VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It may be relaxing to watch the ballet of boats moving about False Creek but there is some animosity developing in the waterways east of the Cambie Street Bridge.
The Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society is hoping to do away with 10 or more boats that are allowed to moor for weeks at a time in the area.
General Manager Ann Phelps says it’s dangerous for racers and other paddlers who use False Creek. “There are 2,000 paddlers here. It’s just getting ridiculous and it’s only June. What’s it going to be like at our festival where we have 5,500 paddlers?”
Phelps estimates the Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival, June 17-19, will bring in $1.6-million in tourism to Vancouver, but says the reputation and the safety of the large event is in jeopardy. “There are boats all over our race course. We leave messages and letters on their boats, one man was there but he says he doesn’t want to move, he doesn’t have time,” she says.
“We’re racing, you have to make if fair, you can’t have three boats racing in a straight line and two boats around.”
Phelps says it’s really frustrating because Transport Canada and the City of Vancouver are essentially powerless to do anything, as the majority of these boat owners have permits.
The Dragon Boat Society has begun an online petition to make False Creek east moorage free.