The Nanaimo Regatta…..everyone said it would be an amazing weekend….and it lived up to its reputation. The theme this year was Super Heroes and a lot of fun was had as paddling teams became teams of “caped crusaders”. Who was that costumed lady with so much energy who led many, many, many warmups?  And the race co-ordinator with his half shaved head who, as well as lining us up so efficiently, continually raised further donations to the cancer projects at Nanaimo Regional Hospital.  More amazing energy and commitment.

Deas Divas in Nanaimo 2014

Deas Divas in Nanaimo 2014

The people of Nanaimo were truly supportive of both the event and the participants who hustled along their waterfront with bulky backpacks and paddles, some still wearing their Super Heroes costumes.

The organizers, volunteers and sponsor, Save on Foods, did an amazing job of setting up tents for 72 teams and managing the grounds. The Paddlers’ Village was secure but fun….we all enjoyed shopping at the various stalls.

Weather?  Not hot, not cold and not really raining.  Just enough moisture to ensure a cool down after the race.

There were 7 teams in the Breast Cancer Survivor Race. That means there were a lot of ladies who’d worked hard, had a lot of fun and laughed a lot while showing the strength and determination that took them through their cancer. That spirit was brought into focus during the Flower Ceremony where survivors, after walking through an extended arch of paddles, gathered at the shore of the lagoon. It seemed that a large hunk of Nanaimo’s population gathered behind them as all paused and remembered. It is always such an emotional time as the pink carnations are cast into the waters.

Breast Cancer Survivor teams also did well in the Women’s Open Division.  Abreast Deas Divas took gold in their open division as well as in the Breast Cancer division.  Survivors involvement in the Open Division shows the world that a full and active life is indeed possible after a diagnosis of breast cancer and that we are all focused on continuing the Race against Cancer.