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Photos: Enthusiastic turnout at 2023 Richmond Dragon Boat Festival

Races were put on pause due to strong winds but resumed in the afternoon

The largest dragon boat festival outside of Vancouver concluded successfully on Saturday — with just a small hiccup.

More than 2,000 paddlers arrived at Imperial Landing on Aug. 19 to compete in the annual Richmond Dragon Boat Festival.

The regatta had to be suspended for around four hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. due to strong winds and choppy waves, but resumed after organizers axed the 500 metre races.

Only 200 metre races were held in the end, and of the 80 teams that signed up for the event, around 10 withdrew due to safety concerns.

Despite the interruption, spirits were high on the docks and paddlers competed with smiles as community members cheered on along the boardwalk.

Representing Richmond in the festival was the Richmond Food Bank Society, the festival’s beneficiary charity.

The team paddled in the festival for the past 13 years to “thank the community” and share their message, Richmond Food Bank Society executive director Hajira Hussain told the Richmond News.

Partial proceeds from the festival will go toward supporting the food bank.

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