Dragon Boat race returns to Weymouth Beach this Bank Holiday

THE triumphant return of Weymouth’s popular Dragon Boat race will see teams of rowers take to the waves in Weymouth Bay this Bank Holiday weekend.

Now in its 22nd year, the lively annual event sees hundreds of participants take to the water as teams paddle their way to the finish line and is a popular social event that has helped raise thousands for local good causes over the years.

After last year’s event was cancelled, organisers at Melcombe Regis Rotary Club say they are delighted to announce that this year’s Dragon Boat Race will go ahead and are keen to hear from anyone interested in entering a team, as well as businesses wishing to sponsor it.

Are you up for this year’s challenge? Picture: Finnbarr Webster

The race will take place at the Pavilion end of Weymouth Beach on Sunday August 29 from 10am until 4pm, and participants can wear fancy dress if they wish.

A full day of dragon boat racing has been organised with teams set to compete in heats, semi-finals and a grand final – as well as it being a fun social day out for participants and spectators.

Rotarian Ian Pye of the Melcombe Regis club said: “The Dragon Boats, paddles, safety equipment and instruction are very kindly being provided again by PGL Adventure Holidays at Osmington.

“Residents who have taken part before will know what an enjoyable and fun filled day this is, with many teams wearing fancy dress.”

The event was last held in 2019, when the winning team ‘The Sozzled Scullers,’ which was made up of members of Weymouth Rugby Club, rowed its way to victory.

2019 winners the Sozzled Scullers Picture: Melcombe Regis Rotary Club

The event raised money for Weldmar Hospicecare and was blessed by glorious sunshine, after the 2018 race had to be cancelled due to bad weather.

The Rotary Club of Melcombe Regis is now hoping for a full entry of teams, with family, friends and supporters joining in the fun whilst also raising funds for their own charities. This year, the entrance fee will be split between the two charities, ‘Butterflies’ and MV Freedom.

Fancy dress is encouraged! Picture: Finnbarr Webster

It costs £160 to enter a team – organisers suggest having a minimum of 12 team members. Larger teams can also enter and rotate crew throughout the day.

Organisers have reduced the entrance fee this year but encourage teams to nominate their own charities to raise additional funds. There is a trophy for the team that raises the most money for charity.

As places are limited, if you are interested in entering a team, please call Steve on 07788443269 or email [email protected] as soon as possible.