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Fun at the Festival

posted Jul 3, 2015, 4:31 PM by Robusters Website

 The Kootenay Robusters, recently took part in the ATB Financial Lethbridge Rotary Dragon Boat Festival, held at Henderson Lake in Lethbridge from June 26-28, 2015.  Travelling from Grand Forks, Christina Lake, Castlegar, Trail and Rossland, the team arrived Friday evening in time for a final practice.   The festival organizers had provided newer dragon boats called Elementals and, after a few tippy moments, the team got used to the different feel and quick response these boats provide

Saturday saw the team compete in two heats in the women’s category (open to all women) as well as the special race for breast cancer survivors only.  For that race, the Kootenay Robusters, who were travelling with only 14 survivors, combined with the Cranbrook team, Abreast in the Rockies, to form a new group, Kootenay Abreast, completing the roster of 20 paddlers.

 Despite never having paddled together before, the amalgamated team won gold in the survivor race and took the C Cup, donated especially for this race. Afterwards, all survivors took part in a moving “Rose Ceremony” plucking the petals from roses and setting them adrift in the waters of the lake, to remember loved ones who have been stricken with cancer.

 Thanks to a strong effort on the first day of the festival, the Robusters earned the right to compete in the A finals on Sunday.  Dragon boat placements at this festival were decided on by the times posted on the first day – so the women’s teams were sorted into three levels: A, B and C.  Pitted against the fastest teams at the festival, the Robusters placed fourth in the semi final and then streaked to first place in their final race of the day – the A consolation round. This win meant they placed fifth out of the 21 women’s teams competing.