Thousands turn out to watch St Neots Dragon Boat Race

PUBLISHED: 15:25 22 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:25 22 August 2017

The St Neots Dragon Boat team

The St Neots Dragon Boat team

Archant

Thousands of people lined the riverbank at St Neots on Saturday for this year’s Dragon Boat Race.

After a stormy night, 20 crews from local companies, sporting clubs and groups of friends, took part in the event along the Great River Ouse at Regatta Meadow.

Each crew took part in three heats and the best performing teams then went through to the final rounds. The dramatic races attracted

thousands of spectators, who came out to support the amateur teams.

The winners were:

First place: Wyton Warriors from 42 Engineer Regiment RAF Wyton (69.14)

Second place: Last of the Summer Whine - representing the Rotary Club of St Neots St Mary’s (72.85)

Third place: Piece of Ship, a group of friends, led by Hilary Ellis (75.68)

The winning crews were presented with their medals by Rotary president Glyn Osbourne and the deputy mayor of St Neots, Councillor Charles Bober. First placed Wyton Warriors were also presented with the James Griffin Memorial Cup.

This year’s event also featured a junior race for three scout clubs. The winning club, the 1st Little Paxton Scouts achieved a time of 76.92, which would have beaten two of the main race crews. Second place went to the 1st Eaton Socon Scouts (78.73) and third place to 2nd St Neots Scouts (79.76).

The event was organised collaboratively by St Neots Town Council, the Rotary Club of St Neots St Mary’s and St Neots Dragon Boat Team.

Russell Turrall, crew manager from the winning Wyton Warriors of RAF Wyton, said: “We were particularly struck by how well the whole event went, everything appeared seamless and I know how much effort goes into making something seem effortless, it was greatly appreciated by all of us.”

This year’s event was held in aid of Mind, the mental health charity, which has a branch in St Neots. Profits from the event will also donated to local organisations, supported by the Mayor of St Neots.

Groups which will benefit from the event are the 2500 Air Cadets, Bushmead School all weather pitch fund, Priory Infants School sensory garden project and Switch Now.

Katie Williams, town development manager at St Neots Town Council, who co-organised the event, said: “It is such a pleasure to organise this event, which is enjoyed immensely by competitors and spectators alike.”

Official photographs from the event are available to view on Facebook @stneotsdragonboatfestival.

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