Super sprints introduced seniors team during ninth anniversary

Nearly 500 paddlers were in Penticton for Okanagan Super Sprints

Members of the Penticton Golden Dragon Warriors head to shore after their first heat in the Penticton Sprints Dragon Boating Races at Skaha Lake Friday. A number of teams took part in the two-day competition. The annual Penticton Dragon Boat Festival takes place Sept. 9 to 11.

Members of the Penticton Golden Dragon Warriors head to shore after their first heat in the Penticton Sprints Dragon Boating Races at Skaha Lake Friday. A number of teams took part in the two-day competition. The annual Penticton Dragon Boat Festival takes place Sept. 9 to 11.

Okanagan Super Sprints celebrated its ninth anniversary on the Canada Day long weekend.

Excellent weather conditions welcomed 22 keen teams — approximately 485 athletes- who came out to participate the series of 250-metre races along Skaha Lake. This year’s Super Sprints were even more exciting than ever before due to the first ever seniors only (55-plus) race day. This provided a fun opportunity for senior teams to battle head-to-head in a fair fight against teams in a similar age division.

Richmond’s Twisted Dragons was the first in the mixed team division. The local Golden Dragons ranked second in 1:10:40 and to the Silver Dragons who came in third in the mixed team races. The seniors were not far behind the younger teams and scored some excellent 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 finished in 1:08:50 time which deemed them champions in the women’s races. Second place in the women’s division went out to the K.D.B.C Golden Girls. Penticton’s very own Golden Dragons, who came in at 1:13:70, managed to claim third and represented Penticton well.

Penticton’s Despirit Housewives took the win in the women’s only race division Saturday in 1:07:20. That leaves Dragon Fire with second place and Penticton’s Paddlemonium with third in 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 finished in 1:01:10, and third to the Twisted Dragons from Richmond.

The Okanagan Super Sprints began as a way for local teams to practice racing over a shorter distance early in the season, in preparation for the Penticton Dragon Boat Festival – one of the largest festivals in BC – held in September. The event is 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.

For more details on race times check pentictondragonboat.com/ and check out the right hand column which contains this year’s race results.

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