A great weekend for St Neots Cambridgeshire Royals Dragon Boat Team
26th September 2017
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Royals bring home the trophys and a few Blue Peter badges!


The 23/24 September weekend, for the Royals, was two days packed full of racing, and being involved in the filming for the Blue Peter Children's TV show. They were kept a bit busy - but they all pitched in to help each other and together we made it through the weekend, which was the British Dragon Boat Racing Association National Finals held at National Water Sports Centre, Nottinghamshire (Holme Pierre Pont) in Nottingham.

Several new members came along for their first ever race event, and they instantly gelled with the team to help us take 1st place in the plate major final for 200m, and then on the Sunday a respectable 4th in the Cup Minor Final.

The Junior team were a force to be reckoned with, and put up a strong effort to secure not one silver medal - but two, by coming 2nd just behind the GB Under 18 team in both the 200m and the 500m junior race events.

On top of all that our Juniors were in the spot light for most of Saturday afternoon continuing their filming for the Blue Peter show, and they took part in a one-off filmed exhibition race with two teams battling it out down a 200m course: Team Lindsey, and Team Tom (Thomas Evans is our GB U18 Paddler). Team Lindsey consisted of all our Royal Juniors with a few GB Under 18 Paddlers, and Tom's team with a few junior paddlers from a couple of other teams, and a few GB Under 18 paddlers to even the teams out. This was part two of the filming for the Royal Juniors, having spent the day with presenter Lindsey and the Blue Peter film crew back at our base in Eynesbury, (St Neots) a couple of weeks ago. We can't reveal the result of the race - but keep your eyes out for the date of when the show will be aired on CBBC.

On top of all this one of our Junior paddlers, 15 year old Jes Smith, started her journey to become an advanced helm, by being assessed (thanks Ian Bowers from Wraysbury Skiff and Punting Club) and successfully completing one of the modules by taking charge of, and helming our junior team in both the 200m and the 500m junior races. Congratulations Jes - you are now on your way to becoming a full advanced/race helm.

The Royals have had an up and down year with several members leaving the team - but over the last couple of months we have rebuilt, we have even had a couple of leavers return (they just can't keep away) and we are on our way up again!

A fantastic weekend, great atmosphere, great friendships, and a big thank you to all our members for everything that you did this weekend. Coach Matt Gallon summed up the weekend by saying: "One of the highlights for me was seeing the reactions and comments from the newbies doing their first races. My main aim for the weekend was that we had a positive atmosphere and that the newbies enjoyed it, I think that happened! Hopefully this is just the start, and with another half a dozen newbies still to experience that Royal 'wind it up', we've got a great future to look forward to."

So do you think you could be a Royal? Would you like to give it a go? Then contact us and take advantage of a four week FREE trial. Give us a call on 07736 311031 or email us: and get in the boat, and who knows next year this could be you!



Team Lindsey for the Blue Peter Exhibition race

All the Royals celebrate after a brilliant weekend

15 year old Jes Smith taking the helm of the junior boat whilst being assessed to become an advanced/race helm.

Blue Peter presenter Lindsey, interviewing Izzy Gallon and Thomas Evans.


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The Best of St Neots

Member since: 10th July 2012

Lived in St Neots since 1975 and boy how its changed, always looking to promote everything great in and around our town.

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