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Pairings announced for Riverfest dragon boat races

Pairings announced for Riverfest dragon boat races

Rain or shine, high water or not, the Pride of the Fox RiverFest Dragon Boat Races are set for Saturday and Sunday along the banks of the Fox River in St. Charles' Pottawatomie Park.

This will be the 17th annual running of the races at RiverFest, commemorating the 2,000-year-old sport, which originated in China.

Chinese dragon boats are 40 feet long, weigh 1,900 pounds and are raced two at a time down a 328-yard course by 20-member teams comprised of 18 paddlers, a drummer to keep cadence and a flag-catcher. Races are run in sets of two, allowing teams to have an inboard and outboard lane in the double elimination tournament.

Combined times for the inboard (nearest the shoreline) and outboard (nearest open water) heats are combined to determine a team's placing. Racing continues, pitting teams against each other in a second round and then a championship. While average teams may break the two-minute mark, experienced racing crews will beat 90 seconds.

The format has races going from early morning through late afternoon, except for a break at 1 p.m. each day for a water ski show, featuring the 3-time national champion Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team.

Most, but not all, of the teams in this year's races are from the Fox Valley. The ornately decorated boats are on loan from the American Dragon Boat Association, which sanctions the races and provides experienced steersmen for all races.

Pairings and order of races for Saturday:

8:30 a.m. - Knights of Columbus Knight Riders vs. Rookies Dragons

8:50 a.m. - Evanston Lighthouse vs. Elgin Blue Wave 1

9:10 a.m. - Team Survivor of Madison, WI, an all-women team of cancer survivors which began competing in 2003 vs. McNally's Nishnabe

9:30 a.m. - Batavia United Methodist vs Knot n Sync, which began competing in 2002

9:50 a.m. - Mitutoyo Dragons vs. Elgin Blue Wave 2

10:10 a.m. - Elgin Community College vs. Boondocks

Pairings and order of races for Sunday:

8:00 a.m. - Hampshire Animal Hospital vs. St. Charles Clinic

8:20 a.m. - Fermi Lab's Dragon Runners, which began competing in 2001 vs. City of St. Charles

8:40 a.m. - Fox Valley Rugby Club vs. St. Charles East/North Drill Teams

9:00 a.m. - Baxia's Clan vs. Lincoln School's Lovely Ladies

9:20 a.m. - Dragon Flies, sponsored by Kettley Realty vs. Harris Bank

9:40 a.m. - St. Charles Mothers Club vs. Yoga from the Heart

10:00 a.m. - Panda Express vs. Fox Valley Volkswagen

10:20 a.m. - Blazing Paddlers vs. TBA

Updated : 2021-04-22 11:22 GMT+08:00