Manitoba's rowing community is racing on the water this weekend to raise $150,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.

The second annual River City Dragon Boat Festival took place Saturday at Lake Shirley in Transcona.


Dragon boat races to raise money for cancer research are taking place in Winnipeg this weekend. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Jason MacInness of the Manitoba Paddling Association says 116 teams and some 2,400 athletes are competing over the course of the weekend, and the event draws up to 12,000 people. 

He said rowing for cancer research is a winning combination.

Mba paddling association

Jason MacInness of the Manitoba Paddling Association said over the weekend thousands of people will come out to watch dragon boat races this weekend. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

"It's a great sport. We're all passionate about it," he said.

"It's a great event because we get to bring out people. We bring out the food vendors. We have the tents. It's a great atmosphere, family atmosphere and we get to showcase our sport and do something great for charity." 

MacInness said as of Saturday afternoon, $140,000 had been raised.

The event continues Sunday with the Manitoba High School Dragon Boat Challenge.