VIDEO: Flathead Lake’s Dragon Boat Festival a Success

By Beacon Staff

2012 Dragon Boat Races on Flathead Lake, Montana from GravityShots.com on Vimeo.

One elated comment seemed to sum up the collective delight from last weekend’s first Dragon Boat Festival on Flathead Lake — next year you might need a bigger lake.

Fifty-six teams, more than 1,200 participants and an estimated 2,800 spectators gathered on a perfect sunny day at Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork for the Montana Dragon Boat Festival. The event featured live music, exciting races and teams all dressed colorfully, embodying the lively spirit that’s become customary for one of the fastest growing sports in the world. The festivities continued at the Red Lion Hotel in Kalispell later that night with a performance from Canadian singer Trevor Panczak.

“The day was great. Everyone seemed to be having such a great time,” said Diane Medler with the Kalispell Convention and Visitors Bureau, which led the effort to bring the international event to the valley.

Next year’s event is already scheduled for the same weekend. Medler said organizers are considering expanding it to a two-day festival, especially after receiving all the positive feedback from teams, spectators and Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, the company that produces these events across the country.

“The teams that traveled here were blown away. They were on board for next year,” Medler said. “There was even a comment that someone posted (online) about us needing a bigger lake next year to fit everyone.”

Proceeds from the event supported Save a Sister, an initiative to promote breast cancer awareness collaborated between North Valley Hospital, Northwest Healthcare and the local city and county health departments. Individual teams competing in the dragon boat races also raised funds for separate nonprofit causes.

Medler expressed her gratitude to the volunteers who helped organize the event. Almost 50 people from across the valley helped run the festival, she said.

Race Results
Most Team Spirit: First Descents Fliers
Best Tent Decoration: FVCC Academic Avengers

1, Volley-Ballers, 2:09.59
2, Lethbridge Wrecking Crew, 2:14
3, Fiat Dux, 2:15.30
4, Montana State University, 2:16.93
5, Academic Avengers, 2:19.97

1, Abreast in the Rockies, 2:25.812
2, Sister Power, 2:37.691
3, Pink Phurree, 2:53.273

1, Team Nomad, 2:11.16
2, Montana Vikings, 2:13.66
3, TDBA Destiny Dragons, 2:15.10
4, North Valley Hospital Healing Dragons, 2:16.63
5, Browning/East Glacier Team, 2:28.58

1, Mann Mortgage Manta Rays, 2:09.46
2, Liquid Assets, 2:09.59
3, Whitefish Credit Union Team Thunder, 2:14.76
4, Monster Greenbacks, 2:15.06
5, Whitefish Credit Union Team Lightening, 2:17.80

1, Lethbridge Blue Bayou, 2:21.80
2, NautiGals Plus, 2:32.51
3, Lethbridge Dragonflies, 2:41.46

1, Grey Matter #1, 2:13.16
2, Kalispell LIONS, 2:15.16
3, A Ray of Hope, 2:16.00
4, First Descents Fliers, 2:16.10
5, DREAM Boat, 2:16.56

1, Las Vegas Honey Badgers, 2:14.33
2, Northern Exposure, 2:18.77
3, National Flood Services Y Knot, 2:19.50
4, Galko Geckos, 2:44.43
5, The Streamliners, 3:06.653

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