Get set for return of Portsmouth Dragon Boat Festival

EVERY year determined paddlers battle it out in a lake for the sake of a good cause.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 6:05 am
The 73rd Portsmouth Scouts team at the 2015 Dragon Boat Festvail

Picture: Paul Jacobs (151634-11)
The 73rd Portsmouth Scouts team at the 2015 Dragon Boat Festvail Picture: Paul Jacobs (151634-11)

And now fundraisers are being urged to rally together for the return of Portsmouth Dragon Boat Festival.

The 2016 spectacle in waters off 1000 Lakeside North Harbour, Portsmouth, takes place on Sunday, May 15.

While the fun-filled event normally runs over two days, this year all teams will compete on just the Sunday.

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Teams are already starting to send in their entries, and those interested in getting involved are being told to secure a place fast. Carol Jenkinson, of the Rotary Club of Southsea Castle, which is putting on the event with the Portsmouth and Southsea Rotary branch, said: ‘For those who are new to the event, it’s a fun way to raise money for your chosen charity and a good team-building exercise.’

Participants need to get a team of at least 17 people together, as each boat holds 16 paddlers and a drummer.

You then compete against each other in a series of heats, with the fastest team receiving a trophy and winners medals. The boats, a fully-qualified helmsman, all safety equipment, training and team tents are supplied by the events company.

Entry for each boat costs £425.

Carol said: ‘It’s a great day out for all the family, as we have lots of fun and exciting things to do for the spectators and teams when they are not competing.

‘There will be also be food and drink outlets, and charity stalls.’

Last year’s festival was postponed until later in the year due to an eruption of algae in the lake.

It was ruled contact with the bacteria had to be avoided and all activities on water had to be rescheduled.

It was brought back in October and proved a roaring success, with musical entertainment being provided by cadets from TS Tenacity, the Nautical Training Corps unit based in Portchester.

To download an entry form and to see videos from past dragon boat festivals, visit