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After a bit of a break from racing Pershore Phoenix race team went to Bristol for the British Dragon Boat Association - Bristol Race.

A brilliant day, competitive - the weather was good, loads of fun and some success too.

Fielding 17 paddlers a drummer and borrowing a number of helms the racing went as follows:

  • 1st Race - 200metres.  The opposition:
    • Amathus (top of the Premier league) [We are in the Standard League!]
    • Typhoon (joint second in the Premier league)

      OK we knew we weren't going to win this one but it was the time that was important and we had nothing to lose.  We had many people in the boat who had never raced before.

    • Race time: 1min 5secs.  A respectable result - we were happy so far. OK, we came 3rd but look at the opposition!


  • 2nd Race - 200metres.  The opposition:
    • Cambridgeshire Royals (7th in the Premier league)
    • St Neots Too (3rd in the Standard league).  A great bunch. Some of us paddled with thi friendly team at the last race meeting in Stockton this year and they made us very welcome.

      We really wanted to do better.  We got a good time in the last race but THIRD !  We went out and hit it as hard as we could. Cambridgeshire Royals got in front and we hit their wash. It felt like a fairground ride but we kept paddling, spray hit us, the drummer screamed at us (encouragingly) and we went over the line - where was 'St Neots Too'; we had beaten them !!!

    • Race time: 1min 7secs.  We came second :-) but we dropped 2seconds over the last race but this time we came second beating St Neots Too by 5 massive seconds.
  • 3rd Race - 200metres Bowl Final.  The opposition:
    • St Neots Too (7th in the Standard League)
    • Typhoon Too (11th in the Standard League)

This time we had the idea we could do well.  Last time we had become 2seconds slower, were we getting tired?  A team talk and we were in the boat with little time to get to the start line.  We made it in time, performed a great start an kept the power on for the rest of the race. No breath left but grins and pats on backs all round.

    • Race time: 1min 5secs.  We came first :-)), first time out racing for what seemed like ages. We got those 2 seconds back and beat 'Typhoon Too' by 4 seconds, 'St Neots Too' were behind them - wow.


  • 4th Race - 3500metres.  The opposition:
    • St Neots Too     (7th in the Standard League)
    • Amathus Bees   (Joint 3rd in the Standard League)
    • Kingston Royals (2nd in the Standard League)
    • Pink Champagne (12th in the Standard League)
    • Typhoon Too      (11th in the Standard League)

      Some of our team had never raced over such a distance - we'd practiced but racing is a different matter as we found out. Teams werestarted off 20seconds apart.  Pink Champagne were away first, 20seconds later Amathus Bees then Typhoon Too then us (Pershore Phoenix) and as far as we were concerned Kingston Royals could've been set off or not - we never saw them again!  The race took us about 2km to the first turn - at the first turn our helm (who we borrowed - thank you so much) performed an exceptional turn getting the inside edge on both 'Typhoon Too' AND 'Amathus Bees'. We executed a rolling start with more power thn any of us epected and we were off down the return leg after 'Pink Champagne'. A few hundred metres (maybe 500m) and we overtook them.  The dragon boat drums echoed round Bristol docks area by the SS Great Britain and it sounded like a team were closng in on us.  Everyone in the team found energy to cover the course as fast as absolutely possible.  The second turn was taken with a wider radius losing as little speed as possible and we paddled past the watching crowd who started shouting encouragement to us - little did we know that the following boat had not even made the last turn yet so we paddled with everything we had across the line.  Everyone in the boat were astounded to find, after getting breath back and turning round to look at the following boat to find that the next team were miles behind.

    • Race time: 13min 39secs.  We came first :-))), about 28seconds ahead of the next boat which was Kingston Royals.



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