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Result! Homeless Dragons

Monday 18 June 2012

Bristol Dragon Boat Race 2012

Independent People "Homeless Dragon" Team ranked in 14th place of 32! With our lovely partners on the water the Bristol Bridge Rotary Club AKA "Infinity and Beyond" close behind in 20th.

Well done to everyone who paddled, everyone who supported us and everyone who came to watch.

About the race

This annual Bristol Dragon Boat Race, hosted by the Rotary Club is one of Bristol's most competitive charity events of the year. It's brilliantly organised and over the last 13 years has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity.

16 people in each of 32 boats get sponsored to huff and puff their way through three gruelling heats (200m paddle sprint) to qualify for the semi-finals and then a final three. All this dressed in various fabulous get ups... there were bananas, native American Indians, pirates and Buzz Lightyear to mention just a few.

The competition was fierce and without wanting to make excuses (ahem) we guess there were some professional dragon boat racers squirrelled away in the winning teams - live and learn, next year we will do the same and train even harder beforehand. Like we said - it's the most competitive charity race in Bristol! Bring it on...

On the day

It was a beautiful sunny day, the place was packed with stalls and supporters, everyone was buzzing. Our team of young people, volunteers and staff were confident and happy and everyone was up for giving it their all.

In-between the heats, our team were found in informal debriefs, adjusting tactics "change the pace" "best way to drum and chant" "how to get better at stabilising the boat so we travel faster". It was almost serious, except everyone was wearing bright yellow comedy dragon hats.

Looking at the photos you would think we had actually won the race! But as one of our paddlers Tom, put it - we definitely won first prize for the most fun had on the water.


See more photos on our Facebook page - you don't need an account to see them.

Amidst all of this we had a lovely BBQ and enjoyed the sun and company. Special thanks to Kirsten for providing salads and a monster chocolate cake which powered us through the final heat and Martyn who unsuspectingly got roped into being our head chef. Also to everyone who helped with putting up, looking after and taking down the stall.


Our boat target for the race was £1000. We have about £900 so far and the promise of more to come. The fundraising page will stay active for a couple of weeks so if you haven't donated already please do!

Infinity and Beyond

To our good friends "Infinity and Beyond" we extend our deepest thanks, between them they raised well over £2000 and paddled like mad all day for Independent People. Well done!

More information

Radio Interviews
  • On Saturday morning Junior and Pilar were interviewed on BBC Radio Bristol - you can listen to the interview online Saturday Surgery (opens in a new window). 5 minutes into the show.
  • They were also interviewed on the day on BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Paul Moss show (opens in a new window). 42 minutes into show.

All contents copyright© 2013. 1625 Independent People is a charity and a registered society (Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, reg: 23964R exempt from registration with the Charity Commission). Registered office: Kingsley Hall, 59 Old Market Street, Bristol, BS2 0ER. Created & Managed By Solsoft

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