River Spirit 2 crosses the finish line at last year’s Race the River dragon boat festival in the Campbell River Estuary. This year

Dragons return to the Campbell River estuary this summer

The dragons are expected to roar into Campbell River once again this summer.

The dragons are expected to roar into Campbell River once again this summer.

Campbell River’s two dragon boat teams, River Spirit and Bravehearts, have reunited to host the second annual dragon boat festival.

Last week, the two teams made a presentation to city council asking for its support and the use of Dick Murphy Park.

“We are here tonight to ask for your support once again in what we hope will be an annual event,” said Nancy Bryson, captain of the Bravehearts. “It is not only an opportunity for us to put Campbell River on the dragon boat map but it gives us the opportunity to showcase our community to these visitors.”

Last year, the Race the River regatta was “a resounding success” according to Bryson and attracted roughly 13 teams from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, racing along a 350-metre long course through the estuary.

Carole Dodds, captain of River Spirit, said this time around the dragon boat society hopes to attract as many as 20 teams, which translates to 500 people.

The regatta will be open to all types of teams – including senior and competitive.

Bryson said the plan is, once again, to hold the event in conjunction with the city’s Canada Day celebration.

The society has penciled in the regatta for June 30.

“Since it’s the day before Canada Day this year, there may be the possibility that people would stay over to attend the best Canada Day celebration on the Island,” Coun. Claire Moglove said.

Council agreed to help out with the maintenance of Dick Murphy Park, including power, garbage cans/recycle bins and the city’s water truck.

Terry Jacques of the Campbell River Dragon Boat Society acknowledged the city for all its help at last year’s event.

“Thanks to your support in 2011, our first festival was a roaring success,” Jacques said. “It can only get bigger and better and work to everyone’s favour.”

Dragon boating involves 48-foot long boats, weighing 75 pounds, and 22 participants per boat. A drummer keeps all the paddlers in sync as each team fights to cross the finish line.

In Campbell River, the dragon boat teams act as a support system.

River Spirit is an-all female, breast cancer survivor team while Bravehearts is a co-ed team for people who have survived all different forms of cancer.

“We support cancer survivors and show people there is life beyond cancer,” Bryson said. “We introduce people to living a healthier lifestyle.”