An Aloha Experience: Paddlers for Life Windermere at the World Sprint Championships (IVFWS)

Paddlers for Life Windermere at the GB Outrigger Association 2022 International Va’a Federation World Sprint Championships (IVFWS), 7-16 August 2022, Dorney Lake, Windsor, Great Britain.

Since Paddlers for Life breast cancer dragon boat team have an outrigger canoe (OC6), we have been enjoying the new challenge of getting to know her! She has space for six paddlers, to learn a whole new paddling technique.

When we bought the boat, the governing body of Great Britain Outrigger Association graciously invited us to take part in the 2022 World Sprint Championships, no less. There was to be a series of exhibition races for breast cancer teams at the International Va’a World Sprints event which was being held in the UK for the first time.

Paddlers for Life has spent the last few months getting to grips with the new OC6 and gaining confidence. Our exciting aim was taking part in the IVFWSs which was being held on Dorney Lake in Windsor. The very same 2012 Olympics venue!

So, we gathered up our team and headed down to Dorney and what was our first outrigger event! We met with teams from all over the world including New Zealand, Hawai’i, Brazil, and Chile, making connections with breast cancer survivors from many of those places, too.

It was a fantastic event, and amazing to get back to meeting other people who, no matter where they are from, understand the shared experience of a breast cancer diagnosis; a connection Paddlers for Life make the world over.

We may not have “won” any races, but we were always first in our lane. Winners before we even started down the course by just being there and paddling with our team mates.
We’re looking forward to welcoming many of those paddlers soon, to come and paddle with us, in our beautiful Low Wood Watersports and Marina location, Windermere.

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