Dragon boat festival returns to Portsmouth

A POPULAR boat race is returning to the city this weekend with 27 teams ready to compete.

Friday, 12th May 2017, 6:16 am
Updated Friday, 12th May 2017, 2:30 pm
15/5/16 Portsmouth Dragon Boat Festival at 1000 Lakeside. Pictured is the Should Have Had an Outboard team Picture: Paul Jacobs (160252-5) PPP-160515-163107006

The Portsmouth Dragon Boat Festival is taking place at 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour in Cosham on Sunday.

The annual event, which has been taking place for the last 12 years, is expected to bring hundreds of people with both the racing and on-shore activities for families to enjoy.

Held by the Rotary Club of Southsea Castle, the fun race raises thousands of pounds for charity.

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One of the organisers, Carol Jenkinson, said: ‘This is always a fun day for us and we have lots of teams taking part.

‘We are doing the races on one day this year so there will be lots of action for the spectators.

‘There is going to be lots for people to enjoy off the water, like games, charity stalls, refreshments and other activities.

‘There will be a bouncy castle and other fun for the kids.’

The 27 teams will each take part in three heats with the fastest boats moving onto the finals.

The first race starts at 10am with the final happening just before 4pm.

A presentation for the winners will then be held.

With each team tasked with raising as much money as possible, the day sees thousands of pounds raised for a number of charities across the Portsmouth area.

Carol added: ‘Teams tend to raise between £500 and £1,000 but last year one team raised £4,000, so it’s different every festival.

‘But we normally raise £15,000 to £20,000 and it all goes to the charities.

‘It really is a great day that everyone seems to enjoy from the racers to people coming to watch.

‘We are really looking forward to it.’

The Rotary Club spends nearly a whole year organising the event to ensure it all goes ahead as planned.

The 10am-4pm event is free for spectators but there is a parking charge.

See portsdragonboatfestival.co.uk for more.