News / Vancouver

Video: Yacht disrupts Vancouver dragon boat race, sparks safety concerns

Charter yacht motors into racecourse on Saturday, disrupting the 2,000-metre Guts & Glory race during the Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival.

A charter yacht drove into the racecourse Saturday afternoon, disrupting almost 300 paddlers in 14 dragon boats who were in the middle of a 2,000 metre final.

Courtesy Dragon Boat BC

A charter yacht drove into the racecourse Saturday afternoon, disrupting almost 300 paddlers in 14 dragon boats who were in the middle of a 2,000 metre final.

Paddlers competing in this weekend’s Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival had not only the rain to contend with, but also a large charter yacht that motored into the middle of the racecourse.

The 2,000-metre final of the Guts & Glory race was well under way Saturday afternoon in False Creek when the yacht cut into the course, abruptly stopping the race.

The incident happens at 1:25 in the video.

Almost 300 paddlers, who had already paddled hundreds of metres, had to restart the race.

“It’s a long race – a hard race,” said Anita Webster, spokesperson for Dragon Boat BC. The majority of dragon boat races are 500 metres.

She described the boat operator’s actions as “reckless.”

“He was asked by the race marshal to move aside and he didn’t. We have safety concerns about this.”

Paddlers have voiced their concern about this issue before. The Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society started a petition against moored boats in False Creek when a boat drifted into the racecourse of a qualifying regatta three weeks ago.

The petition now has more than 1,500 signatures and there are renewed calls for signatures after last weekend’s incident. An update to the petition Sunday suggests there should be a ban on all motorized boats in False Creek.

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