Danny Stein has a front-row seat in Vernon’s Prospera Piranhas boat as his crew gets ready for their opening race in the Prospera Vernon Dragon Boat Festival at Kal Beach Saturday.

Danny Stein has a front-row seat in Vernon’s Prospera Piranhas boat as his crew gets ready for their opening race in the Prospera Vernon Dragon Boat Festival at Kal Beach Saturday.

Dragon boaters surface for Vernon festival

A total of 28 teams and more than 700 athletes descend on Kal Beach for the Prospera Vernon Dragon Boat Festival.

Members of KDBC Astral High Frequency were on the same wavelength as they dialed up first place in the Mixed Blue A final of the Prospera Vernon Dragon Boat Festival last weekend at Kal Beach.

The Kelowna crew finished the 500-metre course in two minutes, 6.38 seconds, nearly six seconds ahead of Vernon’s OK SpringLoaded. Mavericks (2:16.99) and Extreme Currents (2:17:45) finished third and fourth in the division, sponsored by Silver Star Mountain Resort.

In the Women’s A division, sponsored by Goodlife Fitness, Fire on the Water (2:22.73), Despirit Housewives (2:25.99), Valley Vixens (2:27.35) and Dragon Bottoms (2:32.76) rounded out the top four.

The Peach City Dragons clocked a 2:27.15 for first place in the Mixed Red A class, finishing ahead of KDBC Blazing Paddles (2:29.23), Vernon’s Excel Fitness (2:33.14) and KDBC Red Hot Chilli Paddlers (2:38.88).

The Women’s Red A Final was won by Vernon’s Buoyant Buddies in 2:38.16. The Buddies, a team of breast cancer survivors formed in 2003, shaded runners-up Vernon Dragon Riders (2:38.49) by a fraction of a second. Third place went to Women on Fire (2:50.25).

In B Division racing, Vernon’s Poseidon’s Fury turned in a 2:23.34 for first place in the Mixed Blue final, more than three seconds ahead of runners-up Prospera Pirhanas (2:26.61). Lift What’s Draggin’ (2:29.46) and Dr-agonize Mixed (2:37.81) were third and fourth.

In the Women’s Blue final, Extreme Curves paddled to first place with a 2:30.14, followed by Friends Abreast (2:37.22) and Paddlemonium (2:42.35).

In the Mixed Red final, it was Dam Survivors (2:29.43), Aunt Artic Oar Bust (2:33.16) and Outta-My-Wake (2:40.01) finishing one-two-three.

Dr-agonize Ladies scooped the Women’s Red final in 2:43.91, with Spirit Warriors (2:52.43) and Pink Piston Paddlers (2:57.23) taking second and third place.

The Vernon Dragon Boat Festival featured 28 teams (13 women’s and 15 mixed) and more than 700 athletes, mainly from the Thompson Okanagan region. It is organized by the Vernon Rowing & Paddling Centre, and by Go Rowing and Paddling Association of Canada.

For more information about paddling sports in Vernon, visit gorowandpaddle.org, or contact Lisa George, of the Vernon Rowing & Paddling Centre, at info@gorowandpaddle.org.

The charity event raised more than $8,000 for the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, with the money earmarked for the purchase of breast cancer diagnostic equipment.