Bathtub race a success

Last weekend's Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race on Okanagan Lake in Summerland was a great success.

According to organizers, they raised an unconfirmed amount for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s campaign to provide $20 million in medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion, exceeding last years' amount.

The race results are as follows:

  • In the A Class, ReMax Rocket, sponsored by ReMax Orchard Country was first, with Great Estates Okanagan sponsored by Great Estates in second.
  • In third place was the Penticton Yacht Club sponsored by the Inland Group.
  • In the B Class, first place was X9 sponsored by Rayburn's Marine. In second was High Octane sponsored by Barry Beecroft Fuels and in third was Free Paint sponsored by Pat Wand.
  • In the Nanaimo exhibition race, Brian Stoochnow was first with Chris Glenn placing second. Third place finisher was Jaime Garcia. These boats finished within 16 seconds of each other.

The race was held for the second year by the Summerland Yacht Club, this time at Powell Beach.

Saturday's well-attended event included the putt-putt competition, the tub race, with 15 entries, and the Nanaimo exhibition race.


Big triathlon week

Penticton is endurance racing central this week, with the 2016 Canadian National Multisport Championships in the city.

The event kicks off Wednesday and ends Sunday, when Challenge Penticton, the long-course national championship, takes place.

"We are excited to host the national championship," said organizer Michael Brown. "We have a strong team assembled, and feel we can really nail it."

Athletes are racing for qualifying spots to the inaugural International Triathlon Union Multisport World Championships Festival to be held in Penticton next summer.

The first event Wednesday is the duathlon, a run, bike, run. About 150 men and women, ranging in age from 18 to 80, are expected to participate in the race that starts off at the Peach on the Beach, at 7 a.m.

Thursday's race is the aquathlon, a swim, run event, beginning wth the swim at 4 p.m.,  also starting at the Peach. The run is along Lakeshore Drive. About 130 men and women, ranging in age from 18 to 80, will participate. 

There is also a Kids Fun Race at 5:30 p.m. the same day, starting at the same location.

"We hope to get about 200 kids," said Brown. "Everyone is welcome and parents race for free."

On Friday, the main race is the cross (off road) triathlon, a swim, mountain bike, trail run event.

About 170 athletes, ages 20 to 65, are expected to participate in the race beginning at 7 a.m. from the Peach. 

There is expected to be 800 athletes, ages 19 to 80, taking part in Challenge Penticton on Sunday. It starts out at 6:30 a.m. from the same location.

Triathletes Jeff Symonds and Jen Arnett are expected to compete in Sunday's Challenge race.

"We are going to qualify over 500 Canadian athletes for Penticton 2017 and I think it's amazing Penticton has these two great sporting events over the next two years," said Brown. 

For more information on the week of racing, go here.

Jet ski and trailer stolen

A personal watercraft and trailer were stolen from a Naramata boat launch Saturday night, according to Penticton RCMP.

The complainant, who was out on Okanagan Lake with family and friends about 7:30 p.m., had parked the vessel, as it wasn't operational, said Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth.

The trailer that was taken was built to hold two jet skis. The stolen watercraft was a black, green and white Kawasaki.


Search for 'missing' driver

Police and firefighters were busy Monday night, searching for the owner of what appeared to be an abandoned vehicle in Penticton.

Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth said the vehicle was found on the east side of Channel Parkway, just south of Warren Avenue.

The windows were down, the vehicle was full of personal effects, but the registered owner was nowhere to be found.

A search of the Okanagan River Channel was launched, with a police dog and fire-rescue boat.

Police also checked previous addresses of the owner, as well as gas stations to see if the owner had simply run out of fuel.

The owner was eventually found, and the vehicle was released to the individual.

RCMP did not provide further details on why the driver had left the vehicle.

Road closures for Challenge

The City of Penticton is warning of road closures in the following days, for Challenge Penticton and related events.

Those events include a duathlon, an aquathlon, a cross triathlon and a long distance race.

This year's Challenge Penticton is accompanied by national qualifiers for next year's ITU Multisport World Championships to be held in Penticton next summer.

For a full map of road closures happening over the course of the week, visit the city's website.

OK Falls wildfire burns on

The Okanagan Falls wildfire continues to burn, with crews working on containing the fire.

The fire is still 75 per cent contained, with crews establishing containment on the north side, working toward the south. 

The BC Wildfire Service said it can be difficult to advance containment in rocky or steep terrain, but crews are pushing on with work to get the fire surrounded.

The fire is still burning at 16.3 hectares, and is classified as a Rank 1 or smouldering ground fire.

It ignited Sunday night, when heavy winds helped it spread quickly.

Residents were warned of a potential evacuation overnight, but some residents left their homes as a precaution.

A nearby campground voluntarily evacuated prior to a notice, and remains closed until given the go-ahead from fire officials.

However, over the course of Monday, the fire was downgraded in size.

The BC Wildfire Service has 24 crews working the fire today, with hopes of wrapping up containment soon.

Car thief thwarted

A man has been convicted of attempting to steal a car at a Penticton gas station.

Aaron Vaughan-Evans approached a woman who was filling up her car and told her he was going to take it.

He offered her the passenger seat if she liked.

The woman pushed him away and was able to drive off, leaving Vaughan-Evans at the premises.

The incident was reported to police, and surveillance footage at the station confirmed the incident and identified Vaughan-Evans. He was later arrested on another matter.

The Crown attorney on the case pointed to a few mischief charges on Vaughan-Evans's record, and sought a suspended sentence of one year.

Vaughan-Evans defended himself in court, telling the judge he had no explanation for his actions.

The 31-year-old said he was going through a tough time and was not in his right mind.

He was served one year of probation.

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