On Saturday, May 21, the Kootenay Robusters woke up their dragon boat and lifted it out of its winter nest of tires onto a new dolly, designed and constructed by longtime supporter John Tourcotte. Rolling it to the water’s edge wasn’t difficult, since the lake had crossed the lawn in front of the new boat house and was lapping at the ramp just below the new structure.

Once the boat was in the water, the 12 paddlers present couldn’t resist going for a trip around the south end of the lake. Coach and steersperson Joy Anderson noted, “This was one of the best early season paddles we’ve ever done!“

The Robusters’ boat house, built after years of fundraising and support from local organizations, individuals and businesses, made this year’s launch the best and easiest ever. The last step in construction will be siding for the building and a large decal for the front door that will list those who made significant contributions to the project.

We will hold a grand opening ceremony sometime soon, but meanwhile team members are busy recruiting new paddlers. Any woman is welcome to join the team or at least come out to give the lifetime sport of dragon boating a try. For more information here are local numbers to call: Trail (250-364-0993), Rossland (250-362-5289), Castlegar (250-365-3794), Grand Forks, Christina Lake (442-6102)