Paddlers pull water for Super Sprints
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.