Venue forced to be changed from Vancouver Lake to the Ridgefield Waterfront
RIDGEFIELD — Top clubs and dragon boat paddlers from all over the west competed for two days over the weekend in Lake River along the Ridgefield Waterfront in the 2019 Regional Club Crew Championships.
The event was originally scheduled to take place in Vancouver Lake but promoters had to seek a change of venue due to the closure of the lake due to elevated toxin levels.
“Luckily, Ridgefield stepped up in a big way,’’ said Jeff Campbell, the owner of Double Fifth Dragon Boating, the promoter of this weekend’s event. “The city of Ridgefield was great, The people of Ridgefield was great — literally anything we needed, they made happen and that is what makes a race successful. I’m getting nothing but great comments from all the participants about what a beautiful venue it is and how much they loved it.’’
The event, dubbed Paddle West, was a combined effort of Double Fifth Dragon Boating and the Pacific Dragon Boat Association. The 55 boats on hand competed in race of 500 meters on Saturday and 200 meters on Sunday. It was a qualifier for the 2020 IDBF World Club Crew Championship to be held in Aux-les-Bains, France.
Dragon boats are 40-feet long. There is a drummer on the front of the boat who beats a drum to keep time and there’s a person in the back to steer the board and there are 20 paddlers, who sit side-by-side.
“This is the ultimate in teamwork,’’ Campbell said.
For the results of this weekend’s event, go to https://paddlewest.net/racing/ .