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– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

Piper Spurrier of Fort Dodge and Kynadee Dodd of Wisconsin slide down the giant slide set up on the hill overlooking Badger Lake during the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash on Saturday.

The 2022 Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash ended in a photo-finish – and a tie.

In the A Division Finals, the Motley Crew, of Racine, Wis.; The NEW Dragon Masters Cooperative, Fort Dodge; and the Cedar River Gang of eastern Iowa, were neck and neck as the teams paddled Lake Badger.

In the end, The Motley Crew and the Dragon Masters crossed the finish line together, with a time of 97.4 seconds, or 1.623 minutes. The Cedar River Gang was not far behind with a final time of 98.1 seconds, or 1.635 minutes.

“If someone wasn’t there at the end of the day to see the last race, they probably missed one of the best races I’ve been in in 25 years,” said event co-chair Barb Michaels.

Although the excitement was at the end of the day, the main event was the afternoon ceremony for breast cancer survivors. The Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash celebrates and honors local women who have survived or are still battling breast cancer. According to event co-chair Linda Donner, a silent auction raised more than $5,000 for UnityPoint Health’s Cancer Center – Trinity Regional Medical Center to help cover uninsured patient needs.

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

Members of the Fighting Angels Abreast dragon boat team paddle Lake Badger on Saturday.

The event took root many years ago when Daybreak Rotary Club members Donner and Michaels started a cleanup event on the Des Moines River. After a few years of this, the river became too low to descend, and the club decided they were ready to pass the event on to another group. That’s what started the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Association, Michaels said.

“One of the other things we’ve done as an organization has been to help start breast cancer teams in the Midwest,” Michaels said. “We have created our own breast cancer team, which offers support to newly diagnosed women.”

Three teams of breast cancer survivors competed on Saturday – Fighting Angels Abreast, of Fort Dodge; Life is Happiness, by Ames; and KC Pink Warriors of Kansas City.

“On the boat, nothing else exists, except that moment”, Michaels said at the breast cancer survivor ceremony. “What a positive way to live life, especially for a survivor.”

The survivors were all given pink carnations to throw in the lake in honor of those battling breast cancer.

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

The Dragoneirs, a youth dragon boat team, were one of two youth teams participating in the 2022 Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash on Saturday at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

In the boats, 20 paddlers, a drummer and a helmsman, work in unison to propel their boats through the water.

“The main objective is teamwork, because if you don’t work together you can’t make things happen”, Michaels said. “And that’s especially true in the boat.”

It takes dozens of volunteers to organize the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash — which kicked off with a concert and fireworks Friday night at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park. The volunteers did everything from running the concessions, loading the boats, timing the races, assisting with parking, and more.

“We can’t thank our volunteers enough” Michaels said. “We had a small but mighty army of volunteers.”

RACE RESULTS

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

The Interstates Dragon Boat Team paddles to the race start line at the 2022 Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash on Saturday.

Finals

Section A

Motley Crew – 1,623 (in minutes)

NEW Cooperative Dragon Masters – 1,623

Cedar River Gang – 1,635

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

The NEW Cooperative Dragon Masters, in Boat 2, and the Interstates Dragon Boat Team, in Boat 1, were neck and neck in the second timed practice at the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash on Saturday. The Dragon Masters ultimately tied in the finals with the Motley Crew of Racine, Wisconsin.

Section B

Interstate – 1,703

Silver Bullet – 1.848

Cargill corn rowers – 1.917

Youth

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

The Life is Bliss dragon boat team of Ames decorated their tent with unique bras at the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash on Saturday. The team is made up of breast cancer survivors.

Eagle Team – 2.106

Dragoneirs – 2,451

breast cancer survivors

KC Rose Warriors – 1,800

Life is happiness – 1.974

Fight the Angels head-on – 2.199

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

On Saturday, dragon boat teams cruise past a family fishing at Lake Badger during the Lake Badger Dragon Boat Festival.

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

The KC Pink Warriors, a team of breast cancer survivors from Kansas City, won the breast cancer survivor team final at the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash, with a time of 1.8 minutes.

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

The dragon boats are filled with breast cancer survivors holding up pink carnations in honor of those who are still fighting.

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

A pink carnation floats in Badger Lake following a ceremony honoring breast cancer survivors at the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash on Saturday.


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