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Paddlers competing at the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival (Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival)

OTTAWA, ON, Feb. 15, 2023 – Planning for the 2023 Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is well underway and will be taking place on the first weekend of summer, June 22-25, on the Rideau River in the natural setting of Mooney’s Bay.

The 2023 regatta is a premier race on the North American dragon boat calendar and is a Dragon Boat Canada Race Series Event. Dragon Boat Canada (DBC) is the official governing body for the sport in Canada, and is recognized internationally by the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF). Top teams competing in this DBC qualifier will be vying for a spot in the 14th IDBF Club Crew World Championships taking place in Ravenna, Italy in 2024. DBC teams will also go head to head in the Sue Holloway Cup, named after Olympic medalist and Canadian Sports Hall of Famer. With 8 DBC teams already registered, competition will continue to grow and be a highlight of the event.

Participants from all backgrounds, ages, abilities and skill levels will have the opportunity to compete in a diverse range of community, corporate and competitive divisions. Ottawa’s own Busting Out, a team of over 50 women of various ages and backgrounds, will welcome visiting teams to join them in the Breast Cancer Paddlers Cup. The Accessibility Challenge Cup is a division for paddlers with a disability, their caregivers and supporters to experience the sport. Ausome Ottawa, is a team made up of families living with autism who are enriching their lives through sport, and will return for their third year. Teams will also be competing in Pride Challenge Cup, the first 2SLGBTQ+ dragon boat division in Canada, introduced in 2016. The Masters Challenge Cup welcomes teams whose members are 49 or older while the Youth Challenge Cup brings together teams whose members are 12 – 17 years of age. The festival’s newest divisions include the Paradragons Challenge Cup, whose members are para-athletes and the All Cancer Paddlers Challenge Cup, consisting of athletes of all genders and ages who are survivors of any type of cancer. These divisions and many more are some of the highlights of the weekend’s events.

The races attract teams from throughout North America including teams from Florida, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vermont, Wisconsin and more. To-date 68 teams have registered including 36 mixed – teams that are a mix of male and female paddlers, requiring a minimum of 8 female paddlers, 24 women – teams that are made up of all female paddlers, with steer and drummers of either gender, 8 open – teams with no specific gender requirements, are typically made up of male paddlers. Registration is open and costs $1500 prior to increasing to $1750 on March 1st. Out of Town teams will receive a discounted rate of $1095 while teams in the Accessibility, Breast Cancer Paddlers, Community, Youth, Paradragons and All Cancer Paddlers divisions will receive a reduced rate of $950. Teams include up to 30 members competing in community, corporate and competitive divisions over two days of racing.

SOURCE Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival

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