It’s not exactly naval combat, but a boat-battle over the use of Vancouver’s False Creek is heating up.
Vancouver Police and Transport Canada are looking into whether an offence occurred, after a close call during the last race of the day at the Dragon Boat Festival Saturday afternoon.
Dragon Boat spokesperson Anita Webster says it happened when a motor boat disrupted the two thousand meter “Women’s Guts and Glory Race.”
“A few minutes into that race, a charter boat moved onto the race course. The race marshal asked the boat if it would please move off the course, he moved for a minute but he veered back on again.”
Video taken of the race shows the charter pass in front of the 14 dragon boats, forcing a stoppage in the race, followed by an argument between race staff and the boat’s operators.
“It’s a concern for them all of a sudden to see an obstacle in the course like that. They know it’s getting in their way, they are concerned about their time and for their safety.”
Bur Ryan Hoy with Golden Eagle Charters says the boat had every right to be on the water.
Hoy says the Dragon Boat officials were being reckless when they prevented his company’s boat from passing through.
“It was extremely dangerous what they did. They came in front of our ship and stopped directly in front of us, we barely had enough time to stop before we hit them.”
300 paddlers were on the water at the time.
Webster says they have filed a report with the Vancouver Police Department.
Two weeks ago the Dragon Boat Festival Society started a petition calling for a “moorage free” zone in False Creek east.
It claims that recreational boat owners have turned the waterway into an “obstacle course,” and that races are often delayed or cancelled because of boats on the course with absent owners who can’t be contacted.