41 teams Raced The Dragon in Day-2 of the 2019 Bradford Dragon Boat Festival?
Teams from around the Bradford region converged on Roberts Park on Saturday 22nd June 2019 to Race The Dragon in Day two (The Lord Mayor's Championship) of the annual 3-day Bradford Dragon Boat Festival. With money still coming in, more than £25,000 is expected to be raised. Funds from this event will be split equally between the two charities, the 2019 Bradford Lord Mayor's Charities, Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice and Nightstop Bradford.
The day started at 10:00, after which the first teams will be called up for their safety briefing. Each team was given a full safety briefing before their first race, which along with best paddle technique and how to stop the boat capsizing as well as what to do in the event of a capsize. Race The Dragon wristbands will then be issued to every team member at the briefing, which then allows them access to the waterside of the event and the dragon boats.
With the start of the race just outside the viewing area in Roberts Park, BIG Screen TV's were organised so that camera footage could be shown to the crowds in the park and along the river bank.
Along with the dragon boat racing, the festival also included many other displays and attractions, from an Army assault course, where members of the public will be invited to have a go, through to through to a climbing tower, children's rides and a fun fair. There were also ethnic and international food vendors each serving their diverse range of wonderful foods, bar outlets, market stalls and a whole host of traders.
Pulse FM sponsored the big stage where live acts from up and coming local bands entertained the crowd throughout the day.
The Bradford Dragon Boat Festival is the UK's only 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.
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: Lord Mayor's Appeal Dragon Boat Champions of Bradford 2019.
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 12 paddlers or 16, 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.