Lovewell Blake
Courtesy Gable Events picture library

With less than 2 months to go until the 11th East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival takes place on Oulton Broad in Lowestoft on Sunday 14th May, you can almost hear the pulsating sounds of drums beating and paddles splashing as the inter-company rivalry builds.

The Festival attracts a complete mix of new and returning crews from all corners of Suffolk and Norfolk and there’s still plenty of time to get a team together and help ‘Raise the Roof’ of Festival charity, East Coast Hospice.

Two-time reigning champions, Netmatters, are back to try and make it a hat-trick of titles but the opposition are determined they won’t have it all their own way! Corton Coastal Village, Southwood Hall and Mumfords of Southwold (Silver crew) have joined early entrants Grosvenor Casino, Progress Recruitment Solutions, James Fisher Marine Services (Gold crew), Associated British Ports (Silver crew), Bourne Leisure-Gunton Hall and Lovewell Blake alongside the teams representing Festival charity East Coast Hospice, and media partner The Beach.

One of the many new teams on the start line this year will be the crew from Norwich-based Progress Recruitment. Established in 2011, they specialise in recruiting for automotive and logistics companies nationwide. Managing Director, Laura Rycroft, is keen to make use of the fantastic opportunities the Festival offers for increasing company profile and improving team work. She says “We have entered the Dragon Boat Challenge as a team building exercise whilst raising the profile of our company in the local area. The company has doubled in size over the last few months so this will be an excellent opportunity for the new and existing members of the team to bond whilst raising money for charity.”

For accountancy firm Lovewell Blake, this will be their fourth year of ‘racing the dragon’ and their team will be made up of staff from their Lowestoft and Halesworth offices. Receptionist Beth Carpenter says, “Most of the team would say they want to take a trophy away. But I think they have realised now that won’t happen so they like to take away the fact they will have had a great day out and met new people and seen new faces. We look forward to it each year. We are raising money for East Coast Hospice and are hoping to raise as much money as we can throughout all the offices of Lovewell Blake.”

Courtesy Gable Events picture library

Hospices play a key role in providing support and care to people with incurable illnesses as well as their family and friends. At present there are no inpatient hospices in the Waveney and Yarmouth area but East Coast Hospice is working to change this. Margaret Chadd House will support patients and their families to live as well as they can for as long as they can and when the time comes, to support a dignified and peaceful journey at the end of their life. The team raising the most money for East Coast Hospice will be treated to a celebratory meal at the Hotel Victoria in Lowestoft.

To take part in the dragon boat racing and help ‘Raise the Roof’ of East Coast Hospice, no previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit and enthusiasm! The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races. The Festival promises a fantastic day for competitors and spectators alike with street entertainment, funfair rides, inflatable activities and plenty of food and drink for all the family on the bankside at Oulton Broad.

For further information and an entry form please visit or call Gable Events on 01780 470718.

To find out more about the services of East Coast Hospice call 01493 718707 or visit

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