Dragons head for the water

General manager at the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth, 

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DOZENS of teams took part in a two days of dragon boat races in North Harbour over the weekend.

More than 600 people took part in the team event, with hundreds more turning up to cheer on their friends and family members.

The Pothole Prisoners team during their race.''Picture: Sarah Standing (141480-6204) PPP-140518-192434001

The Pothole Prisoners team during their race.''Picture: Sarah Standing (141480-6204) PPP-140518-192434001

The event, now in its 10th year, was organised by two Rotary Club branches - Portsmouth and Southsea and Southsea Castle.

Mark Esbester, chairman of the dragon boat committee, said on Sunday: ‘It is our 10th festival; the 7th at Lakeside.

‘We hold it for two reasons, one to make as much money for charity as we can. Team members are sponsored and raise a lot each year.

‘We also do it because it is a really fun couple of days.

‘We have had the beautiful sunshine this year and we are pleased to have such a good venue to do this at.

‘We really want to raise about £25,000 this year. It has gone fantastically well so far.

‘Teams have had a great time and we are looking forward to doing the same thing next year.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt gave out prizes and trophies on Saturday, with Lord Mayor Councillor Lynne Stagg doing the honours on Sunday. Carol Jenkinson, a dragon boat committee member from Southsea Castle Rotary Club branch, said the event was ‘the 10th anniversary and the best event yet’.

She added: ‘It has been absolutely brilliant.’

One of the scores of families that made their way to Lakeside for the event was Steve Horsell’s.

Steve, from Portsmouth, said: ‘I think it has been excellent. It has been great fun. There are a lot of people enjoying it here.

‘I haven’t been before but I would definitely come back again.’

He enjoyed the day with his wife and two children.