Dragon boating began in Penticton in 2000. As with many clubs around the world, it started with a group of breast cancer survivors – Survivorship – and has grown to include hundreds of local paddlers training out of the boathouse on Skaha Lake.
In addition to women’s and mixed teams; our boathouse is keenly community-minded, with teams of seniors, juniors, teams like the Flying Dragons – Canada’s first team for individuals with an intellectual disability. We even have a team made up of outrigger paddlers – the reclusive, rarely seen, O’kai I’Kick U’as. In 2013 the women vying for a spot on the Canadian Olympic women’s hockey team took to the water with Coach Don Mulhall as part of their team training camp.
Coach Don Mulhall has been part of dragon boat training and racing in Penticton since the beginning. Don started working for GO Rowing and Paddling Association as head coach and manager of the Penticton Paddle Centre. He has acted as race director not only in Penticton, but at other festivals around the province where GO provided the race management. Most recently, Don has agreed to direct the Kamloops Dragon Boat Festival, which is set to run August 12th this year. In 2014 GO Rowing & Paddling turned all of its operations over to the respective local groups to manage. We are excited to continue the tradition of excellence at a local level. You can expect to see the same dedicated race management team and the same equipment as in previous years.