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With the temperature in the mid-twenties and the sun in the sky Team DRAGON DENt and Team Telfer Thunder put their paddling skills to the test on Saturday June 21st.

This is the first year for the Telfer Executive MBA to sponsor two teams in Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival.

The decision to enter into this year’s event derived from the complimentary values held by both parties. The values of fostering teamwork, family and community involvement are core components of the Telfer Executive MBA as well as the Tim Horton’s Ottawa’s Dragon Boat Festival.

After learning of the Telfer Executive MBA participation within the festival a friendly challenge arose earlier in the year between the candidate and alumni teams. The alumni team challenged the candidate team to see which team could set the best race time.

The day was beautiful and full of excitement for all of those who were involved with the two teams. Throughout the day several other candidates and alumni, in addition to faculty and staff joined in on the festivities along with their children to cheer on their colleagues.


The Candidate Team’s Experience:

View the Video of the Candidate's Experience 

The candidate’s team, registered as DRAGONS DENt, raced within the education challenge on Saturday morning with their first run at 8:50 a.m. Following their two practices in June, the team was ready for the big day.

DRAGON DENt team picture

Each of the team members cheered as they entered into the staging tent to line up while eyeing up their competition as the other teams entered into the tent.  

Being the first race of the day, for the Telfer Executive MBA teams at least, they would be setting the time to beat for their own future runs as well as for the alumni.

Ready, Set…

The team drove their paddles hard into the water as they pushed off at the starting line. They kept their momentum and speed consistent to the rhythm of their drummer shouting ‘1, 2, 3, 4…’ for the 500 metre track.

The race was close, especially at the finish line. The Telfer Executive MBA cheering squad on shore lost track of the boat amidst the other six boats as they came within the end of the track.

The team successfully completed their first run with a time of 2:43.56.

The Second Heat

DRAGON DENt had set the time to beat in their original run.

In their second heat DRAGON DENt raced against others who had set a comparable time within their own first heats earlier in the morning.

The team drove hard again, this time gaining the lead and maintaining it until the end. The DRAGON DENt team was first across the line within this heat with a time of 2:44.13.  The team was happy with their result of first within their heat given that a miscommunication had lost them a few seconds in the final 100 meters.


The Alumni Team’s Experience:

View the Video of the Alumni's Experience

The alumni team, named Telfer Thunder, had enrolled within the professional’s challenge that was scheduled within the afternoon. The alumni paddlers rolled into the team site at the sound of their self-proclaimed theme song ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC just as the candidate’s team was packing up.

Telfer Thunder team picture


The Telfer Thunder had established three goals for their races:

1.       Beat the candidate team’s time

2.       Do not come last within the heat

3.       Most importantly, DO NOT tip the boat!!

First heat:

Telfer Thunder drove hard for the 500 meters toward the finish line, being sure not to tip the boat and with the same drive that DRAGON DENt had shown in their morning heats.

Team members looked up after crossing the line. They certainly were not last within the heat- goal # 2 achieved.   A couple of minutes later, the team headed for the results tent to view their time, to see if they reached all three goals?

The visit to the results tent showed them that they had indeed met their goals. The team set a new time to beat at a race time of 2:36.23.  Telfer Thunder had been .11 of a second from being second within their heat.

Second heat:

The team accepted the challenge from veteran dragon boater and Telfer Executive MBA alumnus, Luc Charlesbois, to beat their own time by two seconds in the second heat.

They paddled hard in their second heat, but with some fatigued muscles it seemed like a longer race this time. The team pushed over the finish line and most looked surprised at the drummer’s remark that she had thought we had a better time in this heat.

Again they had beat their second and third goals, could they have met their own challenge of beating their previous time by two seconds?

Challenge Met?

Telfer Thunder had beat both of their challenges for the day.  They won their friendly wager with candidates by paddling a faster 500 meter, and the second challenge of beating their personal time.  

The team had actually beaten their original time by more than two seconds and setting a new Telfer best time at 2:32: 83.  The team crossed the finish line in fourth place but only lost to third by .03 of a second this time.


Thank You!

To Our Cheering Squad and Families

The day was a great time for both candidates, alumni, staff and families. A special thank you to our spectators and those who made it a family event for the Telfer Executive MBA:

         ·         Professor Jonathan Calof

·         Sophia Leong and Family

·         Jennifer Hyland and family

·         Carlos Merino and family

·         Franca Gagliano and Family

·         Francine Lortie

·         Andre Jacob and family

·         John Texeria and wife       

·         Lisa McDonnell and husband Daniel Secours

·         Bob Firth-Tessier and daughter

·         Doug Dempster and wife     

·         Maryam Awan and family

To Our Dragon Boaters

It takes rhythm, practice and resilience to create the momentum required to drive a 22' dragon boat down the 500 meter track in just over 2 minutes and 30 seconds. It takes strong leaders to organize, participate and make an event like this such a success. Thank you to our candidates, alumni and friends who paddled hard in practice and in the races:

Telfer Thunder

1.       David Soltis

2.       Graham Davis

3.       Rodrigo Delgado

4.       Mirella Athanassiadis  

5.       Jami Manion

6.       Amber Hancock

7.       Karen Kavanagh

8.       Thanh Nguyen

9.       Michelle Couturier

10.   Gerard Lewis

11.   Greg Matthews

12.   Luc Charlesbois

13.   Jennifer Hyland

14.   Edgar Mendoza

15.   Doug Demptser

16.   Oscar Pinto

17.   Carissa Buckley

18.   Peter Krajcovic

19.   Larissa Karam

20.   Ashley


1.       Danielle Matthews

2.       Lorraine Gardiner

3.       Suzanne Grundy

4.       Lisa McDonnell

5.       Bob Firth-Tessier

6.       Michael Groh

7.       Franca Gagliano

8.       David Kenny

9.       Karim Kherani

10.   Sukhwant Nannan

11.   Roger Yen

12.   Marisa Fosco

13.   Jeff Dixon

14.   Bill Beveridge

15.   Melissa Olegario

16.   John Texeira

17.   Andre Jacob

18.   Daniel Secours

To Our Financial Supporters

A big thank you to our financial supporters for your donations and helping Telfer Executive MBA raise over $2,000 for this event. The funds raised by the team will go to the Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation. This foundation was established in 2003 to help focus and grow the level of community support. To-date, $3 million has been raised through the annual Pledge Challenge, benefitting 29 Ottawa area charities.

The 2014 benfiting charities are:

·         Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa (YSB)

·         Children at Risk, Ottawa

·         Heartwood House

·         Helping with Furniture

·         Sepherds of Good Hope

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