Dragon boat races to be a roaring success

Dragon boat racing on the lake at Wicksteed Park, Kettering, organised by the Rotary Club, in 2012

Dragon boat racing on the lake at Wicksteed Park, Kettering, organised by the Rotary Club, in 2012

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Organisers say they hope this year’s dragon boat race at Wicksteed Park will be an even bigger success than ever before.

The charity event, now in its fourth year, will be held at the Kettering park on Sunday, September 1.

Five Rotary clubs – two from Rushden, two from Kettering and one from Corby – have come together to stage the event, which raises money for Lakelands Hospice in Corby and Cransley Hospice in Kettering, along with other charities supported by the Rotary clubs.

Organiser Alan Armson, from the Rushden Chichele club, said they hoped to exceed last year’s charity total of £17,500.

Mr Armson said: “We are looking to do substantially better this year. We have got 39 teams signed up, which should make a really good day for the competing teams and the public. We have always had plenty of people down at the event.

“It’s all looking extremely promising this year. We are hoping for the best outcome for the event to date.”

Organisers have estimated more than 1,500 people turned up last year, and Mr Armson added: “With more teams in this year, they will bring family and friends and work colleagues, so we are hoping for even more.”

Sarah Norman, captain of the Paddlemedics – a crew from Corby ambulance station which is taking part in the event – said: “We are proud to be raising money for such a great local charity.”

As well as the racing, there will be live music and craft and charity stalls to entertain the spectators.

Organisers say they hope many people who are visiting Wicksteed Park anyway will come along and show their support for the competitors.

Races along the 200-metre course begin at 10am, with presentations to follow the final race, which is scheduled for 5pm.