The Harrison Paddle Sports club races in four regattas throughout the season.

Paddle the lake with Harrison paddle sports club

Dragon boat team petitions for local paddlers to join competitive but fun club

A club that practices on Harrison Lake is looking for new members to fill its empty seats.

Manfred Preuss is the president of the Harrison Paddle Sports club. He says their team would be especially well suited to people who have been involved in other sports and enjoy that team atmosphere.

“We’re trying to push the envelope [of competition],” explains Preuss. “We’re a fun team. But when we go out to race, we do our very, very best.”

Preuss is passionate about dragon boating.

“It is the ultimate team sport, no matter what your shape or fitness level, you help that boat win,” explains Preuss. “The adrenaline rush is great.”

He got involved in dragon boating after his wife Kathy had a chance to paddle in a race.

“I was so tense, it was like I was in the boat with her,” Preuss recalls. “I am competitive by nature, and it got me.”

For Kathy Preuss, it’s still an adrenaline rush in the boat. And she loves the camaraderie. With the time spent together on and off the water, she has built lifelong friendships through dragon boating.

Kathy says when a friend invited her to join the Fraser Valley’s first team, her first reaction was to say no. But when her friend told Kathy the whole race only lasts two minutes, she thought ‘that’s not so bad’.

“Once you go out, you fall in love with the sport,” says Kathy.

While the team has always practiced on Harrison Lake, many of their members live in Chilliwack. Preuss would like to see more Agassiz / Harrison residents sign up to fill the empty seats in their boat.

The club practices Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings on the lake, launching from the dock between Killer’s Cove and the marina. Even if paddlers can only commit to one practice a week, Preuss still invites you to come on out.

They are open to people of all ages and hope to get people involved who will stick around awhile. You don’t have to know how to paddle to join either, coaches will teach you all you need to know to become a dragon boating pro.

Anyone interested in trying out the sport or joining the Harrison paddle sports club can call Manfred Preuss at 604-792-9252.