Popular East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival set to return to Oulton Broad

Oulton Broad Dragon Boat Festival 2016
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Oulton Broad Dragon Boat Festival 2016 PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The countdown has begun to one of East Anglia's most colourful fund-raising events.

Oulton Broad Dragon Boat Festival 2016 PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Oulton Broad Dragon Boat Festival 2016 PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

And to celebrate Chinese New Year this Saturday (January 28), East Coast Hospice has joined forces with Gable Events to launch the 11th East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival on Oulton Broad.

The 2017 festival, supported by the Lowestoft Journal and The Beach radio station, takes place on Sunday, May 14 at Nicholas Everitt Park.

Oulton Broad Dragon Boat Festival 2016
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Oulton Broad Dragon Boat Festival 2016 PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Up to 40 crews representing companies, organisations, clubs and groups of friends from Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and across the region are expected to battle it out over the 200m race course. They will all be aiming to beat double reigning champions Netmatters, while also raising funds for the East Coast Hospice appeal.

No previous experience is required to take part in the dragon boat racing, just plenty of teamwork and timing is required on the day. The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races.

Oulton Broad Dragon Boat Festival 2016
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Oulton Broad Dragon Boat Festival 2016 PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher


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The festival offers a full day of fun on land as well as the water with numerous activities on the bankside to entertain teams and spectators between races.

At present there are no inpatient hospices in the Waveney and Great Yarmouth area, but East Coast Hospice is working to change this. Having purchased more than seven acres of land near Beacon Park in Gorleston, planning permission has been granted for the ten-bed facility – Margaret Chadd House – with complimentary therapy rooms, day care and a peaceful garden.

Oulton Broad Dragon Boat Festival 2016
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Oulton Broad Dragon Boat Festival 2016 PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

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The funds raised from the East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival will go towards 'Raising the Roof' of Margaret Chadd House and giving patients and families the choice of the specialist support they need in a welcoming purpose-built facility.

The team raising the most money for East Coast Hospice will be awarded the charity trophy and receive a special prize meal at the Hotel Victoria in Lowestoft.

Carol Lester, director of festival organisers Gable Events, said: 'The festival is a great chance for companies and organisations to try something completely different, promote themselves to a large local audience, network with local companies and potential clients and raise money for East Coast Hospice.

'It is also a fantastic team building opportunity.

'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.'

? For further information and an entry form visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/eastanglia or call Gable Events on 01780 470 718.

? To find out more about the services of East Coast Hospice call 01493 718707 or alternatively visit www.eastcoasthospice.org.uk/

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