Dragon Boat Racing On The Tyne


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Dragon Boat Racing is returning to the Tyne on Saturday 3 September. NE1 has teamed up with the organisers, Atlantic Dream, and the North East Chinese Association to bring the spectacular racing event back to the river and to give people the chance to take part either individually, or as part of their own team of up to 16 paddlers plus a drummer. Challenge your friends, families or workmates to take part in the race of a lifetime rowing a Dragon Boat on the Tyne. Places are still available.

Dragon Boat Race on the River

Dragon Boat Racing is an exhilarating activity for participants but also provides an amazing display for supporters and spectators on the riverside. The boats hold between 11 – 16 racers, plus an all-important, drummer. Rowers paddle at speed to the beat of the on-board drum, and this Saturday, 3 September will compete on a route marked out between the Tyne and Millennium Bridges. The course extends 250m in length with two to three boats racing at a time.  The meeting point and race starting point is on the Quayside opposite the Law Courts, with Wesley Square the focus for all the day’s activity.

The event starts at 9.00am with Team registration followed by two local personal trainers warming up the teams between 9.15-9.45am ready for the day’s racing.  Around 10 am the day’s racing will begin. A break at 10.30 am, will see the North East Chinese Association perform a traditional ceremonial Dragon Dance to welcome participants and spectators.

After the Dragon Dance, the racing will recommence.

The finals and medal presentation is expected to take place between 3.45pm – 4.15pm but timings may be subject to slight change during the day depending on the weather and how many teams compete for the coveted title of Dragon Boat Champions 2022.  

Organisers are hoping for up to 20 teams to take part.  

The Dragon Boat festival fun will extend to the Quayside with food stalls and live entertainment throughout the day providing entertainment for the competitors, their supporters, and spectators. Activities will include Chinese dragon dancing, market stalls, games, face painting and food sellers.

Three different Dragon Boat packages are available for anyone wanting to take part.  

Bronze Package:  Boat only, Total Price £550. This equates to £34.50 per person for a full, 16-strong team – plus 1 drummer.

Silver Package: Includes the Boat fee plus a Food and Drinks voucher for each participant: Total Price £750

Gold Package: This premium corporate package includes all the elements of the Silver package, including the boat, food and drinks voucher plus film footage of the day with interviews and footage of each race. Total price: £950.

Individuals can apply separately for £45 per head and will join a boat made up of participants who are happy to join a collective team.

For further info and to book contact:

Philip Pugh: 07737 362 405 at philip@adeptcts.co.uk or Paul: 07989 431 697 at hoppo3892@gmail.com

Tariq Albassam, Director of Operations at NE1 Ltd said:

We are delighted to welcome Dragon Boat Racing back to the Tyne for an event that will be  bigger and better this year. It is such a great, adrenaline-fuelled event both on the water and on the Quayside. Participants love the competition and the public love cheering the racers from the riverside. We pledged to animate the river and the Quayside and Dragon Boat racing is the latest event in our Summer in the City activity programme. We are excited for race day and urge people to sign up to take part, or come down to watch the excitement unfold on the water and to enjoy the activities and entertainment on dry land.

Dragon Boat Race organiser Philip Pugh, said: “Bringing a Dragon Boat Race to Newcastle is a great way to show what our River and beautiful city have to offer. Events are planned on the Quayside as well as the Dragon Boat Racing itself. It is going to be a fun-filled, happy day, a day for the whole family to enjoy and a great way to raise money for CHUF.

What is Dragon Boat Racing?

Dragon boats are beautiful, ornamental colourful canoes used historically in ancient rituals  to ward off misfortune and seek prosperity. The mystical dragon was the main focus of these celebrations.  The tradition dates back over 2000 years to ancient China but more recently gained popularity as a fun, team sport in Hong Kong in the 1970s, with teams and competitions flourishing across the world including in the UK.

How Do The Races Work?

A series of heats will run throughout the day, with participants receiving a participation medal with the ultimate winners receiving the 2022 Newcastle Dragon Boat Trophy.

How to get Involved?

People can apply to take part as a solo fundraiser or as a small group for £45 per head, and will be allocated boats to create mixed, balanced teams. Participants must be 16 years or older.

Will There Be Any Training Before The Race?

All participants take part in a group warm-up session with a qualified physical trainer, and will receive a full safety briefing before taking to the water.

Timetable for the day’s activity:

The timetable for the day is subject to change

•9.00-9.15 am:  Team registration

•9.15-9.45am: Team games / warm-up

•10:00 am: Races start

•10.30-11.00 am Opening of the games with the North East Chinese Association Dragon Dance performing a traditional, ceremonial welcome

•3.45-4.15pm:  Medal Presentation (exact timings will depend on the weather and the number of boats taking part)

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