The Kootenay Robusters dragonboat team successfully ended their competitive season with the a third place finish in Women’s Platinum B final in Penticton on Sunday, September 7.
This year’s festival consisted of 73 teams from as far north as Prince George and as far west as Edmonton. The highly competitive women’s division had 40 teams. The races were divided into the competitive levels of Jade, Gold, Diamond and Platinum—the highest level.
The Kootenay Robusters won their two qualifying heats to place them in the Platinum division. Their semi-final race placed them behind the top four teams and into the Platinum B division. Unfortunately, the final race had to be cancelled due to high winds so the third place finish was awarded strictly on times from the semi-final race.
On Sunday was the Breast Cancer Survivor Cup Challenge race, open only to crews of survivors. Fourteen Kootenay Robusters combined with seven paddlers from four other teams, including the Nelson Kootenay Rhythm Dragons, and placed fourth out of nine teams.
The Survivor race was followed by the traditional Carnation Ceremony held after each Survivor race to honour all those who have died of breast cancer and to encourage all those fighting this terrible disease. The introduction to the ceremony followed by the waving of hundreds of pink carnations in time to Garth Brooks’ song, “The River” is an emotional experience few ever forget.
The Kootenay Robusters, with members from Rossland, Castlegar, Christina Lake, Grand Forks and Trail, train throughout the summer on Christina Lake. The team, of both survivor and associate paddlers, always welcome new members. Visit www.kootenayrobusters.org for more information.