Cheer on the Pyro Paddlers Saturday during their first race of the summer.
UIC’s dragon boat team will compete at the St. Charles Festival of the Fox Dragon Boat Race at Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave., St. Charles. Races are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Teams compete throughout the day in elimination rounds.
Spectators are encouraged to bring signs supporting the team and wear blue clothing or UIC apparel.
The Pyro Paddlers team is composed of 20 members — students, staff, faculty and alumni. Dragon boat teams have 18 paddlers, a flag puller and a drummer who keeps the rhythm.
To be a dragon boat racer, it helps to possess athleticism and endurance, said co-captain Jenny Korn.
“Having strength is helpful, but it’s not enough,” said Korn, a doctoral student in communication and gender and women’s studies. “Muscling through dragon boat is not the way to win. The ability to stay in sync through watching our lead paddlers, while having the stamina to paddle in a sustained manner, is what sets apart the skilled dragon boat racer.”
Admission and parking for Saturday’s event are free.
“Expect a fun day full of lively racing in warm weather,” Korn said.
The team will also compete in the Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy June 25 in Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W. 19th St.