The Killarney Dragon Boat Racing Club (KDBRC), racing as the Clarkdale Jetta Dragons for 2012, had a terrifically successful season. Though the season started late because of the on-going labour dispute which saw teachers unable to coach high school teams, this lost time was more than made up by the support of our sponsor Clarkdale Motors of Vancouver and our coaches. Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to change our coach part way through the season, but both coaches proved to be knowledgeable and committed members of our team.
We participated in three regattas. The Junior Regatta on May 5, the Dragon Zone 500 on June 3 and the Rio Tinto Alcan International Dragon Boat Festival on the weekend of June 18/19. At the Junior regatta, which features only local teams, we placed 5th in the ‘B’ final, while at the Dragon Zone 500, a mixed adult/youth regatta, we placed 2nd in the ‘D’ final.
The Rio Tinto Alcan is a premier world-class event featuring approximately 180 Vancouver and international teams. Youth teams are placed in separate heats and feature some of the best youth teams in the world. We were proud to paddle into the ‘B’ division final, where we placed 8th, a mere six seconds behind the 1st place team. This was one of the closest youth finals I have ever seen and showed how well the Jetta Dragons did as a team—more than half of whom had never paddled before this year.
The season finished with a terrific team dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown.
I am incredibly grateful to Clarkdale Motors of Vancouver for their sponsorship and support. Also thanks to our coaches Precidia Tom and Michelle Ta for their time, care, and expertise in getting us to an elite level in such a short time. But mostly I want to thank the students of Killarney for their commitment and their passion. It is an honour and privilege to work with such wonderful young people.
This season could not have happened without the generous support of our community sponsor Clarkdale Volkswagen on Main St. in Vancouver. I hope that this partnership can continue and that it has proven to be as fruitful to Clarkdale as it has been for the KDBRC.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the 2012 season such a success.
Killarney Dragon Boat Racing Club