Teams named for Milton Keynes’ dragon boat festival spectacular

Dragon boat racing at Willen Lake, Milton Keynes
Dragon boat racing at Willen Lake, Milton Keynes

MILTON Keynes businesses have come up with some inventive team names for the dragon boat charity spectacular coming up on Sunday, June 24.

More than 1,000 people will take to the water in 40-ft brightly painted Chinese boats, watched by several thousand spectators, in the 11th annual event in aid of Willen Hospice on Willen Lake.

Among the 57 crews, Opus Energy’s boat is called Blazing Paddles while Tesco’s distributuon support office has entered a team called Every Rower Helps!

Product names have also crept into the boat names, with Supercharged Jagu Oars being the title of the proud paddlers from Stratstone Jaguar Milton Keynes. Creme Eggcellence is the boat name for Cadbury DHL while RK Harrison’s boat, Breaking Wind, leaves something to the imagination as to how the boat will be powered.

Carol Lester of festival organisers, Gable Events, said: “It is a testament to the continued popularity of this event that so many teams are taking part again this year.

“Nine companies have also taken up the option of our gold and silver sponsorship packages which we introduced this year and will not only raise their company profile at the event but also raise an extra £5,500 for Willen Hospice. We are sure that crews and spectators will have a fantastic day.”

The event is believed to be the largest one-day charity dragon boat event in the country. Races will take place every 10 minutes over a 200m race course with the first race at 9.30am and finishing with the final at around 5.15pm.

As well as the spectacular races taking place throughout the day, there will be activities on the bank to entertain crews and spectators including a large funfair, inflatables, face painters plus mini golf, the high ropes course and miniature train. Entrance to the Festival is free to spectators and ample ‘pay and display’ parking is available at Willen Lake.

Trophies and bouquets will be presented to the top five crews, the top mixed crew, best dressed crew and the team that raises the most money for festival charity, Willen Hospice. The top fundraisers for Willen Hospice will also receive a special lunch in a private room with wine courtesy of The Swan at Salford.

Willen Hospice provides complex and individual care to individuals from the age of 18 years with life limiting illnesses who reside in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.

Paul Hinson, Willen Hospice chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be partnering the 2012 Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival. This annual event is a fantastic, fun group activity which brings together the community of Milton Keynes to help raise much needed and vital funds for Willen Hospice.”