This year’s event was even more successful than last years.
With a total of 18 teams and more than 350 participants it was truly a community event to be proud of! Between us we raised awareness and much needed funds to support many Local, National and International Charities and we had some great fun along the way.
It was the Moon Bear Paddlers 4th year Dragon Boating and it was made all the more special with our wonderful Jill Robinson taking the helm. She had just completed a tour of the UK and ours was her last fun event. Here is what Jill had to say:
The next morning it was up with the lark to take part in the Dragon Boat racing with Sarah and David Chilvers and all in the Swindon Support group. Kay in our UK office and my sister Anne, her husband Steve and their daughter Nicole had all come over too – and Nicole and I were to join the rowers competing against another 17 charity teams!
The day was enormous fun, but we may have let the very patient Shaun down as he tried, and failed, to train us before the races began. The warm up went well, with various limbering up exercises, followed by multiple instructions for sinking our paddles, and reaching out with body rather than arms. The first race was slightly shambolic, but the timing wasn’t bad and we all felt that the next race would see us all perfectly tuned. When the time came, the warm up over to the starting point gave us heaps of confidence, as we powered along like a well oiled machine – all perfectly synchronised and raring to go. Sadly it all fell apart as soon as the race got under way and despite everyone shouting “one and two” and desperately plunging paddles deep in to the water, it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see the competing boat surging ahead towards the finish!
The third and last race saw Nicole and I watching rather than rowing, and it was thrilling to see the Dragonboat cutting through the water from a spectator point of view. Hats off to all in the team for either rowing or running our charity stall and taking time out of their busy schedule to help the bears – our love and thanks to : Sarah, David, Kate, Janie, Maren, Richard, Kay, Suzie, Doug, Teresa, Elaine, Barry, Vicky, Shaun, Lou, Helen, Edward, Lena and Mischa, Helen, Edward, Alison, Cath, Martine, Chris and of course, Nicole! – we all had the best of times, smiling and even cheering the teams that beat us. Just brilliant to see everyone again – with thanks to our great friend and artist Richard Symonds for taking a fabulous aerial film with his copter-cam that can be seen here on Youtube.