Give To the Max logo

With the transition to a season of thanksgiving, many people start to reflect on year end giving. Please consider supporting the club’s vision of being “the flagship dragon boat club in Minnesota, fostering community, compassion, challenge, and competition through sport and teamwork.” The Minnesota Dragon Boat Club will be participating in its first Give to the Max Day, Thursday, November 14th. Or you can support the club through our Circles of Giving and/or one of the many other ways suggested on our website. We accept donations 365 days a year. The Minnesota Dragon Boat Club is a designated 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, EIN 83-3034541. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent of the law. Please contact your tax professional for advice.

Season Happenings

Shot from bow of boat looking toward paddlers wearing warm clothing holding paddles upright in a 'V' formation
Last practice before cleaning and transporting Aurora for winter hibernation – October 2019

The Minnesota Dragon Boat Club has cared well for its lovely boat Aurora and practiced up to five times a week during the peak of the season. The club also continued its outreach and competed in its first official dragon boat festival! Practices continued through September and October, but our wet and cold October weekends cut into our paddle time. Our last paddle on October 19th included rain, wind, and eventually sunshine as we pulled Aurora out of the water for a final cleaning and inspection before we put her away for the season.

Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival

On Friday, August 23, the Minnesota Dragon Boat Club (MNDBC) showed up in Superior, Wisconsin, to participate in pre-race activities (waking the dragon, passing the paddle, practice, and potluck) before its first competition the next day.

Combined team photo of Team Blue and Green at the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival
Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival 2019 – Teams Blue and Green

As board member and teammate Judith Trudel noted, the club brought two teams of 20 paddlers, with 17 of 37 participating in their first racing festival. Unexpectedly, we paddled 400 meters (rather than the anticipated 350 meter course) races, with this result:

  • Round 1: MNDBC Blue 1:59:79; MNDBC Green 1:54:77
  • Round 2: MNDBC Blue 1:56:16; MNDBC Green 1:54:30
  • Final standings: Green 11th and Blue 13th of 54 teams

In addition, the excitement, enthusiasm, camaraderie, and good sportsmanship of the club’s members—both with each other and their opponents—earned it the “Spirit of the Festival” Award. MNDBC members also donated over 200 individual items to Life House Duluth, providing personal hygiene and other items to homeless youth in the Twin Ports area. No wonder festival organizers urged the crowd of attendees to “keep an eye on” this “up-and-coming brand new club”!

Caring for Aurora

Club members clean the interior of the dragon boat in the sunshine.
Aurora’s last bath – October 2019

Many members stepped forward over the summer to make sure we could count on our Aurora for practice. Plagued all summer by gulls doing their business on the boat’s bright blue cover, members scrubbed after every practice until a member (thank you, Joe!) concocted a string of foil ribbons strung above the boat to frighten the birds away. The gulls congregate elsewhere now!


MNDBC members standing under the finish line banner for the St. Paul Triathlon after volunteering for the morning with the event.
Members volunteering at the St. Paul Triathlon – August 2019

Continuing MNDBC’s outreach, members volunteered for the St. Paul Triathlon and Fall Classic Duathlon at our home beach on Lake Phalen and nearby Lake Elmo Park Reserve, respectively. Showing up at 6:00 am and working until noon, we marked swimmers, directed bikers, watered runners, served hamburgers, and more. We learned a lot about tri’s and bi’s and established a presence.

What’s Ahead?

The social life and community outreach of the club will continue through the winter months. Here are a few things we are looking forward to:

  • Based on member feedback, we expect team formation plans for 2020 to be announced in early December and membership renewals to begin then in earnest.
  • Plans are in the works for a fundraiser event in late February or early March; we hope to see you all there!
  • We anticipate meet-n-greet events in March and April as we develop our 2020 recruitment strategy. Plus, they were a lot of fun!

So, as you can see, while our boat is in her winter repose, there is still a lot going on. We thank you for your interest and support!