusaders dragonboat team placed second in the B division final of the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragonboat Festival.

Their time was 2:14:02