Sunday May 19th saw the Rotary Club of Wolverhampton hold its 19th Annual Dragon Boat Event at Himley Park.
27 teams took part in an action packed- fun-filled day of racing down the Great Pool, with frantic paddling and more than the occasional splashing, entertaining the crowds.
Approximately 3,000 people filled the park with 400 paddlers making up the competing teams.
Each team selects a chosen good cause to raise funds for, by obtaining sponsorship with the total sums raised being split between that chosen charity, and the Rotary Clubs own charitable trust for further distribution.
Racing took place between 10.00am and 3.30pm when every team has three races against two other boats during the heats part of the day, always against different opposition, to find the 12 fastest boats.
Then the moment everyone waits for- to see if they are in the finals……
Two finals then took place- the Minor Final for places 7 to 12, and the Major Final- for the top six boats.
Then two final races took place, each with six boats with up to 15 team members paddling furiously towards the finish line. Both races were incredibly close with less than half a second separating the first three boats in the major final- almost a photo finish!
This year, the winners of the Minor Final were the Body Barn team raising funds for Severn Hospice and in the Major Final, for the third year running, receiving two trophies and all the bragging rights, the 2017 and 2018 champions-Joe Hawkes Home Improvements team, raising funds for The Sedgley Scorpions.
The award for the overall fasted run of the day went to the Photobooth Hoppers who were raising funds for Birmingham Children Hospital.
But it really is a huge ‘well done’ to everyone for taking the time and trouble to enter the event, raise the sponsorship, and risk a soaking- all to raise monies for good causes. And also, a huge thanks to all the visitors to Himley Park who came in huge numbers to enjoy not only the spectacle of Dragon Boat racing, but also all the other concessions at the park which help to make the day a really memorable one for all concerned.
In the previous 18 years, over £380,000 has been raised by this event- a truly enormous sum- all for good causes.
It really does put the fun into fund-raising.
If you would like to see more of the action from the day, or to learn more about entering a team- see www.rotarydragonboats.co.uk or call Rotary Club member Mike Boyce on 07976612276.