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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Teams of twenty paddled 45-foot long canoes this weekend in the Carolina Beach Yacht Basin for the first Annual Carolina Beach Dragon Boat Regatta and Festival.

Crews dressed up in different costumes and took off from the Gibby’s Dock and Dine Restaurant in a battle to the finish line. Organizers say the competition is a fun, easy way to improve health and wellness.

“It was fun. We have been practicing for weeks,” said Island Women team member Susan Lobalbo. “We have been practicing on chairs. It was a fundraiser so we just got together, and we had our own cheerleaders.”

The Island Women lost two races on their own, but once they teamed up with The Island Men in the finals, the group paddled ahead of their competition to the finish line.

The event raised money for the Carolina Beach Fire Department and Got-em-on Live Bait Club. As of Saturday, the fire department wasn’t sure of how much money the race brought in.

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