From downtown, I cycled up the bike trail by the Rideau Canal to see them, returning along the Rideau River trail, a ride that only took about 40 minutes each way, and I'm not a speedy cyclist. Some of my friends from the Ottawa CFUW were paddling in the races but so many people were there, I never spotted them. Some teams were just there for a laugh; others were taking it very seriously, limbering up with team chants, arm-waving exercises, press-ups. All participants wore a uniform and life jackets. The marshalers lined them up to wait for their turn in the boats, which had dragons' heads and tails as in the Chinese tradition on this day–– Duānwǔjié (端午节). During the races a drummer in the prow of the boat beats a rhythm for the oars and a steersman or woman stands at the back. At the end of the race came the cheers and mutual congratulations, high fives.
On the bank were many tents and stalls. The results tent listed the teams that had competed so far this morning, among them some silly or witty names: Blazing Paddles, Rowdiculous, Girls on Fire, Sea of Troubles, Release the Krakens, Holy Ship, Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies and even My Arms Hurt.
|Photo by CW Clark|
(Added later.) See one of these pictures on the right. Click to enlarge and you can clearly see the wakes of the dragon boats and a close finish for 1st place in this race ...
A couple more pictures created by CW Clark are attached below.
|The whole of Mooney's Bay, also showing the Hog's Back Falls and canal|
|Dragon boats returning from a race, with the Festival site beyond|