Ware's annual dragon boat race returns to the water this coming Saturday (8th June).
The event is organised by the local Rotary Club and sees 12 teams competing on the River Lee between the Saracen's Head and the Library car park.
Each team is made up of ten paddlers and a drummer in long narrow boats with dragon heads on the front. The paddlers try to keep their oars moving in time with the beat of the drum to get the maximum momentum. Two teams take part in each race, with the action starting around 10am.
The event coincides with the Sacred Heart School’s summer fete and is formally opened by the mayor of Ware at 10.00 am when the race starter fires his pistol to start the first race.
A commentator keeps everyone informed of the races during the day and provides information and details of each team as they paddle down the river towards the starting line.
Each team has three heats and after every race the timings are added to a large display board. The teams with the two fastest times go forward to a final.
Over the years many large and smaller charities have benefited from funds raised by the teams, including Herts & Essex Air Ambulance, Isabel Hospice, Teens Unite, Mudlarks, Muscle Help, Ware Lido, Wodson Sports Centre and HELPING.
This year Rotary has allowed teams to retain the sponsorship funds they raise for their own chosen charities.