Pad­dlers pull wa­ter for Su­per Sprints

Penticton Herald - - SPORTS -

A to­tal of 485 pad­dling en­thu­si­asts took part in the ninth an­nual Okana­gan Su­per Sprints dragon boat races at Skaha Lake on the Canada Day long week­end.

Twenty-two teams — pri­mar­ily from the Okana­gan and as far away as Rich­mond — en­joyed ideal weather con­di­tions for a se­ries of 250-me­tre races.

Each team raced three times, with the com­bined time of the first two races ad­vanc­ing teams into mixed and women’s fi­nals.

This year’s Su­per Sprints were more ex­cit­ing than ever due to the Pen­tic­ton club host­ing its first ever se­niors only (55-plus) race day. Fri­day pro­vided a fun op­por­tu­nity for se­nior teams to bat­tle head-to-head in a fair fight against teams in a sim­i­lar age di­vi­sion.

Spe­cial recog­ni­tion goes to the Rich­mond team, the Twisted Dragons, who placed first in the mixed team di­vi­sion. Also to the lo­cal Golden Dragons, who ranked sec­ond with a time of 1:10:40, and to the Sil­ver Dragons who came in third in the mixed team races.

This year’s se­niors were not far be­hind the younger teams and scored some strong race times.

Thanks to their out­stand­ing per­for­mance dur­ing the se­niors sprints, Sur­vivor­ship’s team of women and the Twisted Dragons mixed team can for­ever claim that they were the first ever teams to place first at the se­niors-only race-day event.

Sur­vivor­ship’s amaz­ing 1:08:50 time deemed them cham­pi­ons in the women’s races. Sec­ond place in the women’s di­vi­sion went to the K.D.B.C. Golden Girls.

Pen­tic­ton’s Golden Dragons, who came in at 1:13:70, man­aged to claim third.

Pen­tic­ton’s De­spirit House­wives took the win in the women’s only race di­vi­sion in the Satur­day event with a time of 1:07:20. That leaves Dragon Fire with sec­ond place and Pen­tic­ton’s Pad­dle­mo­nium third with an im­pres­sive time of 1:11:00.

As for the mixed di­vi­sion, the Rogue dragons from Kelowna took the win and left sec­ond place to Pen­tic­ton’s Peach City Dragons, who scored a time of 1:01:10, and third to the Twisted Dragons from Rich­mond.

The Okana­gan Su­per Sprints be­gan as a way for lo­cal teams to prac­tise rac­ing over a shorter dis­tance early in the sea­son in prepa­ra­tion for the Pen­tic­ton Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val — one of the largest fes­ti­vals in B.C. — in Septem­ber.

The Sprints are also a fundraiser for Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy Pen­tic­ton, with about $20,000 raised over the past six years. This year’s do­na­tions were still be­ing to­taled, but are ex­pected to push the grand to­tal close to $23,500.

To be­come a pad­dler, start your own team, or for more in­for­ma­tion about the Pen­tic­ton Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val, go on­line to www.pen­tic­ton­drag­onboat.com or send an e-mail to info@pen­tic­ton­drag­onboat.com.

Photo con­trib­uted

The Golden Dragons from Pen­tic­ton (rear) bat­tle the Sil­ver Dips from Ver­non dur­ing the se­nior sprints race Fri­day on Skaha Lake, part of the ninth an­nual Okana­gan Su­per Sprints dragon boat com­pe­ti­tion.

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