Fredericton's Loyalist Rugby Club traded turf for water on Sunday as they embarked on their annual canoe derby. A long-standing tradition, members of the 58-year-old sports club celebrate New Brunswick Day weekend by paddling together and strengthening their team's bonds.

"This is our favourite day of the year," says Alison Aiton, a club member of over 20 years. "It's always beautiful and sunny, and it's a great team-bonding, club-bonding event for us."

And it's this bonding the women's team needs as they head to the semi-finals later in the week.

"It's lots of fun. It can seem really rough at first, but it's a really fun sport to play, and everyone's just so accepting," says Myriam Noel, a club member of 2 years.

On Sunday, over 30 players and club alumni leisurely canoed from Island View to Fredericton on the St. John River – which they say helps during game time.

"You're on the river for 6-7 hours just chatting, telling stories – getting to know each other a little bit better," says Daniel Kowalski, a member of eight years. "It just translates great on the field; you know what the other person's thinking – what they're going to do."

It's this dedication to coming together as a team which helped the A-side team make it to the semi-finals of the 2018 Canadian Club Rugby Championship in Vancouver, and will benefit them as they continue on their journey.

With files from CTV's Jessica Ng