The Penticton Dragon Boat Festival will feature 84 teams, including 52 women’s teams competing on the waters of Skaha Lake, Sept. 9 to 10. Steve Kidd/Western News

Dragon Boat Festival paddlers ready to make a splash in Penticton

Visitors like ending their season with the Penticton Dragon Boat Festival

The Penticton Dragon Boat Festival is well-loved.

Some of the reasons include the job organizer Don Mulhall and his crew, along with volunteers, do organizing it, as well as the venue at Skaha Park.

“You can’t ask for a more beautiful spot for a festival; that is the best part of it,” said Raison, a member of the Despirit Housewives women’s team. “There is room to set up, a built-in beer garden. This is one of the best.”

Related: Restored dragon boat coming to Skaha Lake

Raison’s next favourite festival is in Victoria.

Mulhall said the number for the festival is a good indicator of people liking the event.

“I’ve been to a couple of events and people there were just raving about, ‘Oh, we can’t wait for Penticton. It’s our favourite festival of the year. It’s kind of our season wrap up,’” said Mulhall. “We’ve got a really cool venue. Skaha Park is just beautiful. It’s green grass and trees and you are loading and unloading on a sandy beach.”

Eighty-four teams are competing in the women’s, mixed and breast cancer divisions. Raison believes the festival attracts that many teams is for the reasons she loves the race. She and the rest of the Despirit Housewives love the level of competition and that they never know what it is going to be like or where they will place.

“We like to be competitive, and our coaches have been training us to be competitive, but we will have to see what happens,” said Raison. “The entire event, there is such an uplifting feeling. Everybody is supportive. Anybody can dragon boat. It’s the inclusiveness of the sport that I like.”

Penny Seeley of the Peach City Dragons mixed team loves the atmosphere, partially created by the music and supported by the great vendors available. She also likes how often races are scheduled, going every 10 minutes.

“There is always something to watch,” she said. “The venue is spectator friendly.”

Among the cities teams are travelling from are Leduc, Alta.; Edmonton, Calgary, Abbotsford, Richmond, Salmon Arm and Christina Lake.

Mulhall mainly hopes that teams are safe while having a good time in competitive races. He has been constantly monitoring the smoke conditions. Races won’t be cancelled, but the distances could be shortened from 500 metres to between 200 and 250 m. That will help the paddlers breathe in less of the smoky air.

When talking about the numbers, he admits to having a lot of teams. He always claims they will cut the entry number off at 80.

“We’re not very good at cutting off,” he laughed.

The breast cancer field, which includes local Survivorship, is the largest they have had. The celebration for the breast cancer survivors is hoped to start at noon, but he said could be sooner depending on how the schedule goes.

Below is the schedule for the festival.

PDBF2017 Race Schedule by Emanuel Sequeira on Scribd

Just Posted

Dine Around Thompson Okanagan set to kick off

Popular event kicks off in Kelowna with a sold out launch party

Kelowna’s Capri-Landmark plan could carry big price-tag

City council told the ‘preferred’ concept plan could cost as much as $100 million over next 22 years

Okanagan nurse assists Rohingya refugees

Crystal Grymaloski volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse disaster response mission in Bangladesh

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

West Kelowna council to debate its 2018 budget

Going into the day-long meeting, the proposed budget calls for a three per cent tax increase

Kelowna artist creates fundraiser for a friend

Artist Laurie Koss was inspired by her friend’s cancer battle to help her keep fighting

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

Most Read