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

Man armed with broken bottle robs bookmakers in Bicester

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

1:20pm Sunday 1st March 2015

A MAN brandishing a broken bottle robbed a bookmakers in Bicester yesterday.

Ferrari 458 seized by police on M40 near Bicester after driver believed to have no licence

Oxford Mail:

11:55am Sunday 1st March 2015

Police seized this £200,000 Ferrari 458 on the M40 in Oxfordshire this morning.

Man in life-threatening condition in hospital after collision with car near Banbury

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

2:33pm Saturday 28th February 2015

A pedestrian is fighting for their life in hospital after being in a collision with a car near Banbury this morning.

Flowers planted at memorial garden to Jayden Parkinson in Didcot by family and friends

Oxford Mail:

1:29pm Saturday 28th February 2015

FAMILY and friends of a murdered teenager have planted flowers at her memorial garden today.

Defibrillator Campaign on target as 1,000 join up to be lifesavers

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 28th February 2015

AS 1,000 lifesavers have now been trained across Oxfordshire, the campaign to install more than 300 defibrillators is set to hit its target next month.

Good Samaritan conned by Botley petrol fraudster

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 28th February 2015

A GOOD Samaritan who said she was conned out of £70 by a highway fraudster is warning others about being caught in his trap.

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