July 10, 2010

Perfect day for a Dragon Boat Race: Racine's annual festival is a great success

The Lincoln Park Boat Club edged out the Racine-based Arashi to win the Great Midwest Dragon Boat Festival in Racine on Saturday. 

The Illinois-based paddlers posted a blistering time of 1 minute, 10 seconds in the finals to finish 3 seconds ahead of Arashi in the 400-meter final. Lincoln Park also posted a time of 1:10 in its second heat, giving it the two fastest times of the festival. 

Arashi, which competes around the country and in Canada, fared well at the event. They were the only other team to break 1 minute, 15 seconds, and did so in all three of its races. 

Outside of the top two teams, a number of local organizations and businesses posted fast times. Among the teams to break 1 minute, 20 seconds on the course included: 
  • InSinkorSwim
  • People Powered Propulsion
  • Spring Dental Dragon Breath
  • Pale Ale Paddlers
  • JC's Jammers
  • Flynnigan's Wake 
  • Angelfish
  • Slipper when Wet
  • Steel Dragons
  • Racine Dental SmileMakers
  • Kenosha West ROWtarians
  • Bucky's Concrete Crew
  • Calvary Clippers
  • Water Warriors

It was a near-perfect day for the races. The weather was warm and calm, creating smooth waters for the boats. Only one team tipped over during the entire day. Past years weather made it difficult for any boat to complete the course. 

One notable result from the day was the success of the team Pink Paddling Power, which is a dragon boat team made up entirely of women breast cancer survivors. The team won its Division E Finals race Saturday and got a big round of applause during the awards ceremony. 

Here are photos from a great day! 

Walking to shore after a race. 

Getting ready to race ... 

Lincoln Park Boat Club, the fastest team of the festival. 

Each boat had a drummer sit in the front, a steersman or steerswoman in the back 
to guide the boat and about 20 paddlers. 

Racers walking back up to the festival grounds after finishing. 

Pink Paddle Power won their finals race! 

Seagulls were hanging out to watch. 

Stroke! Stroke! Stroke!

Some baby ducklings along the shore. 

Walking down to the boats. 

It was an absolutely perfect day for the races. Congratulations to the Rotary Clubs of Racine for another great event!