Video: Thousands watch rip-roaring river races at Boston’s Dragon Boat Festival

RIP-ROARING rowing action on Boston’s rivers saw thousands flock to the first Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday.

The River Witham was awash with colour for the action-packed boating spectacular which saw 19 teams compete for winners’ trophies.

Action from Boston's Dragon Boat Festival on the River Witham. Picture: Boston Standard (0814Boston040)

Action from Boston's Dragon Boat Festival on the River Witham. Picture: Boston Standard (0814Boston040)

“I’m delighted with the support we had on the day,” said organiser David Witts.

“We had some really close racing too, with just half a second between first and second places in the final.”

Teams made up of 10 crew members and a drum player turned out in force in the supplied dragon-headed boats (Gable Events) for the race heats along a 220-metre stretch of the Witham.

“One boat even capsized, which was entertaining for the crowds,” said Mr Witts.

Action from Boston's Dragon Boat Festival on the River Witham. Picture: Boston Standard (0814Boston049)

Action from Boston's Dragon Boat Festival on the River Witham. Picture: Boston Standard (0814Boston049)

“But it wasn’t even in the race at the time.”

He added: “It was a good atmosphere and great to see so many people enjoying themselves – with many saying they’d never been on the river before.”

Along with the racing action there were a variety of fun family activities – including a dancing Chinese lion and children’s games.

The event is expected to have raised in excess of £5,000 for the S. John Stevens Memorial Trust – a Boston-based charity named after local man John Stevens which raises money for other charities that support a healthy heart.

His wife Yvonne told the crowds: “If he had been here today John would have loved it. Thank you to everyone for making this a very special day.”

Mr Witts said he hoped to make it an annual event in the town. “In fact, I’ve already had an email from a winning dragon racing team in Boston Massachussets – so we had better get training for next year,” he added.

The Final:

1st - team James Gold (50.08secs).

2nd - Mickey’s Finns (50.30secs).

3rd - Black Pearl (50.53secs).

4th - The Amphibious Aarons;

5th - Sports Bike Shop; 6th - Paragon Power Paddlers; 7th - SLS Scaffolding; 8th - The Fishtoft Flyers; 9th - Ten Blades & a Chopper; 10th - Finn Forrest; 11th - Dalehead Destroyers; 12th - Hong Kong Chinese Takeaway; 13th - Lister BMW/Mini; 14th - The Bush Boys; 15th - Boston Belles; 16th - Duncan and Topliss; 17th - TB Containers; 18th - Chinese Takeaway; 19th - EQAS Training.

Awards were given in other categories.

Coming triumphant in all three was Paragon Power Paddlers who took home the trophies for the individual and crew who raised the most money and the team with the best fancy dress costumes.