The CBC Wavecatchers are ready to have fun and bring it their A game to the Penticton Dragon Boat Festival this weekend. (Photo Submitted)

Visiting teams ready to bring it at the Penticton Dragon Boat Festival

The CBC Wavecatchers and Navy Dragon Anchors are excited to be back for the annual event

It is sure to be a busy weekend on Skaha Lake with the annual Penticton Dragon Boat Festival taking place, and two visiting teams are excited to be a part of the action.

The Navy Dragon Anchors, a Victoria-based team comprised of members of at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt, are looking forward to defending their championship title from last year’s festival. This will be no easy feat as they are just one of 69 teams competing, including six local ones and the Flying Dragons special needs crew.

“Whenever we go to a festival, we always go to win,” says Bob Wiggins, a retired Navy chief petty officer first class and coxswain, in a release. “Doesn’t matter what it is. The worst we have done this year is second in two festivals and we have won three.”

The team has been competing in the annual festival, which is in its 19th year, since 2012 and have opted to compete in the B.C. event rather than travelling to race in Portland, Oreg., for their annual festival. Wiggins said this is because they love the people and the enjoying the companionship of their competitors.

Given their backgrounds in the military, it comes as no surprise that the team enjoys the mechanical rhythm of dragon boat paddling.

READ MORE: 20 years of dragonboat racing in Penticton

“We carry our paddles like they are rifles,” said Wiggins. “We sing various songs, Heart of Oak (the official march of the Royal Canadian Navy.)”

For the CBC Wavecatchers, the festival is an opportunity to have fun on the water with teammates and friends.

“We are quite a capital R – recreational team,” said Belle Puri, reporter/produce with CBC Vancouver who has come to Penticton since 2010 with the CBC Wavecatchers. “We just like to be together and be on the water.”

But that’s not to say that the team hasn’t had their fair share of excitement and mishaps during the festival in years past.

READ MORE: Penticton Vees face off against Dragon Boat team

“Once we were in a collision. Another boat rammed us. There were no injuries,” she says. “We still ended up with a bronze. We were going for gold. Two years ago, the wind came up and the conditions changed in the qualifying races. Somehow we were the only boat that stayed on course. We won that race, which, that’s the good side, that we were now competing on Sunday with really competitive teams. We thought that was pretty funny.”

Unfortunately, the team ended up coming in last that next day, but only four seconds behind the next team, which Puri added was still a “huge victory for them.”

The festival kicks off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, and wraps up with its last events at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8. For a full schedule or more information, visit

To report a typo, email:

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton Vees lead series 2-0 after 4-1 win over the West Kelowna Warriors

The Vees put up four goals in the final period to win

Fifth annual TRUE Penticton tourism expo to showcase local activities and attractions

Over 50 businesses and event organizers will be at the Lakeside Resort on April 4.

DPA members asked to consider future of downtown

What members want the future to look like, and current developing projects will be topics at the AGM

Top employers give tips to succeed at Black Press Career Fair in Kelowna

The Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair takes place Mar. 12. at the Rutland Soccer Dome

South Okanagan mayors put their BCHL jerseys on the line

Mayors of Penticton and West Kelowna make a “friendly” wager on the BCHL series outcome.

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Developer of RV resort west of Revelstoke ordered to stop selling lots

The Superintendent of Real Estate has serious concerns that buyers may not receive their purchase

Police dog located accused murderer in dumpster near West Kelowna crime scene

Tejwant Danjou’s application to have his impromptu guilty plea removed was accepted by the court

Police dog located accused murderer in dumpster near West Kelowna crime scene

Tejwant Danjou’s application to have his impromptu guilty plea removed was accepted by the court

North Okanagan prays for women of Zimbabwe

World Day of Prayer celebrated in 2,000 Canadian communities, one of 170 countries

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Trans Canada east of Revelstoke to be closed overnight

The highway will reopen at 10 a.m. Feb. 29

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Most Read