Team prepares for Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Team prepares for Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival

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It's a peaceful evening on the waters just off the City of Superior, Wis. 

But the scene of pleasant tranquility is being interrupted by the sound of counting as a dragon boats slice through the water this week.

Team practice and preparations for the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival are in full swing before the competitions begin on Saturday. 

The festival is an annual event where 20-member teams race long, skinny rowboats to crown a champion and raise money for cancer research. 

"You have to keep your head up.  Otherwise, if your keeping your head down and you're trying to paddle you're not going to be able to breathe" racer Lori Rich told Newsline 9. 

Rich sits at the bow of her team's dragon boat.  She's in charge of keeping time, and making sure her teams stays in unison.

"I'm the one that keeps the twenty people in beat" Rich said.  "That's one of the biggest things; if they look down they can lose their breath and then stop paddling" she said. 

Though rowing on a narrow boat on Lake Superior may sound like hard work, Rich's team says considering where the proceeds go to from their race, it's well worth all of their efforts.

"For being a breast cancer survivor, and having a niece that's a breast cancer survivor, it is a fun way to raise money for an awesome cause" Rich said. 

This year's festival features 105 teams, each raising donations that will stay local and go to cancer research efforts in Wisconsin.  A true team effort Rich says means the world to her.

"I couldn't think of doing anything better than to participate in something like this.  It's fun.  And they work hard; they really do" Rich said smiling.

The 2012 Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival is taking place on Barker's Island, just offshore from the city of Superior, Wis.

Competition begins at 8 a.m. on Sat.  For details on the events, follow this link: http://www.lakesuperiordragons.com/.

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