Prepare to roar at Dragon Boat Festival return

Dragon Boat racing at Thorpe Meadow.  Action of the crews on the water -in the Fitzwilliam Hospital boat Louis Smith EMN-150613-173323009
Dragon Boat racing at Thorpe Meadow. Action of the crews on the water -in the Fitzwilliam Hospital boat Louis Smith EMN-150613-173323009

Over 500 rowers will take to the lake on Saturday looking to have a laugh with friends and work colleagues at the annual Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival.

Around 30 crews are expected at the Peterborough Rowing Lake, Thorpe Meadows, including one from the Peterborough Telegraph, to take in the acclaim of thousands of spectators as they battle it out over the 200m race course.

And for those watching there will be a Battle of Britain Lancaster Bomber fly past at around noon, numerous children’s activities, and a food and drinks stalls.

Races will take place every 10 minutes between 10.30am and 4.30pm, and at the end of the afternoon trophies will be presented to the winning crew, the second and third placed crews, the team that raises the most money for the festival’s nominated charity Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, as well as the top mixed crew and ‘best dressed’ crew.

The top fundraisers for Thorpe Hall will also receive a prize night at the greyhounds worth £600 donated by Peterborough Greyhound Stadium.

The crews will race 30- foot brightly painted Chinese dragon boats three at a time over the 200m course .

Carol Lester of festival organisers Gable Events said: “We are expecting another large audience on the day to soak up the atmosphere and cheer on the teams.”

Last year, Olympian Louis Smith was the star attraction where he joined the boat of Peterborugh Phantoms ice hockey stars James Ferrara, Robbie Ferrara and Jason Buckman.

Deputy Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor Keith Sharp, will be presenting medals on Saturday from 3pm onwards.

Last year, over £10,000 was raised at the festival for Thorpe Hall.

This weekend will be the 18th Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival.