Here’s a chance to stick your oar in!

A crew waves during the race
A crew waves during the race
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The date of the 12th annual Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival has been set for Sunday June 23.

Crews representing businesses, organisations and groups of friends from all over the city and surrounding area will battle it out all day in five-boat races over a 200m race course for the title, currently held by Plastic Fantastics from Nampak.

Nampak celebrate their race win

Nampak celebrate their race win

Last year’s event attracted 56 crews and raised £17,000 for Willen Hospice.

Willen’s events and cmmunity fundraiser, Elaine Johnston said: “We are delighted that the Dragon Boat Festival will once again support Willen Hospice and that this event remains the largest one-day charity dragon boat event in the country. We look forward to welcoming back lots of teams from last year as well as many new teams and are so thankful for the money raised which helps us to provide essential care to patients and support for their families in our community.”

Specialist palliative care provider Willen Hospice has been joined by Gable Events to organise the day.

Dragon Boat racing is an ancient Chinese tradition where up to 16 people paddle each 40-ft boat with a drummer at the front and a helm at the tail steering.

For more information and details on how to enter a crew visit