REPORTING · 10th July 2012
A dozen, less one, teams and three Dragon Boats.
Combined with an incoming tide and boundless enthusiastic energy, Minette Bay Marina was a sea of noise. The 2012 Rio Tinto Alcan Kitimat Dragon Boat Festival was a resounding success.
For the Young and Old RTA Dragons, however, the success of their continuing trophy domination was, 'tragically', not to be had this year. The all important chest pumping trophy, the Guts N Glory endurance race was stolen by the faster team, 'Tragically Quick'.
The performances by all the visiting entries was nothing but spectacular. The Wee Geordies Village People not only provided culture and high energy but stroked their paddles to take the "C" Division title after securing first and second placings in their two qualifying rounds. The entire theme of the Regatta was set by 'Northern Spirit'. It was a purely stunning display of enthusiasm.
The 'Flash Mob' style dance routine was performed at the beginning of the day along with team chants by the others. This well choreographed number included a child who appeared to be less than two years old. She danced alongside approximately 30 dancers representing every decade of life, from teens through to retirees and elders. Their song was infectious as many were found humming the tune for days afterwards.
The RTA Old Dragons did win a significant title, the Division “A” medal after soaring through the qualifiers, the semi finals and the finals without a single defeat. The sting of missing the Guts N Glory race by a significant margin was not lost on the Tragically Quick who had to remind the DJ to play Queens “We Are the Champions” for them. She had just played it for the Division A win but the 5 minute endurance race, which the Tragically Quick paddled in almost a full second and a half under 5 minutes was the ‘High Mark’ on the mountain.
Wee Geordies Village People were overcome with excitement, going home with medals hanging from their necks. It was their first year to enter the races and they didn’t have matching shirts or jerseys like the KMP Waveriders, RTA or the other well oiled machines. Like the Haisla Paddlers they came as they were and put on a show, almost of defiance. Pointing back to the two RTA Dragon teams, Free Spirit and the Quick, one of the Wee Villagers stated how they would be back next year to kick some ‘backside’.
Perfect weather was granted for the day long event. The water was calm as the tide was turning to come in just before the races began. A nest of Osprey and chicks watched over the action from high above the center of the Marina. A seal swam into the race lanes during lulls in the race action to observe the men and women standing on the docks while others were climbing in and out of the boats.
The chirps of the chicks and calls from the Osprey parents in the moments between the cheers and chants of the paddlers gave the entire afternoon a special memory chip moment.
The Rainbow Warriers and the Lakelse Dragons, though leaving without medals, left an impression of joy and revelry. The Lakelse Dragons were granted the most Sportsman Like team and the goofy get-ups of the Warriors, from Rupert, had many smiling and laughing. The back flips and somersaults by members of “Free Spirit” at the very beginning of the show set the stage for performance. This along with the ‘Northern Spirit’ choreographed routine was a true demonstration of northern spirit.
Open Attachment below to view one hour long compilation. Or open the second to watch a two year old strut her stuff
The Guts and Glory Champions - The Tragically Quick
Wee Geordies Village People
The 2012 unbeaten RTA Dragons - until the Guts N Glory race. It is the first year they have not taken the final prize home.