Eagles pull out championship nail biter 

Dragon boaters come from behind to take ninth consecutive high school title

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“For a boat that was virtually all new kids, they did really, really well,” said Dr. Fisher. “You always know the Eagles are going to do well, but your heart is always out there with the Falcons and watching their struggles at this level of competition. We were marveling at how well they were doing.”

Despite the late start to the spring the Pemberton and Mount Currie boats managed to get in about 20 practices before the Alcan festival.

“We paddled a lot in the cold and the rain, and that always has an effect on the team. It makes it hard to come down to early workouts on Sunday morning,” said Dr. Fisher.

“Graduation also makes a difference. We had seven or eight paddlers who were up to their eyeballs in school work, and with graduation and the prom to think about. It all makes a big difference, but the team made a commitment to the team and stuck with it.”

As usual Pemberton and Mount Currie also entered the Bald Eagles team into the competitive men’s club division, which finished fifth in the finals but was bumped back to eighth after the referee assessed a time penalty for a steering infraction. While the Bald Eagles were upset by the ruling it may have worked in the team’s favour in the final 2,000 metre event, where they were started midway in the pack and managed to place second overall out of 18 teams.

“This is the first time that the Bald Eagles was made up of all local guys,” said Dr. Fisher. “Usually we have to recruit a few paddlers from other teams, but this year we actually had spares and a tough decision was who to sit before the big race.”

In addition to the Bald Eagles, Pemberton and Mount Currie fielded one mixed team of high school students and adults, both male and female, that placed fifth in their category. Those races were largely a family affair, said Fisher, who got to race alongside his son.

The local women’s team opted to miss this year’s Alcan races, and compete in regattas this summer.

In addition to racing, the dragon boat team is building a boathouse at One Mile Lake to store their gear, and is just waiting for some wood to start construction. The club is also hosting the Lily Paddle regatta on One Mile Lake on July 28.

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