The Lakelse Dragons’ crew

The Lakelse Dragons’ crew

Dragon boat season fires up

The Lakelse Dragons’ crew headed to Prince Rupert on May 25 for the first big dragon boat event of the season, Prince Rupert Dragon Boat Day

The Lakelse Dragons’ crew headed to Prince Rupert on May 25 for the first big dragon boat event of the season, the fourth annual Prince Rupert Dragon Boat Day.

“It was an amazing success,” said Cheryl Paavola, club president of Prince Rupert’s Rainbow Warriors Dragon Boat Team, of the race. “The water was perfect, all of the teams had a lot of fun.”

Six northwest teams came out for the event, that saw RTA Youth (1:18:04) eek out a win against the RTA Dragons (1:18:74) in the Division A Final.

Northern Spirit (1:27:96) bested Motley Crew (1:32:97) in the Division A Final.

And the Lakelse Dragons (1:41:03) fell to Tragically Quick (1:22:66) in the consolation final.

“We had an awesome time,” said Lakelse Dragon Carole Marcellin.

This year’s theme was “The Wild Wet West”, meaning the athletes came to the event donning cowboy attire. This is the second year the race went the theme route, with last year’s participants dressing like “Pirates of the North Pacific.”

The Lakelse Dragons are now gearing up for the June 8 and 9 paddling clinic happening at Parkside and at Water Lily Bay at Lakelse Lake – where you can usually find the dragon boaters on Sundays and Wednesdays for their regular paddle sessions.

The clinic is hosted by Don Mulhall, the race director/center manager at the Penticton Paddling Center.

“Our member Kirsten Earl … initiated this clinic as she had the opportunity to paddle under Don while visiting in Penticton and found him to be a very good instructor/coach,” said dragon boater Pam Bibby. “The general intent of the clinic is to improve our stroke/ paddling technique.”

The clinic will start with a couple hours of classroom time, followed by a few hours out on the lake, where the group will be videotaped so they can later review their technique. On Sunday, Mulhall will instruct those who wish to become steerspeople.

“This is an important position and we are keen to find more individuals willing to take this on,” she said.

All levels are expected to attend, she said, and coaches are using the opportunity to increase their repertoire of skills so they’re able to lead and help team members to continue improving.