Oulton Broad dragon boat race appeal

Hundreds of rowers will be battling out for the title of East Anglia's fastest dragon boat racer in May as they help raise funds for seriously ill children.

Hundreds of rowers will be battling it out for the title of East Anglia's fastest dragon boat racer in May as they help raise funds for seriously ill children.

It is hoped that up to 50 teams made of local companies and groups will compete in the sixth East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival at Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, on Sunday, May 8.

Teams will be racing each other in brightly painted 30ft Chinese dragon boats over 200m of chilly water to raise money for East Anglian Children's Hospices(EACH), which needs to raise �11,000 a day to keep running.

Money from the race at Nicholas Everitt Park will go towards one to one nursing care and support to children with life threatening illnesses.

As an added incentive the team who raises the most money will win an EACH charity trophy and a day using spa and gym facilities at Marriott Sprowston manor in Norwich.

Last year's champions were the Sugar Babes from British Sugar who beat stiff competition from 30 other teams, including competitors from Hoseasons, Sizewell B and BBC Radio Suffolk.

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And anyone who is a bit wary of taking part can be encouraged by the fact that 2011 is the Chinese Year of the Rabbit - the luckiest sign of the Chinese calendar.

Carol Lester, director of the festival's organisers Gable Events, said: 'The festival is a great chance for companies and organisations to try something completely different and raise money for EACH.

'It is also a fantastic team building opportunity- what better way to get to know what makes your colleagues and competitors tick.

'We expect the festival to be as popular as ever this time around so we recommend teams get their entries in early to guarantee a place.'

Dragon boats, racing equipment and qualified helms people will be provided on the day and each team is guaranteed a minimum of three races.

The thousands of spectators will also be entertained with a wide range of fun bankside activities.

For information and an entry form visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/eastanglia or call Gable Events on 01780 470718.