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

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.

HealthPaddling

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

file
Oak Bay resident bilked $3,300 in puppy scam

Three cases of fraud reported in two days

Sidney’s Star Cinema has temporarily closed as part of efforts to COVID-19. (Black Press Media File).
Sidney’s Star Cinema temporarily goes dark

Closure reflects provincial health order in effect until Dec. 7

Victoria police are asking for help locating Jordan Doddridge who is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VicPD seek help locating man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Jordan Doddridge has an extensive criminal history including violent offences

(Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria dine and dash brings $230 fine

Group paid the bill, police locate suspect who violated provincial restrictions, mistreated staff

SD62 says parents of kids who have problems with bus stops and pick up times should reach out to their transportation department to find a solution. This comes after a Grade 10 student attending EMCS in Sooke found out he had to walk 45 minutes to get to the nearest bus pickup. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus route mishap leaves EMCS student walking 45 mins to pickup spot

Sooke School District willing to work with family to find solution

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Most Read