The 'Royals' rule the waves at British Dragon Boat event
Lifting the trophy for a second place in the major finals of the 400 metre race was the highlight of the day for the Cambridgeshire Royals at their first ever British Dragon Boat Association (BDA) event, that was held in St Neots on Sunday 6 July.
A full day of racing was enjoyed by all the 27 strong squad of this new Dragon Boat team from St Neots, racing for the first time in the standard league. In addition to the major finals the team started the day well with a ninth overall in the 200 metre races, beating a few premier division teams in the process.
The Royals also fielded a ladies team by joining forces with another local team 'Secklow 100' from Milton Keynes. A close finish meant that the teams all finished within a second of each other, with the combined team taking fourth place in a respectable time of 55.92 over the 200 metre course.
Fairy Daines, paddler and ladies team captain said "We were truly amazing today, and we all worked so well as a team. All the hard work and hours of practice has finally paid off, we definitely turned some heads and worried some of the other teams with our performance. We had lots of great compliments from the other teams as well as the BDA."
The afternoon brought even more joy to the team. Helped along by an army of very vocal supporters, the team paddled their way to an overall placing of eighth in the 400metre races with some very close finishes along the way, a trophy, and a final placing of third out of the standard league teams to gain their first points to start them on their way up the league table.
Club Chairman Brian Samuel added: " The first race for us today was an absolute dream, we were expecting to be left behind on the start line as we were up against Notts Anaconda, a premier crew, and Henley, one of the top standard teams. To actually win the race by over one second was just totally unbelievable and turned quite a few heads.
"What we achieved far out ways anything that I imagined. I am so proud of what the team has come away with today. The atmosphere around our camp, not only from the paddlers, but from their families and friends who supported us, was something I am so glad to have been part off."
The final race event of the day was a 1.5 kilometre pursuit race and the team, and supporters, were again up for the challenge. The Royals put in a time of 8.55.95 and an overall placing of ninth out of the twelve teams that took part.
The team are next scheduled to be back out racing in their next BDA event at the end of August at Albert Docks in London.
If you would like to try your hand at dragon boating and join in the excitement and thrills of a race day, contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website www.cambridgeshireroyals.co.uk for training details.
Photo 1 - Ladies Team in action
Photo 2 - The Royals in action in their first 400 metre race
Photo 3 - Paul Saywell, Team Manager, lifting the 2nd place major final trophy
Photo 4 - Celebrating Royal Style
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.