After months of scraping, sanding, grinding, painting and varnishing – five fully restored Chinese teak dragon boats were awakened on Thursday.
A ceremony was held that saw artists dot pupils on the bulging eyes of the carved dragon head attached to each boat – ceremonially ending its slumber and re-energizing its spirit.
The boats were initially donated to Expo 86′ to introduce the sport of dragon boating to the world.
Ted Crouch of the Shuswap Association for Rowing and Paddling first saw the boats advertised in a boating magazine and went to view them in Vancouver, where the Chinese Cultural Centre Dragon Boat Association (CCCDBA) offered them to him.
“Following two decades of regular use by thousands of paddlers, they had been dry-docked under the Burrard Street bridge since 2008 and each of the boats required varying degrees of restoration.”
About 1,100 hours has gone into the restoration of each completed boat.
Thursday’s event was hosted by the Aspiral Youth Partners Association and the Original Wooden Dragon Boat Restoration Team.