Penticton hosted the first Interior dragon boat race of the season with the Okanagan Super Sprints and Senior Sprints this past Friday and Saturday.
Friday’s racing saw nine seniors teams (over 200 athletes) on Friday from all over the Okanagan, Kamloops and the Lower Mainland. The seniors-only race was organized when The Penticton Golden Dragons approached the organizers asking to have a day for teams made up of paddlers aged 55 and up.
Saturday saw the Open Mixed and Women’s racing, with 18 crews (close to 500 athletes) from around the province. the 250 metre format allowed teams to get multiple races in at a shorter distance than September’s Penticton Dragon Boat Festival which is 500 m.
All teams raced three times, with teams advancing to the finals based on their cumulative time.
Friday’s Senior Womens A final, was won by Survivorship with a time of 1:14.7 minutes, with Penticton’s Golden Dragons in second place, just ahead of Kelowna’s Golden Girls.
The Mixed A final had Kamloops Extreme and Twisted Dragons from Richmond going up against Penticton’s Peach City Dragons. Penticton’s fastest Mixed crew won the top final with the fastest time of the day at 59.9 seconds — the only team to go under one minute.
In the top Womens A final, Penticton’s Dragon Bottoms were up against two of the faster women’s crews from Kelowna — Fire on Water and Valley Vixens. Dragon Bottoms winning time of 1:04.4 minutes would also have been fast enough to earn them second place in the top Mixed final.
The event raised $4,000 for the local Penticton Chapter of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. which brings total funds raised to $30,000.