St. Lawrence River Dragon Boat Challenge draws more than 1,000 spectators
Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 5:46 am

The Flying Dragons team took first place in this years St. Lawrence River Dragon Boat Challenge in the 20-paddler event. Photo submitted by CHMC.

WADDINGTON – Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center’s fifth annual St. Lawrence River Dragon Boat Challenge on July 13 featured 16 teams this year and drew more than 1,000 spectators to Waddington beach, said organizers.

New this year were both small and standard dragon boats. Teams could consist of 10 paddlers and a drummer or 20 paddlers and a drummer. Teams of the same size raced against each other with the fastest times being awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals, said a CHMC press release.

In the 10-paddler group, Knot Sober took gold (first place), The Rag Tags took silver (second place), and 93.5 The Wolf took bronze (third place).

In the 20-paddler group, Flying Dragons narrowly won gold over Bucc Wild. Urine My Thoughts took bronze.

Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing of Knoxville, TN, provided the specialized boats and the expertise to put on a successful race, the press release said.

The event was hosted by Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center and sponsored, in part, by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

In-kind sponsors included Pepsi Cola Bottlers of Ogdensburg and Walmart.

Steve Lanning provided crane services, and the Waddington Rescue Squad spent the day on hand to provide safety and medical services.

Teams included representatives from many area healthcare institutions including Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Gouverneur Hospital, St. Lawrence Surgery, corporate and community-based teams as well as three teams from Claxton-Hepburn. A youth team from Edwards-Knox also competed. Returning for a second time was Hope Chest of Buffalo, who brought two 20-paddler teams of breast cancer survivors. As part of the day’s events, a special carnation ceremony was held to recognize those that have lost their fight against cancer and those that continue to fight.

Local vendors provided food for the crowd and many of the teams traveling stayed in local hotels and campgrounds helping to generate revenue for the community, organizers said.

Information about the 2020 St. Lawrence River Dragon Boat Challenge can be found on the event’s website: The race date will be announced in the future.

For more information on being a part of the 2020 event, contact Claxton-Hepburn’s marketing & public relations department at 315-713-5251.