Members of the Kootenay Rhythm Dragons finished strong at the Penticton Dragon Boat Festival on Skaha Lake.

Members of the Kootenay Rhythm Dragons finished strong at the Penticton Dragon Boat Festival on Skaha Lake.

Rhythm Dragons shine in final

The 2014 season comes to an end for the Kootenay paddlers.

Two Kootenay Rhythm Dragons (KRD) teams finished strong at the Penticton Dragon Boat Festival on Skaha Lake in Penticton September 6 and 7. The event hosted 73 teams from BC and Alberta in women’s and mixed divisions.

The KRD Sisters in Sync paddled strong to first place finishes in the initial two races.  This placed them in the Platinum division with strong competition in the semifinal race, but the managed a third place finish. The team posted their best ever time of 2:22.29. They were joined by four members of the KRD Recreational team to bring their success.

The KRD LOL team raced hard to achieve second place finishes in their two initial races.  This placed them in the Diamond Division.  They paddled strong in the semi-final race to finish in 4th place against very strong competition. It was an exciting first time achievement in the Diamond Division.

KRD’s amazing steersperson Diane Tulloch was able to steer for both teams with the exception of the second race when the two KRD teams raced each other.

A wonderful steersperson Ken B, from the Vernon Extreme Currents, tilled for the LOL team.  A thrilling race ended with KRD teams finishing in first and second place.

In the Sunday Breast Cancer Survivor Cup Challenge, Kootenay Rhythm Dragons survivors Maureen Hendry, Jeanette McCarvell, Sarah Quayle and Mary Walters joined the Kootenay Robusters of Christina Lake.

As the winds blew up an exciting start and wavy race finished with the emotional carnation ceremony honouring those fighting breast cancer and those who have died, with the Garth Brooks song The River.

As the winds increased, a decision by the organizers to cancel the final races upheld the safety concerns for all paddlers.

This meant the final results were based on the times of the semifinal races. The KRD SIS team placed second in the Women’s Platinum B Division and the LOL Team seventh in the Women’s Diamond B Division.

As the season closes for 2014, Kootenay Rhythm Dragons continue to support members Sarah Quayle and Mary Walters who will be paddling in the International Breast Cancer Challenge in Sarasota, Florida, October 24 to 26.

They will be joining the Vernon Buoyant Buddies survivor team.  A fun-fundraising event will be held on Thursday, September 25 at Finley’s Irish Pub to support these ladies and the KRD paddler assistance fund.  Everyone is welcome to join the fun.