Photo credit: Planet Canoe

© Copyright – 2015 – Victoria Sports News

The 2015 World Dragon Boat Racing Championships took place from August 23rd to the 28th in Welland, Ontario. Eight gold medals were earned by five Victoria based dragon boaters,

The Gorging Dragons members Matthew Michaelis, Tom Arnold, Andree St. Denis, Darryl Draper and Patti Cross, who is with the Vancouver Island Paddling Club helped Team Canada to win at the event.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to go and represent Canada and compete with the Canadian national team against the rest of the world,” said Arnold.

The 12th annual races were held at the Welland International Flatwater Centre with teams from Russia, Germany, the Czech Republic, the U.S., Australia, Italy, Japan and Sweden.

Patti Cross earned eight gold medals helping the senior B women’s and mixed division teams to victory.

Cross said. “It was very emotional in many ways to represent the country.”

The World Dragon Boat Racing Championships take place every two years. Seventeen teams took part in the 2015 edition, which included Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Macau, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and United States.

The 2013 championships took place in Szeged, Hungary. The Club Crew World take place next year in Adelaide, Australia.

Welland offers the world class Welland Flatwater Park, which provides a venue for training and racing in all disciplines. It was opened in summer of 2013. According to their website: The WIFC venue rivals top facilities in the world with infrastructure exceeding current international standards for hosting and for accessibility. Attracting the most attention though may be the Welland Flume: two independently controlled, moving water, variable;speed, training tanks outfitted for rowing, canoe, kayak and dragon boat where athletes can train in the off season and experience an on-water feel.