Make it a three-peat for the Dragon In The Drink crew.
The local boat raced to a convincing victory for the third straight year Sunday at the seventh annual Kelowna Dragon Boat Festival on Tugboat Bay.
On a goregous Okanagan afternoon, DITD captured the 500-metre final in the women’s division with a time of 2 minutes 17.31 seconds, more than 15 seconds ahead of runner-up Stroke of Luck of Kelowna (2:32.65).
Bust N Loose—Kelowna’s team of breast cancer survivors—was third in 2:36.34.
Kelowna Dragon Boat Club president Deb Champion said it was another impressive display of paddling by Dragon in the Drink.
“They did an awesome job,” Champion said of DITD. “They’re very dedicated to the sport and it really shows through. They have wonderful timing.”
The women’s consolation event went to the Kootenay Rhythm Dragons in 2:32.97.
Navy Dragon Anchors from Victoria won the mixed event in 2:03.67, with Raceface second and CDBC Yahoo Crew third.
Kelowna’s High Astral Frequency took the consolation mixed event.
Competitors and their supporters couldn’t have asked for much better conditions with sunny skies and temperatures ranging from 25 to 30 degrees.
Champion said all 18 teams—12 mixed and six women’s—were treated to great weekend of racing, recreational and social events.
“It was an awesome weekend all the way around,” she said. “The out of town teams were just thrilled…there was the beach, the swimming, the beer gardens and, of course, the racing. It couldn’t have gone any better.”
Champion expects most of this year’s teams and a few more to be attending the eighth annual KDBC Festival next summer.
“Every out-of-town team said they’d be coming back and they’d be bringing teams with them,” Champion added.
The 2013 Kelowna Dragon Boat Festival will be held July 26 to 28.