Paddles Up!


by Gjoa Andrichuk

Paddles Up!


Join Hornby Island’s first-ever dragon boat group beginning in 2022.

Dragon boat racing began 2000 years ago in China, and is now the fastest growing sport worldwide. Origins of the sport were as a fertility rite awakening the Heavenly Dragon to help with flourishing crops and avoiding misfortune. 

Symbolic events occur each spring or dragon boat festival races.  An eye gets painted onto the dragon sculpture in the bow of each boat helping the sleeping dragon travel from the mountains to the sea. The Canadian tradition began at Expo ‘86 to marry with the diversity of the sport for all abilities, genders, and degrees of competitiveness.

On Hornby we propose beginning with a smaller non-competitive boat of 12 people (10 paddlers, one steers person, and one drummer) two practices a week or as much or little as you wish.  Of course, we will have training sessions as most of us are new to dragon boating.  Over 20 people have already expressed a keen interest in being a part of an active Hornby community while getting fit and having FUN!

Fundraising events will take place to secure our first boat, insurance, a set of paddles and life jackets, and a pace boat for safety and convenience.  Sponsorship opportunities will also be available.

To indicate your interest, stay abreast of Hornby Island’s dragon boating developments, or offer fundraising ideas, please email your name and number to

And here’s leaving you with a bad joke, but a bit of encouragement to get you motivated to join the Hornby group:  How do Hornbyites make dragon boating plans? They don’t, they just wing it.  Wing it we might, but committed we roar. Image