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Rotary Dragon Boat Festival

Tuesday 10 June 2014

An amazing day spent with the Rotary Club of Bristol Breakfast at the 13th Dragon Boat Festival on Bristol Baltic Wharf.


Sunday 8 June 2014 saw the 13th Rotary Dragon Boat Race down on Bristol's Batlic Wharf.

1625 Independent People were grateful and excited to be the official nominated charity for the event. Working with the Rotary was an honour, they are an amazing bunch of volunteers from all walks of life, with one aim; to bring together businesses, individuals and voluntary sector to help improve our communities. A great aim and one which we are happy to be a part of.

Dragon-Boat-Festival-2014-a-(2).gifThis year's event was run by David Wells, his first year running the event having taken over from David Gammon who has successfully organised it for the last 12 years! A hard act to follow but David W did us proud.

For us, it was the fifth year entering the competition and although it's "all good fun" we still try to do our best and aim to do well. We were hoping to get into the top ten, it was not to be as we were short a few paddlers on the day but we think we still made top 20 out of 36.

It was great fun, we had young people we support paddling with us which made it all worthwhile. Seeing them get stuck in and help us raise money so that we can improve our services for other young people was truly inspiring.
Just as inspiring was the amount of support we recieved both in pre-race donations and support on the day - staff and volunteers, ex-staff, friends, relatives, colleagues all rallied to cheer our team on. We felt like winners regardless of our ranking.

The race winners were Rolls Royce Bristol Apprentice Association, second place went to Babcock Buccaneers and third SSMG Blazing Paddles.
They were incredibly fast and coordinated  - a joy to watch. Congratulations to them for a brilliant race!

To top the day off BBC Points West's Alex Lovell came down to a rainy prize giving ceremony and handed out copious bottles of wine and champagne to the happy winners. Alex said:

"I really enjoyed supporting the Rotary Club of Bristol Breakfast and youth homelessness charity 1625 Independent People today  - both doing great work in the South West. The Dragon Boat Festival has raised around half a million pounds to date, a brilliant event."

As well as the race winners there were prizes for best fancy dress which went to the Airbus team who paddled as Cabin Crew with Bristol Bridge Rotary Club as runners up  - paddling as Isambard Kingdom Brunel! Both fitting choices for an event which is also rapidly becoming a Bristol institution.

We'd like to thank everyone for their support - especially the Rotary Club of Bristol Breakfast, all the amazing teams who raised money for the festival, including our amazing team of Homeless Dragons (which includes all those working on our stall and Ria Anderson for BBQing all day for us "like a giant").

The exact figure raised has not been finalised as money is still coming in, but the event is expected to raise over £30,000.  £460K has been raised in previous years and it would be great to take the total for the Festival to over half a million pounds.



We are still accepting donations  - please support the team's efforts  - Homeless Dragon Fundraising Page (opens in a new window)

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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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