ORIENTAL -

The 3rd Annual Dragon Boat race in Oriental kicked off as planned, but strong winds and a heavy down pour brought the much anticipated event to an early end.

More than 400 paddlers took turns conquering the water while 200 plus fans cheered them on.

“It was good there were a lot of people everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves,” said Pamela Wager.

That is until the weather suddenly shifted during the 6th round.

“We thought it was going to be a little drizzle and pass over but the wind picked up it got a little heavier waves were crashing,” said Taylor Gregg. ”Some of the boaters were getting ready to go and load up to go out again and the person in charge said we can't do this 2 boats flipped over. I was pretty freaked out.”

Nick Van Norman owner of Taste of Creole had a front row seat to all of the action. “Everybody was like oh,” Van Norman said. “It got quite interesting a couple of the skiffs were trying come in a make sure people were safe.”

No one was seriously injured. The water was shallow enough for participants to walk out of the water

The 18 round race was quickly cut short. Eventually the sun made its way back out, just in time to award those who braved out the storm

Everyone who braved the storm received an award.