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Registration opens for the renowned Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival

Four-day festival scheduled for June 22-25

The renowned and, let’s face it, awesome Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is opening early bird registration so paddlers get ready.

The 2023 edition is a Dragon Boat Canada Race Series Event and promises to be one of the most exciting summer events in Ottawa. This is the premier dragon boat festival on the North American dragon boat calendar. There are two days of competition and four days of amazing entertainment running June 22-25 on the Rideau River in beautiful Mooney’s Bay Park.

And, it’s also extremely popular, so early registration is always a good idea.

“It is a free family community event celebrating its 30th year, showcasing an exciting team sport and some of Canada's best music talent,” says Antony Cooper, the festival’s director of operations.

According to Cooper, teams registering on Nov. 1 will receive an early bird rate of $1400 before fees increase to $1500 on Dec. 1 and $1750 on March 1. Out of Town teams will receive a discounted rate of $1095 while teams in divisions including accessibility, breast cancer paddlers, community, youth, paradragons and all cancer paddlers will receive a reduced rate of $950. Teams include up to 30 members competing in community, corporate and competitive divisions over two days of racing.

“The festival attracts teams from around the world and has hosted participants from the United States and parts of Europe and Asia,” Cooper adds.

Participants from all backgrounds and skill levels, from beginners to world champions, will have the opportunity to compete for greatness in a diverse range of divisions including the Sue Holloway Cup, named after Olympic medalist and a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame for teams, who are registered with Dragon Boat Canada.

Teams will also hit the water to compete in the Breast Cancer Paddlers (BCP) Cup, and the Pride Challenge Cup, which is the first 2SLGBTQ+ dragon boat division in Canada, introduced in 2016.

In addition, competitive crews will take note that it is a qualifying year for the Club Crew World Championships being held in Italy in 2024. Those teams will be looking to race their best times to qualify.

These divisions and many more are some of the highlights of the weekend's events.

In addition to the serious and fun competition, Cooper says part of the draw is the social component.

“It is a very social sport with crews ranging from all ages and skill levels,” Cooper says. “Many companies use it as a team building activity to get their employees working together and having fun outside of the office setting.”

Although Cooper can’t share any of the amazing announcements regarding this year’s festival just yet, the news will be coming this spring that might just curl your oars.

For more information or to register go to Dragonboat.net.

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