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WITH SLIDESHOW: Titans take gold at annual dragon boat festival

MONCTON, N.B. – The Titans were the real MVPs at this year’s Greater Moncton Dragon Boat Festival, with one third of Tantramar’s students competing in a boat.

On Friday, June 2, all seven of the Tantramar Regional High School (TRHS) boats made their way down to Jones’ Lake. In-decent-seas, Leviathan, Poseidon’s Pirates, Guardians, Censorship, Lake Patrol and Bad ‘n Buoy all arrived in typical Titan fashion: cheering.

At the beginning of the dragon boat season, the Titans set themselves a school-wide fundraising goal of $18,000, an ambitious amount for a school of approximately 450 students, with only a portion of them competing. Instead of shrinking in the face of the challenge, the Titans rose and conquered. The students of TRHS fundraised over $22,000, smashing their goal for this year. Members of the Grade 10 boat Leviathan earned themselves the name of highest fundraising boat in the entirety of the 2017 Dragon Boat Festival. They managed to raise over $6,500, toppling last year’s fundraising record and making it the highest amount fundraised in Tantramar rowing history. This isn’t the first time Tantramar has impressed with their dragon boat fundraising. Over 12 years of rowing, the Titans have raised a collective $173,000, more than triple the total of any other school.

However, it wasn’t only in the fundraising aspect of the festival that the Titans represented. Their spirit stayed with them, both before and after the races. The Titans were not daunted at the announcement of last year’s winner; they simply cheered louder. With this being the first year of every high school in the Anglophone School District being represented by a dragon boat, the enthusiasm was monumental. After an afternoon of face painting and school cheers, the Titan boats took to the waters, ready to fight with all their Titan might.

The Titan morale was at an all-time high. The seven Tantramar boats set sail, and to the beat of their drummer they rowed with all their power as supporting Titans cheered them on from the shore. When the water settled and all rowers made their way onto shore, the schools gathered to hear the results. In-decent-seas, Censorship, and Leviathan all showed improvement every race.

“I’m energized, with a positive outlook on our community’s involvement. And we weren’t the worst!” said Grade 11 Censorship rower David “Davido” Ingalls.

With four Titan boats remaining, they all managed to row their way into the finals.

Lake Patrol earned themselves a respectable sixth place, with Poseidon’s Pirates taking fourth for their first year of rowing. The Guardians made their way back onto the podium after some fierce races, taking home bronze for the Titans.

Finally, the moment came with the final two being called forward. After a collective holding of breath, the Titans exploded into cheers as Titan boat Bad ‘n Buoy claimed the dragon boat trophy, beating the Moncton High team by mere milliseconds.

Earning themselves gold medals, the beautiful dragon boat trophy will also be returning to Tantramar where it belongs, and will remain there until next year’s festival. The Bad ‘n Buoy rowers ended the day with a splash, jumping into the lake to celebrate their outstanding win.

All the Titans represented their school and community at the 2017 Dragon Boat Festival. We’d like to give special thanks to Josh Tower and Ashley Fenton who kept up the Titan spirit as our mascots at the event. To all volunteers who dedicated time and energy to the Titan boats, the Tantramar students thank you.

The main aspect of this festival is raising money for a worthy cause, and it is in this that Tantramar always excels because of the support it receives. The rowers would also like to thank all the teachers who spent their weekends helping them fundraise and drove up the day of the races to support their team. The Titans dominated in both aspects of the festival this year, and owe it to the assistance of the volunteers and supporters. With this year’s success in mind, everyone is determined to keep the trophy where it belongs. Make way rowers; the Titans are back in the game.

Ainsley Cunningham is a Grade 10 student at Tantramar Regional High School.

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