Mother Nature threw everything it could at teams competing in the Okanagan Super Sprints at Skaha Lake Saturday. Teams endured rain, sun, thunder and lightning.
Those conditions didn’t stop paddlers from performing at their best. The top mixed team was KDBC Tip ‘em Back with a final time of 1:02.07 — the fastest mark posted. The top women’s team was Dralion, finishing in 1:05.00. Fifteen of 20 teams paddled on the 250-metre course on Skaha Lake. The “Last Team Standing” challenge races ended with local team Despirit Housewives finishing at the top of the nine teams entered.
“The 250-m sprint formula makes for some very close, very fast racing, with constantly changing weather,” said race organizer Don Mulhall. “Little to no wind allowed organizers to finish the day’s racing ahead of schedule.”
One of the teams that avoided the crazy weather was Penticton’s Peach City Dragons. Once on the water, the weather decided to co-operate.
“It was perfect for every one of our races. We got no rain. It cleared for every single one of our races,” said Peach City Dragons captain Charlene Naefken. “It was actually kind of funny.”
The Peach City Dragons, which had lots of new members, won the mixed B Final. Naefken said it was a good race for her team because of the new faces that had never done a race before.
“It was a good festival for them to get a taste of what racing is like,” said Naefken. “We got better every race.”
In their first heat, the Dragons finished in 1:15.72, their second race time was 1:14.93 and in the B final it was 1:13.56. What also impressed Naefken was that they only had four men on their 20-person crew.
“It was a great day,” said Naefken, adding that the paddlers had an “ah ha” moment. “Good gauge for us for what we need to work on.”
All three teams were rewarded with prizes supplied by Lake Breeze Vineyards and the event raised $3242.91 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada — bringing the total amount raised by paddlers over the past three years to just over $10,000.