11th East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival

To celebrate Chinese New Year, East Coast Hospice has joined with Gable Events to launch the 11th East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival!

The 2017 Festival takes place on Sunday 14th May at Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad and is one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated team events in the region.

Up to 40 crews representing companies, organisations, clubs and groups of friends from Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and throughout East Anglia are expected to battle it out over the 200m race course. They will all be seeking to knock Netmatters off their pedestal as double reigning champions whilst also adding vital funds to the East Coast Hospice appeal.

According to the Chinese calendar, 2017 is the year of the Rooster. The rooster is an important animal in Chinese culture and people born in this year are said to be healthy, active, sporty and highly motivated in everything they do – the perfect attributes for participants in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival! People born in the year of the rooster are also said to be excellent swimmers but hopefully, no one taking part in this year’s event will need to test these capabilities!

No previous experience is required to take part in the dragon boat racing, just plenty of team spirit so why not take up the challenge? Thankfully, you don’t need the physical strength or athleticism of Steve Redgrave or Jessica Ennis-Hill to be successful, as teamwork and timing will win the day. The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races. The Festival offers a full day of fun on land as well as water with plenty of activities on the bankside to entertain teams and spectators between races.

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 Great Yarmouth area but Festival charity, East Coast Hospice are in the process of changing this. Having purchased over seven acres of land in a convenient and rural setting near Beacon Park in Gorleston, planning permission has been granted for a ten-bed facility with complimentary therapy rooms, day care and a peaceful garden. 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 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. Coast Restaurant at the Hotel Victoria is modern and contemporary, offering delicious locally sourced and freshly prepared food, complemented by a selection of wines from around the world. The stunning sea views and relaxing atmosphere make it a superb way to help celebrate being the top fundraisers – just ask last year’s charity winners Proserv!

Carol Lester, Director of Festival organisers, Gable Events, adds: “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 – 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”. 

For further information and an entry form please 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 visit www.eastcoasthospice.org.uk

Images – courtesy Vanessa Barton Photography


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