Layoam Eagles to take on all challengers 

Champion team to race at Paddlefest 2002

The Pemberton Layoam Eagles Dragon Boat Team, the top high school team in North America and number two in the world, will be taking on the public in a 22-person war danoe during Paddlefest 2002 on June 8.

Come over to Green Lake to watch the action, or get a team together and see if you can give the Eagles a run for their money – all proceeds will go towards the team to help cover their travel costs.

Organizers are currently trying to put together a 20-person Whistler team for $25 per person, and the $500 will go towards the Eagles. Other teams are invited to do the same.

Each of the native war canoes at Paddlesfest was carved from a single tree by local First Nations, which are taking an active part in the three-day festival.

This is the first year for Paddlefest, which organizers plan to make into an annual event celebrating self-propelled water sports in an area that boasts some of the best whitewater and still-water canoeing and kayaking in North America.

The event runs from Friday, June 7 to Sunday, June 9 and features clinics, competitions, tours, discussions and First Nations. There are events tailored to everybody, from kids, families and first-timers to the most hardcore rodeo and creek kayakers. There are also social events, including barbecues and lakeside bonfires on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Edgewater Outdoor Centre.

Edgewater is the base of the festival, although kayaking clinics will be held on Alta Lake. Other events will be held on the Green River, Cheakamus River and River of Golden Dreams. The more advanced paddlers will be taken to other more challenging locations as well.

Following the races on Saturday, the Eagles will be taking part in a First Nations salmon barbecue, featuring First nations entertainment on the shores of Green Lake.

For more information or to buy tickets for clinics and events, contact Tourism Whistler at 1-800-Whistler. If you wish to enter a team against the Eagles, contact Epic Events at 604-938-1783.

Friday, June 7

9 a.m. – Hospitality tent opens, guests and exhibitors arrive and register. Also the first chance to get wet with free kayak tours on class 2/3 and 3/4 runs.

Noon to 2 p.m. – River of Golden Dreams tour, $50 per person.

1 p.m. – Free kayak tour, class 3/4 and 4/5 runs.

3 p.m. – Free introduction to water safety and canoe paddling.

5 p.m. – Native war canoe demonstration and clinic, $35 per person or half price for kids.

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