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Dragon Boat Regatta in St. Catharines, Ontario - an event to collect money for the fight against breast cancer

Canada, Tourism, Travel Guide

Canadians love to help others by doing volunteer work. Seniors work in hospitals, they drive cancer patients, they distribute food, there is almost no end.
Sometimes, the task to collect money for charitable organizations is combined with fun. This brief web site shows how money was collected for the fight against breast cancer by organizing a dragon boat race in St. Catharines.
Neither Elizabeth nor most of her friends have ever used a dragon boat. For that reason some training with basic instructions were required.
As a guest we had a young Swiss student in our house who joined also without having any problems.
If you never have visited a dragon boat regatta, this site will give you a small impression. Just check local papers or ask in any tourist office where such an event takes place if you are interested.

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
A basic training was mandatory

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
No dragon heads or dragon tails on the boat during training

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
You can see most of the rower are not any longer teenagers

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
The last instructions

For our Swiss student the regatta added some flavor of Ontario to her stay.
It was easy for Elizabeth to get her into the team.
If you are a visitor and want to participate actively in such an event - just ask. Otherwise just come and have a great day!
During the training the delicate and expensive dragon heads as well as the dragon tails are removed from the boats to prevent any damage.
Our Swiss student enjoyed it very much to get a taste of Canada and especially from Ontario. She was here to improve her English and doing this by having fun is certainly preferable. Elizabeth made the same experience in Germany!
St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
A dragon head

Elizabeth and her friends had already lots of fun during the training which took place in the evening. Our young Swiss guest was very strong and proofed very beneficial to the team. Nobody went over board.
There were no drummers in the boats during some of the training.
Naturally, a fee had to be paid for the use of the expensive boats. A sponsor paid for that and after the real race was over, we all were invited into his house for a party. His wife was also a volunteer rower.
We all had a good time and Elizabeth tried to volunteer in more dragon boat regattas.
Unfortunately, so far she did not have any more chances.
Kayaking became another favorite of her. We both participated in a basic course and she loved it - even when she was shivering because it was a little bit cool on the water. For me the heavy plastic boat was a surprise. As a teenager I owned a light weight wooden kayak which flipped over when you did not know what you were doing. I like that much better because it was more fun.

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
The race is on

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide

No wonder that many of the volunteers were exhausted after the race. It was very hot and many of them were not in the greatest shape.

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
Many teams enjoyed also a little party right here!

We had a party at the house of the sponsor of our team. Food and all kind of drinks were provided. Many preferred the non- alcoholic ones. The social gathering is more important than getting drunk!

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
Waiting for going into action

Rowing, especially in a dragon boat is very popular in Canada. When Elizabeth, my wife, has been asked by her colleagues if she would be willing to participate in such a race, she was immediately excited.
Dragon boats came originally from China. They have a dragon head and a dragon tail which are removed for training runs. They are nicely painted.
During the actual race a drummer sits in the bow of each boat and sets the pace for the paddlers or rower. This is also a help to synchronize their efforts.
Naturally, the course of the boat has to be controlled. For that reason a steer person stands in the back of the boat. A long oar is used to do this important task.
Two rower sit always side by side.
For this event the most essential task was to collect as much money as possible to support the fight against breast cancer. But still every team gave their best to win.

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
Canadians are always proud of their country and they show this.
The national Anthem was played during the opening ceremony.
The little girl who sung it received lots of applause.
Unfortunately my old digital camera could not record videos and I did not carry the old fashioned video camera at this time with me.
Now I am better equipped. I have a better camera and even a walker with a basked so I must not carry everything!
I am now also a Canadian and happy and thankful for that.
Canadians are not as uptight as Germans who need most the time a special event.
Many houses fly our flag or have it on their cars. Due to the speed limit they even last very long there.

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
Teams were jeered by the fans. I was happy about all the announcements which were provided through loud speakers

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
Winners - there were only winners

St. Catharines, Ontario, fund raising regatta, tourism, tarvel guide
You must not bring and food. Everything was provided - even cold beer!

Please watch our video about this regatta!
Many thanks to all the participants and the organizers.

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