Did you Race The Dragon in DAY-2 of the UK's first ever 3-day dragon boat festival?

Forty one teams from around the Bradford region excitedly gathered on Saturday 7th May 2017, ready to compete in day two of the annual Bradford Dragon Boat Festival: "The Lord Mayor's Appeal Championship".   With up to twenty people in each team all fund raising, funds from this day went to the Lord Mayor's nominated charity Young Minds, the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.


The event was officially opened by the 2016-2017 Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Geoff Reid, after which the first teams were called up for their safety briefing.  Each team was given a full safety briefing before their first race, which along with best paddle technique, included how to stop the boat capsizing as well as what to do in the event of a capsize (fortunately, a rare occurrence).  Race The Dragon wristbands were then issued to every team member after each briefing, which then allowed them access to the waterside of the event and the dragon boats.


With the start of the race just outside the viewing area in Robers Park, BIG Screen TV's were organised so that camera footage could be shown to the crowds in the park and those waiting along the river bank. 

Event sponsors included Pulse Radio, who posted this great footage from across the river that really shows just how large the whole festival site was https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aipUq_D7SNM

Other great videos from the day can be viewed also:

Event overview:



The Grand Final:


Along with the dragon boat racing, the festival included many other displays and attractions, from an inflatable assault course from the Army, where members of the public were invited to have a go on an Army assault course through to through to a climbing tower, children's rides and a fun fair.  There were ethnic and international food vendors each serving their diverse range of wonderful foods, bar outlets, market stalls and a whole host of traders, some of which had travelled in from overseas just to be at this festival. 

The multi cultural ethos that is so Bradford was further enhanced by a brass band on the upper level (well, it is Yorkshire after all) and in Roberts Park, a big stage was organised where live acts from up and coming local bands were able to entertain the crowd throughout the daty. 

The Bradford Dagon Boat Festival is the UK's first ever three-day dragon boat festival and is already the largest event of it's kind in the UK today.  Designed as a free to spectate festival, the event is organised by the community of Bradford for the community of Bradford.  Next year's date has now been set for the 22nd, 23rd and 24th June 2018, with all dragon boat racing provided by the UK's leading provider of dragon boat events, Race The Dragon Ltd.

Entries into the The Lord Mayor's Appeal Championship on Saturday 23rd June 2018  and the Multi Charity Championship on Sunday 24th June (where each team is able to nominate their own team charity) are is now full with reserve entries only being accepted via the Team Registration page.    

How does it work?

A dragon boat team is made up of up to 20 team members, where a maximum 16 paddlers and a drummer will be allowed to compete in any one race.  The extra members are because each team will have several races during the day. 

Racing is over a course of 200 meters with the start just beyond the cricket pavilion and the finish in front on the crowds in Roberts Park.  Each team will have a minimum three timed races where their single fastest time only will count for Grand Final qualification.  What this means is, even if two of your races are both disasters, one great time is still all you need to be in with a good chance of going through to the Grand Final race. 

After each race, the scores will be announced over the event p.a. and then put up on the event scoreboard and the festival's BIG screen TV for everyone to see and compare.

What you will be aiming to achieve is an opportunity to compete in the last race of the day ... the Grand Final.  This will be a race where the top three teams from across all the qualifying heats will race once more in the most competitive race of the day.  The Grand Final will be a 3-boat race to the finish where first across will be declared: Charity Dragon Boat Champions of Bradford 2017.

Team work is vital if a fast time is going to be achieved and for this reason, the instructors will also give 'on the water' training to help with technique.  Over the distance we race, fitness is not a key factor - technique however is.  So it does not matter if your team is made up of just 8 paddlers or 10, because it's a team sprint where team work and timing is everything. 

The event will finish with our award ceremony where team trophies were awarded to the Captain's of the top three teams and Winner's Medals to each member of the winning team.  It's a brilliant day out.

The Lord Mayor's Appeal Championship

Saturday 6th May 2017

The 2017 Lord Mayor's Appeal Championship teams