Bewl rocks to the beat of 19th Dragon Boat Festival

    Bewl Water Dragon Boat Festival

    Hundreds of rowers will be putting their oars in for charity at the 19th annual Dragon Boat Festival on Bewl Water on Saturday September 10.

    The colourful event sees each crew nominate the charity they are supporting, with all the proceeds from their team’s efforts going to that cause.

    Last year, more than 1,000 people competed, with 57 teams raising in excess of £100,000 for 48 worthy causes.

    A total of more than £2.5million has been raised for more than 350 charities since the event was launched in 1998.

    Crews of 16 paddlers and a drummer race in Chinese-style dragon boats over a 250-metre course.

    Teamwork and enthusiasm are as important as fitness in order to be a winning crew.

    With 55 teams competing this year, racing starts at 9am, building to a ten-boat final – the biggest in the UK.

    “The Dragon Boat Festival is not just about the crews taking part,” said Charlie Guy, Operations Manager at Bewl Water. “It’s a real family day out, with lots to see and do on shore, and with a race scheduled to start every six minutes there’s going to be plenty of entertainment.”

    Teams can still enter, with organisers recommending that a squad of 20 is assembled and a minimum  £2,000 is raised for the crew’s chosen charity.

    All boats, buoyancy aids and safety equipment are provided on the day, with registration opening at 8am.

    Car parking for participants and spectators is available on site at £2 for the whole day.

    “There are bound to be thrills and spills out on the water in what promises to be the most successful festival yet,” said Charlie Guy.

    The event, near Lamberhurst, is sponsored by local businesses including The Bespoke Care Company, Tate Fencing, Coppards and the Times of Tunbridge Wells and Times of Tonbridge.

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