No chance of showers or storms will disrupt the dragon boat race planned in Penticton this weekend because it all takes place indoors. 

The first annual April Fools Indoor Regatta will kick off Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Penticton Community Centre, the first chance for paddlers to get their feet wet — metaphorically — in the 2019 dragon boat season. 

Utilizing paddling ergometers, similar to standard gym rowing machines, paddlers will race and their progress will be projected onto a giant TV screen. Individual paddlers will race in two heats before being placed on relay teams for a grand finale. 

“The paddle machines are fantastic for racing, dry land training and coaching," said Don Mulhall, race director and coach.  “They measure a number of training parameters including speed, stroke rate, distance and time down to the hundredth of a second.  Plus they allow you to coach while standing right next to your athlete, something you can’t do as easily in a moving boat.”

The Penticton dragon boat community has had their fleet of paddling machines at the community centre for several years, allowing for training during the winter or spells of bad weather. Canada's national team uses similar machines for training and time trials. 

For more information about getting involved with dragon boat paddling, contact Don Mulhall at [email protected] or at 250-488-3100. 

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