Boat Race with a difference!

The Nottingham Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge – a Boat Race with a difference!

All eyes will be focussed on the River Thames between Putney and Mortlake this Sunday for the Oxford v Cambridge University Boat Race when double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell becomes the oldest man to represent one of the crews for this annual test of strength and stamina at the remarkable age of 46. If James has inspired you to take to the water and try something different this summer, why not get some colleagues/friends together and enter a team in the 11th Nottingham Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge?

The Dragon Boat Challenge in aid of Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People takes place on the River Trent at Victoria Embankment in Nottingham on Sunday 4th August and there’s plenty of time to get a team together and guarantee a place on the start line.

Unlike the University Boat Race crews who average 6’ 4” and 14 stone for the men and 5’ 10” and 11 stone for the women, you don’t need the physique of Sir Steve Redgrave or Dame Katherine Grainger to be successful as dragon boat racing caters for people of all shapes, sizes and levels of fitness. No previous experience is required to take part, just plenty of team spirit and enthusiasm!

Under the expert guidance of a qualified helm provided by organisers Gable Events, your crew of up to 11 people will soon be paddling in time and bonding together as you race towards the finish line over the 200m race course. Each team gets three attempts to improve their race times with everyone having an equal chance of reaching the semi-finals. Over 40 crews are expected to battle it out and all will be seeking to knock DHL Nottingham off their pedestal as reigning champions.

Encore Property Management Group have taken part for the last two years and Associate Director, Tom Hopson had this to say about their participation, “The dragon boat race is a great opportunity for our Nottingham team to get together and do something fun and worthwhile. The first year was a chance for several new members of staff to get to know their colleagues and they enjoyed it so much they asked if they could do it again! The benefit to the company is that the staff have to work together as a team and that transfers really well to the office environment”

Teams and spectators also benefit from being part of one of the region’s largest family festivals with a bustling fair and vibrant mix of music, dance, crafts and food from around the world, staged by Nottingham City Council.

All the entered teams will be encouraged to raise sponsorship for the Challenge’s official charity, Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, and help make a difference to over 400 children and their families that the charity supports across the East Midlands.

Tom Stanyard, Corporate Partnership Fundraiser at Rainbows, said, “The Dragon Boat Challenge is an amazing event. With up to 50 companies competing for a number of prizes the day has a great atmosphere. More amazing than the event however is what Rainbows is able to do with the fundraising support we receive from the crews taking part. With only a small amount of guaranteed funding, your support at events like this makes it possible for us to help and care for those families who need it most.”

The top fundraisers for Rainbows will win the charity trophy plus a special prize group escape room experience courtesy of Escapologic.

For more information and an entry form please call Gable Events on 01780 470718 or visit For information about the services of Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People call Tom Stanyard on 01509 283919 or visit