The Penticton Racing Canoe Club is hosting its 19th annual Duel in the Desert Outrigger Canoe race at Skaha Lake this weekend. Western News file photo

Duel in the Desert hits Skaha Lake

The 19th Duel in the Desert by Penticton Racing Canoe Club taking place at Skaha Lake

The 19th annual Duel in the Desert Outrigger Canoe Race hits the waters of Skaha Lake Saturday and Sunday.

There will be 23 crews from B.C. and Alberta battling in six-person canoe races put on by the Penticton Racing Canoe Club (PRCC). There will be 60 paddlers expected for Sunday’s small boat races, consisting of one and two-person outrigger canoes, surf skis, marathon canoes and stand up paddle boards paddling the length of Skaha lake.

Racing Saturday features an eight-kilometre distance at 9 a.m. and 16-km for the women’s/mixed long-course race at 10:30 a.m. and the men’s/mixed long-course race at 12:30 p.m. Sunday’s races will be a mass start at 11 am featuring a downwind format that will see the one and two person small boats racing between Okanagan Falls and Penticton, the course determined by wind direction. A new category of ultralight hulls will see 45 foot-long boats weighing less than 200 pounds competing. Race officials will be staggering the starts to accommodate the much-faster hulls. PRCC has three crews racing the short course and one mixed crew racing in the long course. All races start and finish at Skaha Lake park, near the boat ramp/marina.

For more information about PRCC, go to www.pentictonoutrigger.com.