THE RIVER Thames in Abingdon will be filled with hundreds of fundraisers rowing to drum beats.

The annual Dragon Boat Race, organised by the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, has raised more than £400,000 for charities since 1999.

On Sunday, May 13, it’s expected 24 teams of 16 rowers and a drummer will board 12metre narrow boats and race down the 250-metre course.

There will also be a fun fair, craft stalls, a charity raffle, and food and drink at the Rye Meadow site.

Money raised is split between each team’s chosen causes and the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper’s charities.

Rotary Club member Murray Scott said: “This is a brilliant opportunity to raise money for your favourite charity, and have fun at the same time, or just to have a great day’s entertainment watching, it’s fun for all the family.”

Chris Banks is racing this year in a team from ABSL Power Solutions in Culham.

The group is raising money for Cancer Research UK after colleague Martin Gavin, 30, passed away in February He said: “It’s just a bit of fun and will get people from the company together for a bit of team building. But there is a good motivation (to raise money) there too.”

Another Rotary Club member David Wilde said more than 3,000 people were expected to turn out to support the fundraisers.

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