Time to dig in for Dragon Boat races

Last year's Dragon Boat races at Abingdon

Last year's Dragon Boat races at Abingdon

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

THOUSANDS are expected to crowd the banks of the Thames in Abingdon for the 14th annual Dragon Boat races.

The spectacular competition, which sees teams of 17 race at speed in 40ft-long Chinese boats, has raised nearly £400,000 for charity over the years.

Already 17 teams have signed up for the event on Sunday, September 7, and organisers from Abingdon Vesper Rotary Club are still looking for entrants.

There is space for up to 200 more brave souls to compete on the day, and help organisers reach the contest’s full capacity of 30 teams.

Spokesman David Wilde said: “It’s fun for all the family and a great team-building exercise for companies or charities.”

In the boats, teams of 16 rowers pull their oars to the beat of a drummer sat in the head of the boat.

Races are held in a championship from 10am to 5pm until the four-boat final.

Teams are asked to raise sponsorship for charity, giving two thirds to their own chosen cause and donate the rest to the Rotary’s chosen groups.

Boats, life jackets and paddles are provided by the rotary club.

More than 2,000 spectators enjoyed the morning sunshine and ignored the afternoon rain at Rye Farm Meadow last year.

As well as the boating this year, there will be fun fair rides, a bouncy castle, children’s entertainment, a barbecue, beer and tea tents and arts and crafts stalls.

Mr Wilde added: “There’s definitely enough entertainment to keep people amused for a couple of hours.”

Sandra Scott from Eynsham said she had “great fun” watching her son Sam compete last year as part of the Space Cadets team from Abingdon’s ABSL.

Mrs Scott, 58, said: “It was great fun cheering them all on. Everybody was getting excited, it was so close sometimes.

“It is good when you’ve got someone you’re rooting for, but I think there were lots of people who didn’t. It’s just a great day out.”

The race was traditionally held in the summer until the 2012 event was delayed for four months because of wet weather.

Abingdon Town Councillor Alison Rooke urged people to join in the fun.

She said: “It is great fun. It has become a part of the Abingdon cultural calendar. It is always exciting, especially if you know the people in the boats, and it’s all for good causes.

“The better the weather the more crowds there are so the more money you raise for charity.”

Entry for spectators is free but car parking will be charged.

Sign up now at abingdondragonboats.org.uk

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.


Our top stories

'Major hope' that Caterham factory in Leafield could re-open despite F1 team also going into administration

Oxford Mail:

1:34pm Friday 24th October 2014

ADMINISTRATORS have been handed full management responsibility for the Caterham Formula One team in a bid to find a new buyer.

UPDATE: Hundreds line Woodstock's streets for 11th Duke of Marlborough's funeral

Oxford Mail:

11:40am Friday 24th October 2014

HUNDREDS of people have gathered outside St Mary Magdalene's church in Woodstock to pay their respects to the 11th Duke of Marlborough.

Elderly woman taken to hospital after A4074 crash

Oxford Mail: a4074 alert

1:01pm Friday 24th October 2014

AN ELDERLY woman was taken to hospital after two cars crashed on the A4074. 

FOOTBALL Rising star Roberts eager for Oxford United first-team action as Morris returns to Norwich

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 24th October 2014

James Roberts is in no mood to rest on his laurels as the young Oxford United striker looks to feature in a fourth successive game when they visit Carlisle United tomorrow.

Blueprint for a £110m cancer research centre

Oxford Mail: Oxford Univesity logo white lettering blue background new logo

7:00am Friday 24th October 2014

A £110m cancer research centre is planned for Headington to study pioneering treatment with hundreds of county patients.

City roadworks hassle is worthwhile, says minister

Oxford Mail: OCC Cabinet member for transport, David Nimmo-Smith.

6:30am Friday 24th October 2014

MULTIPLE roadworks that cause city traffic gridlock are “worth it”, a minister has said.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree