Water appropriate festival name as rain fails to quench the dragon boats’ fire

Dragon Boat Racing, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt Dragon Boat Racing, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

Sunday, August 10, 2014
8:37 PM

The Downham Market water festival was appropriately named - and a bumper turnout showed that the wet weather would not put people off.

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The event, which is held on the River Great Ouse Relief Channel. saw 18 teams compete in dragon boat race. Teams included Angel and Demons, Tesco Tigers and the Green Dragons.

Event organiser Merk Halick from Gable Events hailed the festival as a success.

He said: “We have had fantastic teams and despite the atrocious weather conditions we had this morning, everyone was still up for it.

“The teams came with the right attitude which makes such a difference. The weather hasn’t affected us; we can race in all sorts of weather.”

Mark Wilkinson from the Chain Gang team said that the weather did not phase them.

He said: “It didn’t put us off, we have raced twice so far. We have done it before and it’s not uncommon to come last as we are probably the oldest people doing it.”

Visitors of the non-competitive type enjoyed watching the boats and browsing through the many different stalls as children took delight in having a go on the mini fairground rides.

Downham Market mayor John Doyle said that all of the races were able to go ahead as planned.

He said: “The weather has been unfortunate and it’s the first time in eight years we have had rain at the festival.

“But it cleared up at lunchtime and the place has been filling up with people.”

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