Imagine the scene: a stunning outdoor setting, ten teams of eager clients, and dragon boats at the ready… so, just add water. Last week, we found ourselves on the Thames with two stunning Viking longboat-style dragon boats, ready to be powered by lots of very competitive teams.
Our clients arrived and, after adorning their specific team-coloured T-shirts, they all tucked into lunch on the lawn.
Two teams at a time first went through a safety briefing, squeezed into their life jackets and then boarded their craft. Each 40-foot-long boat had a huge traditional Chinese head on the front and tail on the back.
These majestic crafts also came with a very large Chinese drum on board, so one of the novice crew could be responsible for keeping all the rowers together in time.
In the water, and alongside our warring nautical vessels, was a safety-motorised rigid inflatable boat. Our mobile water officials continuously guided and controlled the beginning of each race.
As the first two dragon boats made their way upstream to the starting position, the other teams waited with anticipation. Soon, everyone could hear the beating of both drumming coxes and the yells of passion from the rowing crews.
Both boats rounded the corner and came into view neck and neck. With each team giving all they had, there was much cheering and music blazing as they made their way to the finish line.
Our exhilarated and exhausted crews made it back to dry land and immediately went off for a well-deserved drink.
Over the next two hours, all ten teams had the thrill of the race and eventually it was time for the two fastest teams to meet each other in a finale match to close the day.
With everyone on the banks cheering their colleagues on, our two final dragon boats ploughed through the water and a winner was determined. There was a final well done to everyone involved from our instructors and a medal ceremony for the winners.
Overall, it was a fantastic day with perfect weather and totally-engaged clients.
With so many perfect venues right next to water available all over the UK, there is no reason why your team couldn’t experience the fun and challenge of dragon boat racing.
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