Dragons’ roar on the Thames

Weird and wonderfully dressed teams took to the Thames to raise charity cash. Pictures: David Bailey

Dragon boat rowers were never going to let the extra water from the rain put them off as they paddled along the Thames.

Watched by around a thousand spectators, the 12 teams dressed in themed hats and clothing took part in the 250-metres rowing sprint.

The 19th annual festival, organised by the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, set off from Abingdon Bridge on Sunday.

The racing this year was won for a second year running by the Wittenham Wannabees with a time of one minute and just over three seconds, in an exciting final.

They beat 4 REGT RLC by just 0.36 of a second. Third home were the Cobalt Hillbillies.

The Rotary Club hosted a variety of stalls and displays for national and international charity campaigns including End Polio Now and Shelterbox.

Funds raised on the day will be donated to charities supported by the rotary club.

Among those who came along to support the event were Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, and Cllr Jan Morter The Mayor of Abingdon.

The event has raised more than £430,000 for charity since it began.

Dragon Boat racing is an ancient Chinese tradition over 2,000 years old.

A dragon boat is 40ft long and similar to a long canoe, decorated with a Chinese dragon head and tail.

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