Ready for an oarsome time at Lakeside

Dragon Boat racing at Lakeside
Dragon Boat racing at Lakeside
An artist's impression of what Venture Tower, in Fratton, will look like once it becomes student accommodation

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Teams of rowers will take to the water at Lakeside this weekend in a special Dragon Boat Festival.

The annual event has been organised by Portsmouth and Southsea Rotary Club to raise money for chosen charities the Rowans Hospice, the RNLI and the Rotary Foundation.

Racing takes place at North Harbour, Cosham and spectators are welcome.

The sport of dragon boat racing dates back more than 2,000 years to China’s Mi-Lo river.

Now it takes place across the world, using long, decorated canoes with dragons’ heads at the front and tails at the back.

A team of rowers sit on wooden benches in the middle.

Inside the boat there is also space for a drummer at the bow and the steersperson at the stern.

Each team can have up to 20 crew members and there will be a series of heats taking place across tomorrow and Sunday, where teams will have to row approximately 250m.

This year there are lots of teams taking part (including one from The News).

Whether there for fun or for competition, each team has had to raise £395 to take part and a proportion of the money will go to the designated charities.

Following the action, there will be a prize giving ceremony at the end of the weekend with awards for the three fastest teams, the fastest ladies’ team and the team with the best fancy dress.

During the races there will be a professional commentator to keep the crowd up-to-date with the progress of all the crews.

For spectators there is plenty more to entertain.

Besides watching the races people can see watersport demonstrations, go on a bouncy castle, take part in a variety of activities and join in with laser quest.

Throughout the weekend there will also be various refreshment stalls including ice cream vans, a hog roast, jacket potatoes and a beer tent.

There is plenty of green space at Lakeside which will make the perfect spot for a picnic or barbecue when you need a break from all the races.

This event takes place tomorrow and Sunday from 10am-4pm. Admission for spectators is free.

For more information visit or call Mark Esbester on (023) 9259 5794.