On the late August bank holiday Monday, 14 teams of mixed ability rowers took to the waters of Chipstead Lake to compete in a fiery but friendly annual Dragon Boat Festival.
Hundreds of spectators flooded the banks of Chipstead Sailing Club on the hottest ever recorded late bank holiday. However it wasn’t just the weather that was smashing records, several teams put in some wonderful times on their route to the final, most notable were Regan Rowers, Shameaboutyourboatface and Pilgrim Youth who all posted sub-52 second times, while just missing out on a spot in the final were HMS Sportsdome.
Other teams competing on the day were the Brickslayers, Chevening School, Club Langley, Dunbrik Dragons, Unsinkable 2, Penguins of Love, Pink Panthers, Rucking Pirates, Flow Riders and Chipper.
The final was a tense battle with brothers David and Jamie Firmager going head-to-head for the second year running, the former coming out on top with his team Regan Rowers, their second win in three years, displacing brother Jamie from the title as well.
Andrew Hogg, landlord of the local Bricklayers Arms pub and team captain of the Brickslayers, said the day was not all about winning, but about putting on a show for the local community and enjoying yourself whilst raising some money for charity.
The annual event was this year held in aid of Leonard Cheshire Disability at Chipstead Lake and Wealden Sailability. With each team donating £150.00 and a prize raffle on the day, it was anticipated that the event would raise in the region of £3,000.00 which would then be split evenly between the two charities.
Tonbridge will take it’s turn next with their 5th annual event scheduled for Sunday 10th September on the river Medway from 9.00am.