Four Nanaimo dragon boaters headed to
championships in Thailand Aug. 20-25

0801 – Four Nanaimo dragon boaters are heading to the world stage at the International Dragon Boat Racing Championships in Pattaya-Rayong, Thailand, August 20-25.   

Dave Thomson, Trish Crumpton, Ron Williams and Jody Berry will represent Canada. They are on the Senior B (age 50-plus) National Team. Canada is sending teams in all age categories too the races – the dragon boat equivalent to the Olympics. There will be more than 4,000 athletes from 30 countries.

Thomson and Crumpton are members of the Nanaimo Save-On-Foods Dragonslayers team as well as members of the Gorging Dragons High Performance Program with the VIPaddling Club in Victoria. 

Berry is also a member of the Gorging Dragons High Performance Program with VIPaddling and was the only Nanaimo athlete selected to a Canadian National Team two years ago.  She competed with the Senior C (ages 60-plus) National Team in Kunming, China, finishing undefeated in the standard boat category bringing home seven gold medals. She hopes to repeat with her Senior B Teams this time around.   

Williams is a Nanaimo outrigger paddler with a range of experience and accomplishments in both local and international competitions.  

For the first time, the coaches for the Senior B National Team are also from Vancouver Island – from the Gorging Dragons High Performance Program with the VIPaddling Club in Victoria.  

The Canadian Senior B National Team is entering a standard boat in the women’s, men’s, and mixed division as well as a mixed crew in the small boat division.

This competition occurs every two years and athletes from across Canada tryout in hopes of being selected to one of Canada’s national teams. The process involves  mandatory fitness testing and time trials on both paddling ergs and OC1 canoes as well as attendance at region-specific selection and training camps.  

Applicants compete with the strongest paddlers across the country to earn a seat on the Canadian National Team in their age category.  A “standard” boat in dragon boat has 20 paddlers, 1 steersperson and 1 drummer. A “small boat” has of 10 paddlers, 1 steersperson and 1 drummer. The distances raced at the World competition are 200, 500 and1,000 metres and 2K.