Team Chiro back on water for Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival

After a few years break, a dragon boat team in Sudbury that achieved international success is back competing.

Annual dragon boat races takes place Saturday on Ramsey Lake

Stefano Biondi, Team Chiro manager along with original Team Chiro members Jeff Walker and Jean MacFarlane (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

After a few years' break, a dragon boat team in Sudbury that achieved international success is back competing.

Team Chiro — named after the large number of chiropractors in the group — paddled all the way to the dragon boat world championships in 2008. The team brought home a silver medal in one the categories.

When other life commitments took over for many of the more than 20 members, the team disbanded, member Jean MacFarland said.

"It's a huge commitment. Week to week, month to month. It's a lot of energy to stay at that level."

Back on the water

Team Chiro dragonboat crew leaves the dock at the Sudbury Boat House on Ramsey Lake (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Many in the group continued to paddle with other Sudbury dragon boat teams, but MacFarland said they missed the friendship and teamwork of paddling together.

So they put Team Chiro back together and will compete Saturday at the Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival.

Jeff Walker, another original member of the team who has returned, said the team is still highly competitive, but is not training at quite as high of a level.

"We have fun. I wouldn't be here if — even in all the intensity and all the stress — there wasn't an element of fun."

Team Chiro will be among dozens of boats racing across Lake Ramsey Saturday for the annual dragon boat festival. Racing starts at 9 a.m.

Proceeds from this year's event will go toward the construction of the Northern Water Sports Centre in Sudbury, which will be the new home for dragon boats, rowing and the canoe clubs.



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