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: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

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

Didcot murders: Ribbons mark a town’s grief at the tragedy in their midst

Oxford Mail:

8:50am Tuesday 26th May 2015

BRIGHTLY coloured ribbons tied carefully around posts on the streets of Didcot have become a symbol of solidarity in the town.

Traffic building on M40 between junctions 10 and 11

Oxford Mail: Lorry jackknifes on M40 causing traffic tailbacks

8:27am Tuesday 26th May 2015

DELAYS are expected for drivers on the M40 due to heavy traffic.

Live blog: Body found in hunt for Jed Allen following murder of family in Didcot

Oxford Mail:

8:11am Sunday 24th May 2015

Follow our Live and unrivalled coverage of the murder investigation in Didcot, updated throughout today

Man wanted after Didcot murders works for town council

Oxford Mail:

8:42am Monday 25th May 2015

THE MAN suspected of killing Philip Howard, Janet Jordon and Derin Jordon is employed as an apprentice gardener for Didcot Town Council.

Didcot murders: Smiling face of teenager with the sister he is suspected of killing

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 25th May 2015

CRADLING his baby sister Derin, this is a teenage Jed Allen, the man suspected of killing her and their mother in a house in Didcot.

Didcot murders: More than 100 police officers hunt suspect in three killings

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 25th May 2015

TRIPLE murder suspect Jed Allen was still being sought by police today in an operation involving more than 100 officers.

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