Once again an enthusiastic but novice crew proved that team-work can triumph over experience as first-time entrants ATL Ltd won the Champions Trophy in the 2017 Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday.
Five crews achieved times of under 60 seconds over the 200 metre course, last year’s third-placed finalists Braai Shack Warriors from The Braai Shack Restaurant, swapped places with previously second-placed finalists Brinklow Barbarians.
With less than a second between first, second and third place a crowd of thousands watched the Brinklow Barbarians, the fastest of Kuehne + Nagel’s four crews, Domino’s Effect, from Domino’s Pizza Group and XPO Fashion Warriors, from XPO Logistics, in a thrilling final that had to be decided by a photo-finish.
Festival Charity Age UK Milton Keynes’ crew Age-U-Kan missed the semi-finals despite winning their third heat in a barnstorming performance of 71.01 seconds.
The Mixed Crew Trophy was won by Domino’s Effect and the Charity Trophy for raising the most money for Age UK Milton Keynes was won by Santander’s Pirates of L&R, with the magnificent sum of £7,500. Overall, Gable Events estimate that more than £20,000 has been raised so far for the festival charity.
Age UK Milton Keynes chief executive Jane Palmer said: “We are enormously grateful to everyone who has supported the event and thank you so much for your generous donations. Every penny enables us to improve later life for people in Milton Keynes, helping to reduce loneliness and isolation among some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”
“This was one of the most competitive dragon boat festivals I’ve seen and we hope that all the crews have enjoyed the day as much as we did. It is heart-warming to see so many local businesses turning out to raise money for charity and working together as a team.”