Cambridgeshire Royals Dragon Boat Team - News Sept 2014
2nd September 2014
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Darling of the BDA, nine year old Izzy, helps Royals bring home the points at Albert Docks.


Nine year old Izzy Gallon became the darling of the British Dragon Boat Association (BDA) league event at Albert Docks at the weekend as the youngest BDA member and drummer for the Cambridgeshire Royals. 


The Royals once again proved that they can keep up with the best at the last league race event of the season.   Racing at Albert Docks London on Sunday 30 August the Royals finished 3rd in the Minor Final and a 7th overall placing for the 200m, and then a 2nd in the Cup Minor Final with an overall placing of 6th overall in the 500m races.                             


The day started with a 200m race against two premier ship teams (Typhoon and Exe-calibre), but that didn't deter the Royals and they came through the race to finish 2nd in a fast time of 52.85 and an automatic place in the semi finals of the Major Final.


The Royals went on to take 2nd place in the semis and a place in the Minor Finals, where they were up against strong opposition including two top placing premier teams.  Undeterred and with a very vocal group of supporters, the Royals eventually came home in 3rd place, missing the 2nd place by just 0 .4 of a second. 


The afternoon continued for the Royals with the 500m racing.  Again, they started well and put in a premiership beating time of 2:22:00, and just like in the morning gained an automatic semi final place, followed by a place in the Cup Minor Final, where they paddled to 2nd place.


The Royal Ladies joined forces with the ladies from Secklow 100 from Milton Keynes (Secklow Royals) and also put in a good show with a race against five other teams from across the country, to come home in 5th place.  But the star of the show had to be nine year old Izzy Gallon, who took to the drum for the first time in a competitive race with the ladies in this league event.


Nine year old Izzy said:  " When my dad told me I might be drumming a real race I was really excited but I was also a little bit nervous.  When I got on the drum at Albert Docks it was much choppier than where we normally train and so I was a little bit scared, I was also nervous in case I messed up, but everybody was really nice and by the time we got to the start line I was smiling and couldn't wait to go. I was so glad to get the tricky start bit out the way and into the proper drumming, I even shouted at them to go faster!


"It was so exciting. We didn't win but I didn't care, I was just glad I done it. When we finished I got given a medal which I was so proud of, everyone was clapping for me.  I went back to the camp and told Lewis (our regular drummer), he should rest so I can do it all again!  I loved it!"


The day concluded with a 100m sprint race.  With 21 teams taking part, the Royals sprinted their way straight through to the finals, and to then take 5th place.


Paul Saywell, Team Manager said: "After our first race day at St.Neots and finding where we are in the two leagues run by the British Dragon Boat Association we knew that we were definitely competing at the top end of the premiership.


"We then enter our team into the Royal Albert Docks race day and to be complimented with... Great racing Royals, its about time we had some competition in this league .... by the best two teams in this country was a fantastic boost,  That was after our first race and was a fantastic compliment and we are not even in the premier league yet!


"The highlight of my day was the 500m final against the best crews in this country and beating the 2014 premier champions Amathus, and after previously being pipped by them we gained another two seconds on our previous time."

The Royals will next be racing at the British Dragon Boat Association National League Finals, held over the weekend of 20/21 September at the Nottingham Water Sports Centre.

If you would like to try your hand at dragon boating and join in the excitement and thrills of a race day, contact them at or check out our website: for training details.

About the Author

Phill @ 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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