Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival – Friday night
We were at the Friday night event because my wife was a member of the CFUW-Ottawa team that was one of the top sixteen pledge ($) raisers and as a result they had an opportunity to be part of the Opening Ceremonies and a bonus “race” on the Friday night. After parking my car at the Post Office parking lot and walking over to the Mooney’s Bay Park, the next step was to find their tent location #56. When I got there, they were completing the last minute discussion about paddling positions so I spent a bit of time watching the kids at the adjacent Tim Horton’s Kids Fun Zone.
The boats themselves were ready for the evening’s challenge and had been newly decked out with their polished dragon heads and the drummer’s drums were safely secured in the bow of the boat.
Although I was interested in the CFUW boat and crew, I decided to take a few shots of the other top fund raisers as well. I wasn’t sure who was who out on the water but it was interesting to see how some of the teams dug right in and headed for the start line under a good head of steam while some of the other teams were much more laid back. A couple of the boats even looked like they intended to race each other to the starting line 500 meters away. Here, in no particular order, are some of the “competitors” for this evening’s honorary “race” (two heats of 8 boats in each heat – distance 500 meters).
As the CFUW-Ottawa team headed out they slowed their speed and found time for a wave to the many family members and spectators gathered along the shore line. These ladies were enjoying the moment. The real racing would begin on Saturday :-).
The heat that the CFUW women were in was pretty quick and the fastest boat of the evening was in their heat. Some of those all-male crews were really moving their boats along at a pretty good clip even if this was billed as just an honorary warm up race for the top fund raisers!
As the CFUW-Ottawa team crossed the finish line, drummer Sue gave them the sign to rest and they did just that.
The big races would be on Saturday. Friday was just for fun :-).