Columbus firefighters win dragon boat race as first-ever all firemen’s team

Published 4:15 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Unofficial prelimnary tallies indicate the festival raised approximately $17,000 for the event beneficiaries.&bsp; They are Feed-a-Kid Program in Polk County, New City Christian School of Asheville, Hospice of Rutherford County, Camp Lure-crest of Lake Lure, Lake Lure Youth Center, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Henderson and Polk counties.

An estimated crowd of 2000+ spectators enjoyed an almost full day of family fun watching 18 dragon boat teams race all day, children jumping endlessly on the largest inflatable playground ever seen in Rutherford County, big smiles as Charlie the Choo Choo gave the tots a train ride, enjoying both Asian and American food served by six vendors at the food court, and strolling through 20 exhibitors booths. &bsp;

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All this surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty and warm hospitality of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village.

The center attraction of the festival was, of course, the dragon boat races.&bsp; Eighteen teams paddled their hearts, lungs and backs out to capture the winning slot in one of the five race divisions.&bsp; Of special note was the first-ever breast cancer survivor team, captained by Marty Glaser, the first-ever youth (almost all youth) team from Bat Cave Baptist Church.

Results are below:

Women&squo;s Division: &bsp;

1st Place, Mad Paddlers, captain Esther Wallace of Knoxville, TN; Time: 2:37.28 sec.

2nd Place, Bosom Buddies, captain Marty Glaser of Lake Lure,&bsp; Time: 2:52.37 sec

Masters Division:&bsp;&bsp;&bsp; &bsp;

1st Place, Made In USA, captain Germaine Richtner of Lake Lure, Time:&bsp; 1:13.47 sec.

Open Division: &bsp;

1st Place,&bsp; Dragon Slayers, captain Bobby Arledge of Columbus F.D. Time: 1:12.56 sec.

Mixed Community Division: &bsp;

1st Place, Lake Lure River Racers, captain Eric Hester of Lake Lure, Time: 1:11.14 sec.

2nd Place, White Knuckle Paddlers, captain Jeremy White of Camp Lure Crest, Time:&bsp; 1:11.42 sec.

3rd Place, Bat Cave Baptist Church, captain Eric Keel of Bat Cave, Time:&bsp; 1:13.00 sec.

Mixed Corporate Division:&bsp;&bsp; &bsp;

1st Place, Scaled Rulers, captain Rich Guthmann of Charlotte&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp; Time:&bsp; 1:12.30

2nd Place, Web Crawlers, captain Etchy Yountz of Lake Lure,&bsp; Time:&bsp; 1:13.92

3rd Place, Mountain Dragons, captain Jane Caldwell of Mt. 1st Bank, Lake Lure,

Time: 1:15.65

The team with the most pledge money collected was the Bosom Buddies with $2,511.&bsp; The individual with the most pledge money collected was Etchy Yountz of the Web Crawlers with $875.

The festival director was Doug Long, and the premier event sponsors were Camp Lurecrest, Pinnacle Sotheby&squo;s Int&squo;l. Realty, Timken Company and the Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber of Commerce, Clear Channel of Asheville (the exclusive radio sponsor), the Tourism Development Authority of Rutherford Co.,Community First Media, Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation, King Law Offices, and&bsp; 22 patron sponsors. The 80+ volunteers were chaired by Peggy Long. Organizers say the event attracted 216 paddlers and many spectators whose participation supported the improvement of the quality of life and future for thousands of children in the region.

For information about the Lake Lure dragon boat organization and more upcoming events, visit