Teams gearing up for Gloucester Dragon Boat Festival
By David Wood | 5th May 2023
Crews are getting ready for the Gloucester Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday, May 14.
The charity event, organised by the Rotary Club of Gloucester Severn, is set to see 28 teams racing at Gloucester Docks.
The races start beneath the swing bridge on Llanthony Road and finish more or less level with "Greek at the Docks" at Merchants Quay. The course is roughly 300 metres long. The first race of the day is at 10am and the final one at approximately 5pm.
There are morning races that lead up to semi-finals and a final, with the same format with different teams in the afternoon. There are trophies for the morning and afternoon winners along with the coveted Dragon Boat Shield for the fastest winning team on the day. There will be a small number of stalls around the dockside on the day along with some funfair rides.
Nick Bishop, one of the organisers, said: ""Dragon boat racing originated in China 2,000 years ago. It involves up to 10 rowers sitting side by side in a 30-foot long canoe, with a helm to steer and a drummer sitting up high in front, beating out the rhythm. The boats are fitted with a colourful dragon's head and are a truly impressive sight at speed.
"With the teams all signed up and attendance on the day being free, it's a great opportunity for everyone to come along and support those teams racing and experience Dragon Boat Racing for the first time. Maybe you will be tempted to enter a team in 2024."
Nick added: "All funds raised during the event will go towards charities that our Rotary Club support, but our main beneficiary from the festival is our headline charity Young Gloucestershire. The modern world can throw a lot at the young people of today. No matter what their situation YG provides opportunities and support to help young people to achieve their goals.
"By working and supporting YG we want to aid the staff, youth workers, trainers and advisers to do what they can to ensure that the young people in our community get the most out of the opportunities that come their way.
"Needless to say that we can't get events like this up and running without the help of our main sponsors. Once again Gloucester Carpet Outlet and GR Lanes Healthcare have continued to support the event and we are very grateful."
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