Two Abreast - Celebrating Life Two Abreast - Celebrating Life

Frequently asked questions

What is Dragon Boat Racing?

Dragon Boat racing is an international water-sporting and cultural event that commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a beloved Chinese patriot and poet who in 278 B.C. committed suicide in the Miluo River, thus expressing his discontent against one emperor of the Zhou dynasty. Out of sadness, the villagers paddled out in fishing boats to save his soul, beating gongs and drums to frighten away evil ghosts. Since that day, dragon boat festivals honor the great poet's virtue and patriotism. Dragon boat races are now among the world's fastest growing sports.

Dragon boats in Canada are approximately 39 feet long and hold 22 people (20 paddlers, a drummer at the head of the boat and a steersperson at the stern). We paddle together, synchronized to the beat of the drummer.

How Do I Qualify To Be A Paddler?

To become a member of Two Abreast, all you need is to have had a previous diagnosis of breast cancer. All we ask if that you check with your doctor before commencing the training sessions.

Is There An Age Limit?

There is no age limit.

I Have Had No Previous Sports Or Fitness Training - Can I Still Join?

Absolutely! Many of our members have never participated in a team sport or any sport for that matter, and in fact we have members who do not know how to swim. Just make your situation known to the coach.

How Many Festivals Does Two Abreast Race In During A Season?

The team attends between 5 and 7 festivals per season, at least one out of town.

What Commitment Is Required Of Me?

We encourage paddlers to attend as many festivals as possible so that we can register full crews for all festivals. We ask that members attend 60% or more of team training sessions.

How Is The Team Structured?

Two Abreast/Côte-à-côte is a non-profit, volunteer organization, relying on sponsors and private donations as well as member participation and involvement for its financial and administrative needs. The team is overseen by an executive consisting of a manager, executive manager, treasurer, captain and secretary. We also have many committees which members are encouraged to join.

What Costs Are Involved?

We pay a membership fee of $225 per year which covers training, uniforms, life-jackets, paddles, festival fees, etc. Depending on sponsorship in any given year, out-of-town races are subsidized as much as possible to cover accommodation, meals, and travel cost.