This year teams will only need to recruit 10 people to field a complete team at the H2O Paddle Challenge. Last year teams paddled in 20 man boats, but this year the Vancouver Lake Dragon Boat Club will bring down 3 ten-person boats. The cost of registering a team has also dropped to $350 (until Aug. 24 then it’s $450).
Hopefully, the smaller boats will enable more community teams to participate in the event. Paddlers don’t need any experience to participate; novice teams are paired with an experienced drummer/coach who will teach each team the basics. There are mixed teams (no more than 5 men) and women’s teams. INDIVIDUALS can register as free agents for $35 and will be placed on a team.
The 2015 H2O Paddle Challenge is scheduled for October 3 at Dexter Park off Highway 58. ALL PROFITS BENEFIT ADAPTIVE RECREATION FOR VETERANS.
Teams coming from out of the area staying at one of our partner hotels qualifies for a discount on their registration. They just need to provide proof of reservation and they will be provided with a discount code to use when they register their team.
The 2015 Heroes 2 Oregon (H2O) Dragon Boat Paddle Challenge received a $2,500 grant from Lane County’s Transient Room Tax grant program. The event is an annual community event and fundraiser for the Eugene Parks Foundation Veterans Adaptive Sport Project, which “provides funding for injured, ill and disabled Veterans to be able to engage in adaptive sports all year long and encourage veterans to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle.” The paddle challenge is a joint effort between Eugene, Cascades and Coast Sports, Emerald City Dragon Boat Club and the City of Eugene Adaptive Recreation.
“We are fortunate to live in a community with a wealth of activities. Each of these projects will help grow tourism in Lane County, bringing additional visitors to our hotels, restaurants and area attractions,” said Glenda Poling, Lane County Community and Economic Development manager said in a press release on the Lane County website.
The goal of the TRT grants is to increase tourism in Lane County, and it is the hope of the H2O organizers that dragon boat teams from Washington and Oregon will travel here to participate.
“Receiving this grant is deeply exciting for us,” ECDBC Board President Erin Zysett said. “It’s not only an acknowledgement that what we are doing means something to the people of this community, but a vote of confidence from the Tourism Council that we can and will be an asset to the county in years to come.”
Last year’s inaugural event raised $4,438.08 for veteran’s adaptive recreation in Eugene and Lane County at large and helped Emerald City refurbish the dragon boat they bought last year, which will launch in April. To learn more about how individuals and organizations can participate in the Paddle Challenge visit our H2O page.
To learn more about how to become a dragon boater visit our membership page.