Four members of the Okanagan Dragon Boat Racing Club returned home from Down Under earlier this month with some international hardware in their possession.
Jeremy and Kelsey Siddall, Barbara Rigg and Vicki Marrs, all of Kelowna, helped the Tsumani team to a bronze medal performance at the IDBF Club Crew World Championships in Adelaide, Australia.
Consisting of athletes from both B.C. and Alberta, the Tsunami crew finished third in the 2000-metre senior A mixed standard event.
“It was huge for us to win a medal, to get the recognition on the international stage,” said Vicki Marrs. “It proved to us that all the hard work and commitment was worth it, and really allowed us to reach our goal.”
New Zealand won the gold medal, while Hong King won the silver.
Marrs said her crew had “no idea” how it would fare heading into the world championships.
Just coming off the winter season with virtually no on-water training, the Tsunami crew still
found a way to compete with the top dragon boats.
“I think we surprised ourselves and a lot of other teams,” Marrs added. “We did pretty much all of our training in the gym and only got on the water once, so we feel like it was quiet an accomplishment.”
It was the 10th International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships with 91 clubs, 16 countries and 2,500 athletes participating from April 1 to 7.
For more information on the Okanagan Dragon Boat Racing Club (ODBRC), visit okanagandragonboatracingclub.com.