ST. CHARLES – After beating their drums and rowing their way down the Fox River during RiverFest in St. Charles, a handful of teams claimed bragging rights after placing in the Dragon Boat Races.
Each boat carried 18 paddlers, one drummer to keep the rowing beat and an experienced steerman.
Two boats at a time raced down the about 300-meter stretch of river near Pottawatamie Park on Saturday and Sunday.
Race coordinator Paul Wasylyszyn said Saturday’s winners in the Komodo division, which is for teams that are faster in time trials, included the Bad @ 55 Bikers team, which claimed first place. Second place went to the Paddlin’ for MB team, and third place went to the Jump Ship team.
In Saturday’s Lizard division, which is for teams that were slower in time trials, the Rookies team came in first place.
Second place went to the Knight Riders and third place went to the Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing team.
Sunday’s first-place winners in the Komodo division were the Windy City Black Dragons team.
In second place were The Teamers and third place were the Draggin Anchors team.
In the Lizard division on Sunday, the WD Seas took first place; the Ethos 360 team won second place; and the Second 2 None team won third place.
Two racers also were awarded the Carol Oie Spirit Award, which is named after one of the people responsible for starting the Dragon Boat Races in St. Charles. Saturday’s spirit award went to the Knight Riders and Sunday’s award went to the Fit Mommas team.
Wasylyszyn said 27 teams participated over the weekend – the most he has seen in six years of coordinating the races. He said winning the race isn’t necessarily about strength.
“It’s technique and timing,” he said. “It’s truly a team sport.”