Dragon Boat Team Building Event on the River Nene in Peterborough for Speedibake

The Client

Speedibake employees are passionate about what they do! Part of Associated British Foods, the company makes baked goods which they supply to different sectors including wholesalers, caterers and end-users. Since they weighed out their first ingredients 30 years ago, the company operates two successful bakeries at Wakefield and Bradford in Yorkshire. They put their hearts into making delicious doughnuts, custard tarts, mince pies and a variety of breads but wanted to test if they could work together as a team on the river as well as they can in the kitchen in order to win the race? Were they as speedy at paddling as they are at baking? Keep on reading to find out!

The Brief

Speedibake were keen to hold their corporate away day at a peaceful location where their team of 20 people could enjoy their time together and build stronger relationships. With its lovely grounds backing on to the River Nene, Macdonald’s Haycock Hotel provided the perfect venue for combining a meeting and overnight stay in Peterborough with a team building event on the water.

Dragon boat racing was always the first choice given the location and facilities available. The rural stretch of the River Nene in the pretty village of Wansford near Peterborough was transformed into a lively racecourse enjoyed by the locals as much as the participants and creating a great atmosphere for everyone!

The Event

Some of the delegates were initially reluctant to get out on the water but this dissipated as Gable Events staff explained the aims of the session and these delegates soon turned out to be the most competitive!

Our experienced helms (the people who steer the boats and give instructions to the crews) took the group out on the water in two of our 30’ dragon boats to test their skills and ability to work together as two teams without any instructions. The scratch race showed that some training and communication would be required to improve their teamwork.

During the dragon boat team building activity, the crew members of each team learnt that they needed to talk to each other and communicate effectively in order to paddle in time and the improvement was quickly clear to see. After an hour of practising in their dragon boats, experimenting with different techniques and timing and enjoying the lovely Autumn sunshine at this stunning Peterborough location, the two teams had a series of short head-to-head races to see which had achieved the better teamwork and deserved to be crowned the winners!

The races were very close and the team that lost all of the practice races at the beginning of the session demonstrated such improvement that they took the coveted winners medals! The dragon boat team building event was enjoyed by all and ended with a friendly drink in the Haycock Hotel bar.