Local dragon boat team wins award in Barrie
By Angelica Ingram
Published Sept. 6, 2016
It was a successful outing for the Haliburton Highlands Paddlers when the dragon boat team headed to Barrie to compete in the annual Barrie Dragon Boat Festival at the end of August.
The team finished second in the iron division, finishing with their best time ever of one minute, 20 seconds for a 300 metre race.
Aside from the top three finish, the team also took home the rookie of the year award, given to the best among the new teams competing.
There was lots of competition as 55 boats were entered in the festival, said team spokesperson and member Joannie Ransberry.
“Lots of young people, lots of muscle,” she said. “The president of our club says we're a small team but we're certainly being noticed.”
The president of the team is Ellie Armstrong, who said the Haliburton paddlers were up against some stiff competition.
“It was a large field of 55 teams, many were young enough to be our grandchildren.”
Twenty members of the team competed at the festival, with 18 women and two men in the boat. The race took place on Lake Simcoe, marking the first time the team competed on a large lake.
“We had a tippy second race,” said Ransberry. “One boat capsized.”
The Haliburton Highlands Paddlers have been paddling for three years and have multiple practices a week.
This was not the first competition for the local team, as the paddlers have been involved in a number of races, said Ransberry.
“It's the fourth time we've come home and been in the top three,” she said.
As part of competing in the festival, the team raised $1,600 for local organization Point in Time, said Ransberry.
The team plans on competing in Barrie again next year.
The Haliburton Highlands Paddlers are always seeking new members and are hosting an open house in January.