For Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club team members Rich Stewart and Sheaffer Sorrells, Saturday was a busy day, but the pressure for them to perform was off.
Normally, they’re competing with Olympic athletes and trying to make the cut, but this day was dedicated to running the 2010 Atlanta Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue.
Stewart, Sorrells and other LCKC team members competed and organized the event, which featured 72 teams mostly from the East region.
Their goal was to raise money and awareness for the club.
“This is a great fundraiser that brings us money and brings interest in the club,” Stewart said. “People get to learn exactly what it is we do, and they get to find out what goes on at LCKC. This helps out the community to.”
Stewart said money raised will go to different functions of the program, including new boats, a middle school racing league and the funding of high performance athletes.
“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” he said. “This is more a fun atmosphere for our athletes. Everyone enjoys coming out to this festival-like atmosphere.
“I just love any any exposure this sport gets, because it’s not big in the United States.”
Sorrells said the team was glad to be home after competing in the International Canoe Federation World Championships in Hungary.
“It was a hard trip and the competition was tough,” he said. “But now that we’re here, we’re excited to be here. We’re really fortunate to host this event. We’ve got great facilities and a lot of support from the community. This helps us function as a club.”
First place finishers:
500 meter finals: LCKC “A” (two minutes, 15.84 seconds), Florida Everblades-Crocs (2:28.78), Red Dragons ICE (2:30.28) (all 500 races Open division)
250 meter finals: Georgia Tech (1:08.73, Collegiate division), Honk Kong Student Association-Emory (1:23.17, Collegiate), AT&T-Explore (1:19.91, International), HKSA-Georgia Tech (1:21.91, Collegiate), Suno Dessert (1:13.16, Recreational), AT&T-Dragon (1:15.87, International), AJC International (1:16.80, International), Laotians of Atlanta (1:08.24, Laotian), Malaysian Association of Georgia (1:11.30, Recreational), The Home Depot Orange Dragons (1:06.41, International), Charlotte Fury (1:02.61, Open), The Leathernecks (1:07.96, Open), ScORCh (1:06.08, Recreational), AT&T-Rocket (1:02.52, International), Atlanta Canoe Club (0:59.27, Recreational), LCKC “A” (0:56.37).
2,000 meter finals: Florida Everblades-Gators (9:26.04, Open), LCKC “A” (8:38.32, Open).