En­ter the Dragons

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By MATTHEW REVILLE

AN ex­cited crowd cheered on friends, fam­ily and to­tal strangers as they rowed their hearts out at the an­nual Dragon Boat Race.

A to­tal of 36 teams com­peted at the event on the River Nene in Peter­bor­ough yes­ter­day to raise thou­sands of pounds for char­i­ties.

The Dragon Boat race in­vites to­tal novices to try their hand at row­ing an 18 seat ves­sel along a 200 me­tre stretch of the River Nene along­side the Em­bank­ment.

Or­gan­iser Merk Hauck, of Gable Events, said: “It is a great thing for the kids and we are de­lighted to see ev­ery­one hav­ing such a good time.

“The fes­ti­val has a ca­sual but lively at­mos­phere which is ex­actly what we wanted. Ev­ery­thing has gone re­ally well.

“In to­tal we have raised in ex­cess of £15,000 on the day, but we are still col­lect­ing do­na­tions so that might in­crease.”

This year East Anglia Chil­dren’s Hos­pices will re­ceive two-thirds of the do­na­tions, with the rest be­ing spread around a va­ri­ety of char­i­ties.

Each team con­sisted of 16 row­ers, one drum­mer and one steerer. Staff from lo­cal com­pa­nies and or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil and the Queens­gate shop­ping cen­tre took part in the event.

The squad from Queens­gate epit­o­mised the fun na­ture of the event, and team mem­ber Carol Wake­lin said they didn’t mind if they fin­ished first or last.

Mrs Wake­lin, who works as the shop­ping cen­tre’s en­vi­ron­ment co­or­di­na­tor, said: “It is a great at­mos­phere down here.

“Al­though there is ob­vi­ously a bit of com­pe­ti­tion we don’t mind where we fin­ish – as long as we don’t fall in the river.”

A crew of teach­ing as­sis­tants from The Phoenix School dressed as sailors in an at­tempt to re­tain their prize as best dressed team, which they won last year by wear­ing pirate out­fits.

Rower Louise Alexan­der said: “We ac­tu­ally prac­ticed with a row­ing ma­chine in our of­fice last week. We took it in turns to row for 10 min­utes through­out the day.

“But we are all here so­cially and I think we had a bet­ter chance of win­ning the fancy dress prize than the ac­tual race.”

Con­tin­u­ing the fancy dress theme Mar­cus Howe (21) dressed as a smurf to cap­tain one of the five El­liott Group boats.

But nei­ther ef­fort im­pressed as much as Ac­cent Nene’s ‘Clown­ing Around’ team, whose face­paint and clown cos­tumes won them the cov­eted prize.

As well as the races there was a fair­ground put on for the day in­clud­ing dodgems, fly­ing teacups and a climb­ing wall.

The event also in­cluded en­ter­tain­ment by jug­gler Dan The Hat, a the­atri­cal lion dance by the Wing Chun Kung Fu Chi­nese dis­play team and even a Bat­tle of Bri­tain flight Dakota air­craft fly­past.

Pic­ture: PAUL FRANKS

SPEC­TA­CLE: Crews com­pete in the Dragon Boat Rac­ing on the River Nene yes­ter­day. (METP-20-06-10PF057)

SPLASHING TIME: The El­liott Kitchen Sinkers put their backs into it. (METP-20-06-10PF001)

Pic­ture: PAUL FRANKS

EF­FORT: The Lark­fleet Dragons put ev­ery­thing into their first heat. (METP-20-06-10PF033)

PAD­DLING: Crews com­pete on the Nene yes­ter­day. (METP-20-06-10PF014)

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