We Need You – Rebuilding After Covid

As we slowly make our way out of the pandemic and try and return back to “normal” we are met with the realization that Covid has decimated all amateur sports including ours. Teams have had to dissolve due to low numbers. Clubs have had to shut down due to raising costs and drastic decrease in club memberships. Regattas have had to be cancelled because of social distancing, vaccine mandates, etc. Most clubs rely solely on membership numbers and hosting events as their major revenue sources.

After a year on hiatus, The Pirates are looking to rebuild. We are actively recruiting new paddlers for the upcoming dragon boat season starting in spring of 2023. We are looking for energetic people, lazy people, curious people, shy people, out going people, happy people, grumpy people, out of shape people, in shape people. I hope the message is clear. We are wanting any and all people to help us rebuild our great team. No experience is required. All that is required is the ability to laugh and the ability to try. If you can bring both those elements then we can help you with the rest.

If you are interested in trying out our sport with the possibility of joining our great group you will need to contact us first.

Open Paddles

The Pirates are always looking to bolster their roster with new recruits. If you are interested in coming out and seeing what this sport is all about we can help you with that.

We need to warn you now though, this sport can be very addicting. Paddling on Harrison Lake with 22 like minded people all striving for the same goal can be addicting. Being part of something bigger than yourself can be addicting. Racing along a 500m grid against 5 or 6 teams can be addicting. Teaching your body to do something it has never done before can be addicting. You have been warned.

Throughout the year the team will be holding Free Open Paddles to promote the sport and the team. The Free Open Paddle gives potential new paddlers a place to come and ask questions about our sport, to talk with paddlers on the team and get a better understanding of what we do and why we do it. The Open Paddle will be broken up into two parts. The first part will be the dry land component. Here you will learn a little about the history of our sport, our club and our team. We will teach you about the equipment we use. We will teach you how to hold the paddle, how to sit in the boat and how to move your body as you paddle around the lake.

Once all the questions have been asked and answered we will move to the on water portion of the Open Paddle. All paddlers will be equipment with a PFD and a paddle. All paddlers will be briefed on safety. We take safety very serious in our sport. Once everyone is suited up we will load you all into the dragon boat.

Now comes the fun part. Once everyone is settled in the boat we will move away from the dock and get to paddling. You will be paddling at a very leisurely pace so that you can get a feel for the boat and for your fellow paddlers. The on water part of the Open Paddle will usually last about 15 minutes or so but can be extended if everyone is enjoying their time on the water. Once everyone is content with their time on the water we will slowly make our way back to the dock where we will moor the boat and get everyone back onto land.

Once all the equipment is put away there will be a final debriefing with another question and answer period.

I Joined, Now What?

So you decided that you want to try our sport and that you want to make the Pirates your summer home. That is great news. Welcome Aboard. It is going to be great getting to know you and to show you the ropes as you make your way through the dragon boat world.
Being a new paddler and making their way onto a new team can be very daunting. Meeting complete strangers, in a strange place, under strange conditions can be a lot for most people. Please do not worry. Everyone that you will meet has been in the same boat (no pun intended). We have all been the new paddler and we have all felt the same feelings you are right now. This is normal. What you will find out is that because we have all been in that position we are all aware of the new paddler and go out of our way to make them feel welcomed. Patience will be afforded you as you learn all the aspects of our sport. Other paddlers will be there to answer any questions you might have.

Pirates Mentoring Program

Coming into a new environment, with people you do not know, to learn a sport you have not tried, can be very daunting. It is probably one of the biggest reasons that people do not participate. We understand and can relate to everything you are going through. We have all been there.

To help transition our new paddlers from the newbie stage (wet behind the ears) to the rookie stage (paddling in their first race) we have created the Pirates Mentoring Program.

The Pirates Mentoring Program is a very simple concept. Let’s get a veteran paddler and pair them up with our new paddler. The veteran paddler will be able to show them the ropes. Help them through the transition phase and answer any questions that they might have. Your mentor will be assigned to you on the day of your first practice.


The million dollar question that everyone asks is about commitment. I want to join the team but I don’t know how much of my time I need to commit to the sport. The easy answer is that the more you are in the boat learning to paddle the better paddler you become. The Pirates practice twice weekly and we encourage all our paddlers to make both practices. We also go to regattas and compete against other teams throughout the paddling season. These regattas are located within BC with most being local or within driving distance. The Pirates try and compete in 3 or 4 of these events a year. The majority of the regattas are one day events so you are usually home for dinner.

If you have questions or concerns about your commitment level please speak with the boat captain or your coach. Both are available before or after practice or through email or phone/text. Click the Contact Us link to be redirected to that part of our website. Either will be able to help answer your questions in a timely manner. We are here to help you success at this new adventure and will do everything in our power to make that happen.