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Dragon boat race teams are ready for the big day
2:00pm Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
ORGANISERS are making the final preparations for this year’s Dragon Boat race in Abingdon this weekend.
Last year’s race on the Thames was postponed for four months because of the bad weather, but it finally went ahead in September.
Teams cram into 40ft boats with Chinese dragon heads, 16 to a boat, and row to the beat of a drummer, to raise charity funds.
The annual tournament, organised by the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, now in its 13th year, has raised more than £300,000 for good causes, and takes place on Sunday.
Club member David Wilde, 62, of Wantage, said: “We should have 20 teams competing, with the first race starting about 11am. The final will take place about 4pm.
“People gather on both sides of the river including Rye Farm Meadow, where there will be a fun fair, stalls, a beer tent and music.
“We are hoping that we get between 2,000 and 3,000 people come along.”
The rowers set off from Abingdon Bridge and race down the 250-metre course.
Two-thirds of what a team raises goes to their chosen charity, with the remaining third going to the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, which supports a number of charities.