Kootenay Rhythm Dragons team “Sisters In Sync” competed at the Kelowna Dragon Boat Festival on July 27 and 28.
Opening with an official Proclamation by Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray and the dance of the dragon on the beach, the weather cooperated to make a beautiful setting for the festival. The races were thrilling and challenging, with teams participating from Alberta and BC – 15 Mixed and 13 Ladies teams. Much jousting with speed boats, house boats, seadoos, and even float planes could not stop the races or the Sisters In Sync.
With nine racing virgins and one new steersperson the Sisters recorded a time of 1:14:00 in the opening 250 metre sprint. In the third race a near crash with another dragon boat, the Sisters had to realign and re-start the race. The whole team, through sheer determination and adrenaline, kept up a faster pace set by the strokes, to finish fourth of five boats with a time of 2:56:35 for the 500 metre race.
In another race, a knight in a shining lifejacket rescued our fearless steersperson, Diane Tulloch after a rogue wave tossed her into Okanagan lake at the start line. The team remained calm and strong and finished the race in third place with their best time of the event 2:35:00.
There was a magical connection with team members, new friends, and one old friend Mac Gordon who built our Nelson dragon boat. Ivan Carothers and the Kelowna Dragon Boat Club organized an amazing festival. Camaraderie, courage, laughter and tears dominated the weekend.
The five-team Breast Cancer Challenge race was followed by the emotionally charged Carnation Ceremony. The Garth Brooks song “The River” acknowledged those fighting the battle against breast cancer, honouring survivors and those who have lost the battle.
The Sisters In Sync will be back in action September 6 to 8 as they travel to the Montana Community Dragon Boat Festival on Flathead Lake in Kalispell, Montana. This will be a huge festival with 100 teams participating and a first US festival for the Kootehay Rhythm Dragons team.
The Sisters wish to acknowledge the support of family, friends and the community of Nelson in this pursuit.