After 14 years with the same home base, Salt Spring’s dragonboat team is looking for a new spot to keep its boat.
When the Spirit Point Dragons were established, then-team member Marit Christensen’s family owned a waterfront property with a dock in Long Harbour where the narrow 40-foot racing boat could be kept. Since the property sold a couple of years ago, its new owners have generously allowed the club to park the boat at the dock during the practice and racing season, but club members do feel it is time to find a new spot.
“We are looking for a more sheltered spot, preferably in Long Harbour, because we compete in ocean conditions for the most part,” explained team coach Mary Rowles.
“St. Mary Lake is an option,” added board member Barry Green, “but it’s not the best option.”
“You do notice a big advantage if you are practising on the same kind of water,” added Rowles.
A spot that’s even closer to the head of Long Harbour would be perfect. Green points out that very little space is needed.
“A lot of the docks that have ramps going out and down to a floating dock, we can tuck underneath them,” he said. “A lot of that kind of space is not usable by people.”
The 550-pound vessel has only a seven- or eight-inch draw, they note.
On practice nights the boat is taken to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club outstation on Quebec Drive and paddlers get into it from there.
“It doesn’t take us more than six minutes to load and then we are gone,” said Rowles. “We are really low impact.”
Practices are held two nights per week from the end of March through September.
The club has $2-million in liability insurance and undertook repairs and upkeep at the current spot over the years.
Green said the club is prepared to negotiate if a property owner wants some remuneration for keeping their boat at a dock.
“We don’t have a ton of money but we realize that sometimes you have to pay for these things.”
If anyone can help the Dragons find a new home, they are encouraged to phone Green at 250-537-1150, or call Rowles at 250-653-4139 (or email her at email@example.com).