The Kootenay Rhythm Dragons started the 2015 season in the A division at the ATB Financial Lethbridge Rotary Dragon Boat Festival.
With coach Puleng Pratt and steers Diane Tulloch the Kootenay Rhythm Dragons team travelled to Lethbridge recently with 18 strong paddlers.
The Lethbridge Rotary Club created a fun family festival in Henderson Park featuring dragon boat races, ongoing live entertainment, amazing food, sport vendors, beer gardens and a Kidzone fun centre. With the 35 degree temperatures they kept paddlers and visitors hydrated with water and a misting tent.
The Kootenay Rhythm Dragons team finished first in their starting round with a time of 2.37.43 and repeated their first place finish in the second round in a time of 2.40.53.
This placed the team in the A division semi finals. Competition was strong in the semis as they faced the young university/college teams ending with an outstanding third place finish.
The young women acknowledged with great admiration the Kootenay Rhythm Dragons team who range1 in age from 48 to 71.
The third place finish put Kootenay Rhythm Dragons in the final A Consolation division against their friends and mentors the Kootenay Robusters.
It was an exciting stroke-for-stroke race with the Robusters pulling ahead by less than 1/100th of a second — an amazing finish for the Kootenay teams and an amazing display of sportsmanship and camaraderie by all.
In the breast cancer survivor C Cup Challenge event, Kootenay Rhythm Dragons survivor Mary Walters paddled with the Kootenay Abreast team.
This team included members of the Kootenay Robusters and Abreast of the Rockies, Cranbrook. They won the C Cup Challenge bringing the trophy and gold medals to the Kootenays.
The race was followed by the traditional survivor rose ceremony with a moving rendition of the song The Rose