Dragon Bay 2015 wasn’t just a Dragon Boat regatta. This year it featured a fantastic and well attended Survivorship Conference and a fancy Dinner both happening at Low Wood Bay, the home of our Dragon Boat Regatta. This report will focus on the Sunday festivities of the 2015 Dragon Bay Charity Dragon Boat Regatta.
Sixteen teams were up bright and early for what was going to be a fantastic day having fun and raising funds for Charity.
With little wind and the sun peaking through a low overcast sky the loud speakers were turned on at 9.30AM for a welcome by a crazy man dressed as St George, no doubt ready to slay some dragons.
Each team set up gazebos and tents along the green lawns of Low Wood accompanied by bacon butties, ice cream and a bouncy castle.
The first order of the day was to warm the teams up and we thank Jo and Angela for whipping the 300 strong paddling force into a frenzy of fun.
More about Jo’s “The Big Pink” can be found here
The morning was then filled with racing. Three boats ran at the same time under the watchful eyes of our professional safety team. The morning ran without serious incident and with only one boat getting into a little bit of a wobble.
Each team got a race in the morning as the clouds kissed the top of the Langdales.
There were some very impressive times set with some of the fastest of the day set by teams on their first runs. Although a common theme was those teams who had taken the optional training session had more rhythm with their strokes resulting in faster times.
Many of the outfits stayed on for the racing. It was unclear whether these gave an advantage, increased drag or were simply used to scare the competition.
The three boats used were two from Windermere Paddlers for Life and one coming from Manchester Paddlers for Life.
There was some discussion as to which lane was preferable for the racing with different teams coming to different conclusions.
The 2015 Dragon Bay featured all new starting blocks and finish system. A floating pontoon was used for the start and timekeepers were posted on the finish line in their own boat allowing them to give full concentration to the racing.
A very short lunch break gave chance for the safety team to scoff down some grub. But we were soon back to the racing.
As the day continued the wind picked up slightly which gave rise to some interesting starts. Thankfully it did not limit the racing that could take place.
The hardest part of the day from an operational standpoint was the loading and unloading of the three boats. This is an area we have learnt much from for future years.
Each team got a second race in the afternoon allowing some to improve on their times from the morning. This afternoon session had particularly exciting racing as teams were pitted against their nearest timed rivals from the morning resulting in very close finishes to each race.
The final races featured the top six teams in a final big to win the racing day.
But that wasn’t it! Throughout the day the judges had been watching and several other important components made up the awards. This included a very hard quiz which I’m pretty sure Google won. Here is a list of the days winners:
Best team spirit – Breast Express (for paddling to better understand the experience and and introduce the event to new patients)
Best dressed team – GSK Fire Dragons (for their Indian themed pink and white feathered headdresses and matching outfits)
Fastest time – Gore Blimey (53 seconds over the 200m course)
Champions – Gore Blimey (winner of the grand final race)
Overall winners – Ballet Bouncers (accumulated categories score of 49/60).
Thanks To All Involved
A big thank you go to:
- All sixteen teams and their supporters who came on the day. You made the day!
- The water safety team and helms. Thank you for keeping us safe!
- Low Wood Bay Resort Hotel and Marina. What a fantastic place, thanks for the support!
- Windermere Paddlers for Life. Thank you for the two fantastic boats and the many volunteers!
- Manchester Paddlers for Life. “Lucy on the Lake” was a great boat, thank you!
- And whoever this mad Mexican guy was: