Venture Crew Scouts solid at Dragon Boat Races on Saturday

Published 1:00 pm Friday, May 26, 2017

By Col. Bobby Miller
Special Daily News

Area Venturer Scouts continued their participation in the annual Greater New Orleans International Dragon Boat Festival Races.
The group was successful. They won one championship and placed third in another division in a very impressive performance.
The event, which took place on the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville, was hosted by the St. Tammany Tourist Commision and the Madisonville Chamber of Commerce. It benefitted Breast Cancer research, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and St. Tammany Hospital.
Twenty-seven teams, many from out-of-state, competed for various divisional championships with each paddling three heats in the competition.
Bogalusa Venturer Crew 313, sponsored by The Daily News, and Bush Venturer Crew 213, sponsored by the Sun United Methodist Church, entered two teams in the coed event. Crew 313 provided the males and 213 provided the female paddlers for each boat.
The Venturer Scouts, racing in two divisions, made an impressive appearance by being in the final championship heats in their respective racing divisions.
In the Premier Mixed B Consolation Championship Race, the Bogalusa Lions Venture Scout Dragon Chasers, in a photo finish, took first and the championship with a time of 2:30.81 over second place Kreller Krew of New Orleans at 2:30.83 and Actin’ Up of Mandeville at 2:39.74.
Team members were drummer Ivan Guidry and paddlers Tyler Milner, Jacob Stillwell, Rex Perrette, Zachary Kirkland, Matthew Dennis, Elijah Moss, Jacob Simmons, Wesley Talley, Zane Thomas, John Gulczynski, Callie Hunt, Harley Hunt, Ansley Mulina, Stephanie Stillwell and Michele Simmons.
In the Premier Mixed A Grand Championship Race, the second team, entered by the area scouts — The Bogalusa Lions Venturer Scouts Dragons — placed third with a time of 2:20.18 behind Forged Steele Cross Fit of Slidell at 2:05.02 and second place Blue Dragons of Tampa, Fla. at 2:05.78, which was only a 15-second difference between the three teams.
Team members of the Dragons were drummer Bella Normand and paddlers Roo Breland, Rory Breland, Breannan Crosby, Matthew Russell, Tyler Seals, Emile Frey, James Stevenson III, Dylan Seals, Chris Weintritt, Scott Seals, Russ Haik, Sarah Batty, Kirsten Barber, Lauren Haik and Sophie Normand.
This was the seventh-consecutive year the local scouts have competed in the dragon boat race, either winning or placing third or better, in each race.
The dragon boats used were provided b y Canada’s Great White North Dragon Boat Association, each measuring 40 feet long and three feet wide.
A team of 20 paddlers, 10 male and 10 female on each side, paddle in unison to the beat of a drummer at the bow and an oarsman at the stern, guiding the boat.
To be successful in dragon boat racing, synchronicity and coordination of the team is more important than team strength.
The fun and experience by the young venturer scouts against their adult competitors will be everlasting and was made possible through the sponsorship of the Bogalusa Lions Club, which sponsored the two teams.
The next event for the area venturer scouts is the Bayou Liberty Canoe and Pirogue Races that take place Sunday, June 4.

Bogalusa Lions Venturer Scout Dragons display their third-place medals won in the Premier Mixed A Grand Championship Racing Division in the Greater New Orleans Dragon Boat Festival Race.

Bogalusa Lions Venturer Scout Dragon Chasers display their first-place medals and championship cup they won in the Premier Mixed B Grand Championship Racing Division in the Greater New Orleans International Dragon Boat Festival Race held on the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville.