THE TWYVER Tigers fought a fiercely close battle to be crowned the Shakespeare Hospice’s Dragon Boat champions.
A total of 26 teams paddled it out to the beat of a drum on the Avon on Sunday – raising more than £30,000 so far with more donations and sponsorship still coming in.
Over 400 people participated in the exhilarating and adrenaline infused race in vessels decorated with ornately carved dragon’s heads and tails.
The crews, who sat in pairs and paddled to compete in multiple timed races over distances of around 250 metres, were accompanied by a drummer beating time to keep the crews in time, and a professional helmsperson in the stern to guide the boat.
The event, held at Stratford Boat Club, was sponsored by Western Power Distribution for the fifth time and attracted many supporters to the riverbank.
Heather Papworth of Western Power Distribution said: “As a long term supporter of the hospice and the Dragon Boat Race we were delighted to sponsor the event again this year.
“Over the years the event has brought in thousands of pounds worth of much needed funds for the hospice and is an excellent occasion for local organisations like ours to get together for a good cause. We thoroughly enjoyed the day again this year and were thrilled to bring home bronze.”
The teams, including two from main sponsor Western Distribution Power, were from companies in and around Stratford, included Listers, SSP Worldwide, Benchmark, DoubleTree Hilton Stratford and Shakespeare Martineau. The Shakespeare Hospice also entered a team named The Purple Pirates.
Vinci Energies had a total eight teams from its different business units, including the winning team, the Twyver Tigers.
In the final , The Twyver Tigers fought it out with five other crews and narrowly pipped their colleagues Actemium East Midlands to the title.
Hospice fund-raiser Sophie Harrison said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s race, and to all our volunteers, as well as Western Power Distribution and the Stratford Boat Club, who helped to stage a great event.
“All of the competitors threw themselves into it and the grand final was a real spectacle for the crowds as the six Dragon Boats, which was a record number to be racing against each other along the river Avon in the final, were only inches apart.”