VIDEO: Dragons do battle in boat bout

Hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators have made the annual Nene Valley dragon boat race a roaring success.

The event, held for the second year at Wicksteed Park in Kettering, is organised by five rotary clubs in the area – two from Kettering, two from Rushden and one from Corby.

Dragon boat racers at Wicksteed Park

Dragon boat racers at Wicksteed Park

Nearly 40 teams and around 450 competitors took part in this year’s contest.

GDES – Glendon District Explorer Scouts – won this year’s event. The team of scout leaders also picked up the title in 2011, and this year pipped Apartments4You to the line, crossing in a time of 67.43 seconds.

“We don’t practise, we don’t train, we just turn up every year,” said team manager Mark Langley. “Everyone’s had a great day.”

Organiser Alan Armson, from the Rushden Chichele rotary club, added: “The weather has been brilliant, everyone has thoroughly enjoyed it, and we are looking forward to making quite a bit of money for the charities we are supporting.”

Dragon boat racing is an ancient Chinese tradition, with teams including rowers and a drummer.

Money raised from the event is split between Corby’s Lakelands Hospice, Cransley Hospice in Kettering and other charities supported by the rotary clubs.