45 teams will Race The Dragon in Day-2 of the 2022 Bradford Dragon Boat Festival

Teams from around the Bradford region will converged on Roberts Park on Saturday 2 July 2022 to Race The Dragon in Day two (The Lord Mayor's Championship) of the annual Bradford Dragon Boat Festival. more than £ 30,000 is expected to be raised.  Funds from this event will support the Lords Mayors Appeal. 

The day starts off at 8:30 for team registration, after which the first teams will be called up for their safety briefing.  Each team is 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 of Roberts Park, BIG Screen TV's are organised so that camera footage can be shown to the crowds in the park and along the river bank. 

The Lord Mayor's Charities


Marie Curie Hospice Bradford
Registered Charity No: 207994

Marie Curie is the UK’s leading end of life charity. It provides frontline nursing and hospice care, a free support line and a wealth of information and support on all aspects of dying, death and bereavement.

The Bradford Hospice is one of nine hospices that offer the reassurance of specialist care and support, in a friendly, welcoming environment, for people living with a terminal illness and their loved ones. The dedicated team here in Bradford care for local people who are living with a terminal illness, and their families.

Alongside its nine hospices across the UK, Marie Curie Nurses work on the front line, night and day, in people’s homes, providing hands-on care and vital emotional support. It also has trained Helper volunteers and advisers with practical information and support when people don’t know what to do next or just need to talk.

Bradford Community Kitchen
Registered Charity No: 1177822

Bradford Community Kitchen began in 2017 when a group of people who had been volunteering feeding homeless and vulnerable people in Bradford got together having seen a need to do more than just provide food. It wanted to be able to see what the unmet needs of the homeless and vulnerable were and signpost them to organisations that could help improve their lives.

Last year when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, and the use of indoor premises was no longer possible, the trustees met and decided they should operate as a food bank. They knew their homeless clients were being offered accommodation and that other vulnerable clients would be safer if it delivered food to their homes.

It targeted families with children, their motto being “No child should go hungry". They knew that, with the schools being closed, families would be struggling, and that there would be people who had lost work and had never had to access a food bank before. It decided to operate a delivery service which would preserve the dignity of families.

When grants became available it took advantage of them to ensure those eligible for free school meals are fed during half-terms and the holidays, and worked with a number of schools to this end. During those holidays it delivered hot meals and fresh fruit.

Grants have enabled it to expand its service and are now delivering up to 100 food boxes a week. Through the pandemic it has provided thousands of meals.

Targeting those who might not feel able to make use of other food banks, including refugees and asylum seekers. Many are referred by social workers, doulas and other community workers, who know and trust this charity. The charity addresses the dietary requirements of those it serves.

The need for food will continue long after the Covid-19 restrictions are over, and when Government grants come to an end the charity wants to continue this work as long as it is needed.

Thank you for your support!

Along with the dragon boat racing, the festival also will includea ethnic and international food vendors each serving their diverse range of wonderful foods, bar outlets, market stalls and a whole host of traders.  

The Bradford Dragon Boat Festival 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 Dragon Boat Champions of Bradford 2022.

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.


By Car

From Shipley, follow the Otley Road (A6038) towards Baildon. Turn left along Green Lane, and follow the road as it turns into Coach Road then Higher Coach Road. Roberts Park is on the left hand side.

A one way system starts at Green Lane (the road that leads in off Otley Road).
It progresses up Coach Road and turns off after the shops by Robert Park onto Thomas Lane (this is a right hand turn after the shops, which are opposite the entrance to Roberts Park).
Free parking will be available on the fields that run alongside the river Aire.
Access is at Baildon Rec, just off Green Lane.
Access closer to Roberts Park is accessed via Aire Way (entrance) which is a left hand turn off Coach Road.– The exit is next road up, this is Tennis Way.
Drop off point is the quadrant (Higher Coach Road) outside the Main Gates to Roberts Park.
Disabled parking will be in the Quadrant (limited spaces only).
No Parking is allowed outside: Roberts Park, Higher Coach Road,


By Bus

Bus numbers 626 and 624 stop just outside Roberts Park on Coach Road. Bus number 660 stops in Saltaire on the other side of the river from the park (a 5 minute walk away). Walk straight down Victoria Road towards Salts Mill. For bus timetable information contact Metro on 0113 2457676 or www.wymetro.com.


By Train

Saltaire train station is just across the river from Roberts Park. Turn left downhill out of the station and follow the footbridge across the river. Trains stop in Saltaire from Leeds and from Bradford. For train timetable information contact Metro on 0113 2457676 or www.wymetro.com.

The Lord Mayor's Championship teams for 2022 

The Lord Mayor's Championship
Saturday 2 July 2022   09:30am - 5:30pm