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Record entry for dragon boat race

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:17 05 July 2010

OVER 600 people will take to the water next Sunday as the third East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival takes place in aid of East Anglia's Children's Hospice (EACH).

OVER 600 people will take to the water next Sunday as the third East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival takes place in aid of East Anglia's Children's Hospice (EACH).

Nicholas Everitt Park in Oulton Broad will host the festival as crews race the 30ft brightly painted Chinese dragon boats four at a time over a 200m course.

The event has achieved a record entry this year with 52 crews, representing businesses and organisations from all over East Anglia, signing up.

Trophies will be presented by EACH to the winning, second, third and fourth placed crews, as well as the team that raises the most money, the top mixed crew and the best dressed crew. The Malaysian Delights buffet restaurant is providing an added incentive for crews to raise as much money as possible for EACH as they have donated a special banquet for the crew that raises the most.

Simon Hempsall, marketing manager for EACH, said: “The majority of EACH's costs are not for specialist equipment but for delivering the specialist one-to-one nursing care and support so vital to local children and their families. Relying as much as we do on voluntary public support, we are delighted to be the official charity for the Dragon Boat Festival once again and hope to surpass the fantastic total of £16,000 raised in 2007.”

Carol Lester, director of Gable Events, the festival organisers, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the response to the Dragon Boat Festival this year. It is fantastic that so many people will be travelling from throughout East Anglia to take part in this unique event.

“We hope to raise even more money for EACH through the Festival this year and have received great support from the The Lowestoft Journal, Radio Broadland, Suffolk County Council Passenger Transport and Waveney District Council. We are sure that teams and Festival visitors alike will enjoy a superb day out.”

As well as races every ten minutes from 9.30am - 5.30pm there will also be a whole host of family entertainment on the bank, including a climbing wall, rodeo bull, bungee run, human demolition and fun fair rides.

In keeping with the Chinese history of dragon boat racing, the Wing Chun Kung Fu group will be performing a colourful lion dance at noon and 2pm, while street entertainers, The Grand Theatre of Lemmings, will be performing at 11am and 3pm with a walkabout session at 1pm.

Entrance to the festival is free and for more information on the festival call 01780 470718 or visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/eastanglia

CAPTION: AK Event Photography

Next weekend's East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival hopes to surpass last year's fundraising efforts for EACH.

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