It might be the Year of the Dog in the Chinese calendar, but this June, it was the weekend of the Dragon, as teams took to the water to compete in the annual Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival.
A dragon boat team consists of 16 paddlers sitting two abreast, a helm who steers the dragon boat from the rear, and a drummer who sits at the front. The team of paddlers work in unison to propel the boat forward from a standing start, the aim being to reach the finish line in the fastest time. Generally a race consists of between 4 and 6 boats. It’s highly competitive, requires great team work and is a brilliant spectator sport.
At Calverton, we are always keen to support the local community (and never afraid of a bit of a competition) so we were very proud to be one of the event’s Gold sponsors.
On the day, the ‘Calverton Capsizers’ team took to the water in our 40Ft Dragon Boat! Our high spirited crew of 16 paddlers and drummer – beating out an excitable and motivational beat to the strokes of the paddlers – battled it out along a course over 200m long.
Willen Lake in Milton Keynes, looked like a visual extravaganza that day, as beautiful boats, complete with brightly coloured dragon heads, took to the water, many with teams of paddlers in some wonderful fancy dress costumes. It was a great spectacle.
We competed against 40 other teams and although we didn’t win, coming 30th was pretty close. But it’s not all about the winning, it about the taking part, and having fun…and we did plenty of that.
So, a big thank you to our team of paddlers and also to our great support on the day from a big crowd of family and friends.
In its 17th year, this amazing event has raised an incredible £250,000 to date for numerous local charities. This year, £13,000 was raised for local charity, MacIntyre, who provide support and learning to children and young adults who have a learning disability and autism.