It may have reached its 20th year but Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival remains as popular as ever with more teams entering than the number of places available.
A full house of 48 teams took part in the annual contest on Saturday at Peterborough Rowing Lake, which also included a flyover from two Spitfires and a Lancaster Bomber to mark the Queen’s 92nd birthday.
Carol Lester, director at festival organisers Gable Events, said: “It was absolutely fantastic. We had 48 teams which is the biggest entry for 10 years and we had to turn some people away.
“It was topped off with a spectacular fly past for the Queen’s birthday.
“More than £30,000 was raised for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice which was way over our and their expectations. Everyone who entered was extremely generous.”
Sue Ryder community fundraiser Nilesh Patel said: “It was an absolutely fantastic event. We’re really pleased with how much money has been raised. We’re probably approaching £32,000.
“We’re really grateful and proud of all the teams that have been fundraising for us. We do appreciate the support from the companies that took part in this year’s 20th anniversary event.”
The champions were Barhale who entered a team called The Rat Pack. In second place was Ballast Phoenix Ltd (Phoenix Pirates) followed by Fitzwilliam Hospital (Fitzwilliam Pacemakers) and Coloplast Ltd (Row Farah).
The mixed crew champions were Fitzwilliam Hospital followed by Coloplast Ltd and Froglife (Froglife Dragon Finders).
The charity champions were SB Components Ltd who raised £5,430 for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, the festival’s charity.
Buckles Solicitors also donated more than £5,000, and the organisers wanted to give a special mention to XL Displays, Christine’s Crazy Crew and Wansford Surgery for their superb fundraising efforts.
Christine’s Crazy Crew, who dressed up as pop stars Abba, won the prize for the best dressed crew.
The team wanted to raise money for the hospice as a thank you for the great care family member Christine Seims, of Orton Malborne, received at the hospice in Longthorpe when she had kidney cancer, before passing away in February.
Wansford Surgery was highly recommended for the best dressed crew.
The festival was sponsored by Motorpoint, while Peterborough Greyhounds Stadium donated the prize for the top fundraisers - a private raceview suite with finger buffet and sponsored race worth £600.