Portsmouth & Southsea Rotary Club Annual Charity Dragon Boat Festival 2017

May 14, 2017

Dragon Boat racing is exciting, fun and addictive for both participants and spectators alike. Join us on Sunday 14 May for a fantastic family day out.

Organised by the Portsmouth & Southsea Rotary, the Annual Charity Dragon Boat Festival is an excellent opportunity for companies and community groups to raise money for their own charities whilst donating a small percentage to the nominated charities of the local rotary club.

The event is great for team building day and an opportunity for all – young and old- to have a great day out.

What is dragon boat racing?

The sport dates back more than 2000 years to China’s Mi-Lo river about 400BC. Today with over one million teams competing worldwide it is the second most popular sport on the planet. Dragon boats are long, elaborately decorated canoes with a dragon’s head and tail attached. There are wooden benches for the crew as well as room at the helm for the drummer and space at the stern for the steersperson to stand. It caters for all ages in one crew, male and female. The sport organisers, Dragon Boat Events Ltd, provide all the boats, instructions, life jackets and safety systems.

The day consists of a number of heats between teams to determine their fastest times. Each team will initially run three heats and their fastest time is used to determine whether they go forward into the finals. The finalists fight it out to determine an overall winner, runner up and third place, all of whom receive trophies for their efforts.

A number of junior teams also take part and have their own finals and trophies.

Teams consist of 16 paddlers and a drummer, whose job it is to beat time and try to ensure the paddling is synchronised. A qualified helmsman, provided by the organisers, also takes part and steers the boat safely from start to finish.

No experience is required – this is a fun event and taking part should be more important than winning. The real winners are the charities for whom sponsorship money is raised by the participants.

The event has become far more than just Dragon Boat racing – the large site here is ideal for a wide range of peripheral activities, which include food outlets, ice cream and refreshments as well as various challenging events to fill the time between races.

Entry for spectators is completely free and there is ample parking on the site, for which a small charity contribution is requested.

For more information visit the website

If you have any questions or would like to enter a team please contact: teams@portsdragonboatfestival.co.uk


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