Dragon boat race in Chichester

Cancerwise team onboard their dragon boat
Cancerwise team onboard their dragon boat

Chichester locals made a splash for charity and took to the canal for a dragon boat race.

Teams descended on the Canal Basin on Sunday (June 10) to raise funds for the Rotary Club of Chichester Priory and local charity CancerWise, based in Basin Road.

Groups of all ages, supporters and residents took to the canal to witness the first dragon boat challenge in Chichester. A total of eight teams braved the weather and took to the dragon boats to have fun while raising vital funds.

There were two categories, dragons for teams of adults, and young dragons for children between 11-17-years-old. The event was organised by the Rotary Club of Chichester Priory with assistance from Chichester and Chichester Harbour Rotary Clubs.

John Watkins, co-organiser at Rotary Club of Chichester Priory, said: “I am very pleased – it was the first event in partnership with CancerWise and was a delight to work with them, and it worked very well.

“We were really pleased with the numbers that turned out, despite the threatening weather, and we had positive comments from everybody.”

The races, with the help of Dragon Boats Events Ltd, took place on the straight section of the canal from the Basin down to the swing bridge, a total of 200 metres.

Teams raced against each other, rowing to the soundtrack of theme music Hawaii 5-O in a set of gruelling heats.

Grasshoppers, a team from Chichester High School for Boys, were crowned winners of the adult dragon category, with Linden Wates, a team from Linden Homes, finishing runners-up.

The Grasshoppers had originally entered the youth event, but it was agreed by organisers the group should go up against the adults.

Martyn Tilling, team leader for winning team Grasshoppers, said: “We are really pleased. It was a commendable performance by the team which shows the hard work and effort they have put in. It was a well organised event with plenty of support from the community.”

The winners of the youth category were Barnham Scouts, with Felpham Sea Scouts narrowly missing out on the winners’ medals.

Medals were presented to the winners and runners-up in each event by chairman of Chichester District Council Peter Clementson. The award for best fancy dress went to LA Avengers, the team from Chichester fish and chip shop LA Fish.