The hard-paddling Osoyoos dragon boat community will have more than just pride on the line this weekend as it hosts its first ever Flag Race.

The Osoyoos Lake Paddling Club is playing host to nine other paddling teams from across British Columbia Saturday, the event churning the waters off Legion Beach through most of the morning and afternoon.

“We’re racing two teams at a time, so it’s a knockout,” said Mandy Purssey, the event’s organizer. “This is our fun end-of-the-season dragon-boat event.”

It’s also the first of its kind in B.C., the boats not only having to race 250-metres to their target but also having to grab the flag once they get there.

“The lanes are side-by side and it’s the first one to the flag,” she explained. “The clock stops when a flag is grabbed.”

Each of the 10 teams is guaranteed at least three races, although more successful boats may be in the water a few more times.

Racing gets underway at 9:30 a.m., with the last race expected around 4 p.m.

Viewing for the event will likely be best from Legion Beach as the boats will leave the Safari Beach dock and race south to north near the resort.

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