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

Peeved with speeding drivers

The owner of property spanning Highway 97A near Mara is done with having to repair her fence.

One fatality in Highway 97 collision in Vernon

Two vehicles involved in crash that has halted traffic

Mr. Mikes to open in place of Urban Market

Restaurant expected to be open by the summer

It’s all in the black for Roots & Blues

While they didn’t rake in the dough, the 2017 event made a modest profit

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler pleads not guilty in U.S. court

Colin Martin continues to fight allegations relating to cross-border drug smuggling operation

What’s happening

Find out about events happening in your community this weekend

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Snow warning in effect for the Coquihalla

A snowfall warning is in effect from Hope to Merritt as slush and snow is expected on highways this weekend

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

Most Read