It couldn’t really have been a better start. The English Summer is not the most reliable
of creatures, but what better setting could there be for the First Annual Charity
Dragon Boat Races than Southport’s Marine Lake on a sunny summer day?
True, you could go to China, to the spiritual home of Dragon Boat Racing, but you’d
be likely to find it hot and humid, and it’s a long way back after the event. No,
Southport is pretty well ideal.
Dragon Boat Racing has, in recent years, become the fastest growing water sport in
many parts of the world, and teams from the UK now travel to remote places, even
beyond Liverpool, to compete in international events. Southport hasn’t, yet, taken
its place in this illustrious list, but it isn’t for the lack of enthusiasm.
Southport Rotary Club has joined with the Sea Scouts, and Waterside Lodge, to offer
Dragon Boat Racing as a fun means of raising funds for charities and good causes.
Sixteen teams - though this number isn’t fixed in stone, or anything else for that
matter - race across the lake in the fastest possible time in a race against the
clock. The fastest eight teams then fight it out amongst themselves in a knockout
competition for the Cup, while the more sedate eight do likewise in the Plate competition.
Though it can seem a little bit complicated, it does mean that every team has at
least three heats to row, so small variations in conditions have a minimal effect.
But as with all spectator sports, the spectators play a great part, too. There is
nothing worse than giving your all, in head to head competition, and finding that
no-one noticed. So the more cheering and applause the better, and the music, and
excellent snacks, help lend a party atmosphere to the day.
As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words so here, in our Picture Gallery,
are tens of thousands of words condensed into a great collection of pictures! If
you hover your cursor over the control bar, everything will light up, and you can
move on or pause, or set the length of time each picture displays. Don’t worry, it