The annual WetDashe event took place on Saturday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Fairway Gorge Paddle Club. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

Outrigger canoe teams race over two days to raise money for men’s health initiatives

WetDashe for men’s health highlights benefits of year-round sport on the West Coast

All weekend, outrigger canoes raced back and forth across the Gorge Waterway for the Fairway Gorge Paddle Club’s (FGPC) annual WetDashe event in support of men’s health initiatives.

Many racers wore mustaches – fake or real – to pay tribute to Movember, a global moustache-growing initiative raising money and awareness to tackle mental health, suicide prevention and prostate and testicular cancer.

FGPC General Manager Erik Ages, who paddled with one of the teams who completed the 34-kilometre race, said the teams were enthusiastic about raising money for men’s health.

“The figures aren’t in yet, but it looks like we’ve raised a couple thousand dollars for men’s health, which is awesome considering tickets and participation were in low denominations,” Ages said.

READ ALSO: Mixed dragon boat pulls cancer survivors together

He said the rainy and windy weather hardly slowed the teams down at all. “I think everyone had an awesome time despite the fact it was pouring rain today, and then very high winds this afternoon. From a technical perspective in our sport, it was very technical this afternoon.”

Ages said only one team had issues – a Vancouver canoe capsized and then self-rescued to continue the race on Saturday. He said they didn’t need the safety boats on the water during that or any other incidents.

Ages said this is the first year the event has taken place in the two-day format. In previous years the event has sold out, and the FGPC has had to turn people away.

“I was really happy with the uptake from that, there were teams from across B.C. that came to participate in 12 km, 24 km and 38 km loops. No one took us up on the 96 km race,” Ages said.

There were eight winners of draws over the weekend, four Saturday and four Sunday. Winners took home paddles, personal flotation devices, marine safety kits and more.

READ MORE: Fairway Gorge Paddle Club outrigger relay race raises money for men’s health

Ages called it a privilege to be able to practice water sports year-round on the West Coast, which is unheard of in most places in Canada. He said it’s a real tribute to West Coast culture that paddlers push on even when the weather turns.

“People on the West Coast often grumble about the weather, and the most extraordinary thing about [outrigger] is that most people in Canada cannot train or paddle on the water for months and months in winter. We in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island get to have fun on the water, like we did today, all year round.”

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


@yrlocaljourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Retooled Oak Bay hoops team starts strong

‘Not the tallest,’ but Oak Bay are off to big start

Saanich seeks contractors for Shelbourne Street upgrade project

The three-phase project is expected to begin in 2020

PHOTOS: West Shore students rally for 10,000 Tonight food drive

Students, community members gather, sort food donations

UPDATED: Royal Jubilee gets 15 more patient beds for Greater Victoria end-of-life care

New patient beds in hospice and acute palliative care to be in place by spring 2020

Cannabis cultivation: Former North Saanich chicken farm goes into pot

North Saanich would join a small, growing number of communities with marijuana growing

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

Most Read