Pembrokeshire is fired up and ready to host the first Welsh Dragon Boat Championship on Sunday, May 25th when 16 teams will take to the water, paddling to the rhythmic beat of the drums.
This unique spectacle in the Pembrokeshire calendar will be held at Llys y Fran Reservoir & Country Park with a jampacked day of oarsome family fun.
Taking centre stage will be the impressive Dragon Boats and their crews. The races will be held over a 200m course on the reservoir, and will make a great spectator event for visitors.
There will be three heats, starting from 10am, and the fastest three boats will go through to a thrilling final.
Roar of the crowds
The paddlers will need the roar of the crowds to help them in their bid to be first to cross the line!
A total of 16 boats are entered, each with a team of 17 people. One person in each boat will be the drummer – encouraging their members to paddle faster.
“The faster they beat, the faster the rowers will have to paddle,” said event manager Ken Morgan.
Dragon Boat racing originated in China 2,000 years ago. The boats are 12 metres long and are decorated with a traditional dragon’s head, tail and drum.
“We are very excited about the event, the first of what we hope are many Welsh Dragon Boat Championships to come,” added Ken.
The competitors will need a mammoth effort to win the final – let’s hope they’re not breathing fire by the end of it!
In addition to the races there will be lots of other entertainment for all ages.
For the children there will be bouncy castles and slides, sumo wrestling, a bucking bronco and lots more.
There will be fully licensed beer tents, and spectators can savour the best of Pembrokeshire produce at the barbecues, which will be in operation throughout the day.
There will be live music, performed by bands Audio Soup Kitchen, Sad Cafe Jammers and guitarist Jack Castle Sound, before a DJ takes over and entertains the remaining crowds well into the evening.
The Vagrants Crew will also be performing sea shanties at the waterside throughout the day.
The charity event is being organised by Narberth & Whitland Rotary Club, with money going to the Noah’s Ark Appeal and Paul Sartori Foundation among others.
The entry fee is £1 per adult (children go free), and includes a programme and entry into a raffle. There will also be free camping on site for the night of and the night before the event.
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And don’t forget to say hello to our roving reporters while they’re there covering the event!
Find more details about the Welsh Dragon Boat Championships