On Sunday 2nd June, the 15 strong Anglian Home Improvements crew setoff for Oulton Broad, Lowestoft to take part in the eighth annual East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival. The fun day is put on to raise money for the St Elizabeth hospice, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of local people living with a progressive illness and supporting their families.
It was an early start with 27 teams competing to be crowned the winners of this prestigious annual event, as teams travelled from Norwich, Ipswich and Lowestoft. The day was full of colour with teams in fancy dress, the crowd were lively, cheering each of the teams and there was plenty of sun to complete this superb day.
The Anglian Nautical Knights were fired up for the day, beginning their Dragon Boat adventure at 11am, racing against the Caister Crusaders and Team Expro, runners-up at last year’s festival. The races were judged by the total time it took to speed across the 200m, tallying up the two best times from each team. The top 9 teams with the two lowest combined times would go through to the semi-finals.
This was the first time the majority of the Anglian Nautical Knights had ever rowed a boat, but they were thrilled to have not only got a respectable time of 65.80 seconds, but they also beat the two opposition!
The second race saw the Knights take on the Travelling Torpedos from ATPI and All Known Delinquents from AKD Engineering Ltd. This was another quick race and the Anglian team were happy with second place, although they had a slightly slower time of 67.67.
The combined time to beat to stand a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals was 132 seconds, so the Anglian Nautical Knights needed to beat their best time to be in with a chance. The final race saw Anglian racing against Crystal Class from British Sugar and Team Elite from Elite Interiors UK Ltd, who were the winners of last year’s Dragon Boat Festival. It was a very close race and although the Anglian team finished a very close third, they achieved their best time of the day: 62 seconds!
Despite this brilliant time, the Anglian Nautical Knights didn’t qualify for the semi-finals, finishing 12th, but they had all had a fantastic day and raised a lot of money for the St Elizabeth Hospice. The team actually raised £1,412, which was the most money of any team and for this they were rewarded with this Dragon Boat Award, presented to our team manager Sarah Huggins by Jane Petit from the St Elizabeth Hospice.
Thanks to everyone who sponsored the team and well done to Sarah, Adam, Mike, Kirk, Lydia, Kerry, Kelly, Julie, Caroline, Mhairi, Neil, Matt, Bernadino and Karl for achieving this cracking time. Can the Anglian Nautical Knights do better next year?
Here is a video of the Anglian Nautical Knights winning their first race: