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Sunday 21st May 2017 is the date for the next Salford Dragon Boat Festival, to be held at the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre, Salford Quays. M50 3SQ

£27,527 in total was raised from the 2016 Salford Dragon Boat Festival. Highest fund raising team: "Stockport Transformers" from Stockport Homes with £4,174. Second highest teams: "Challenging Brute Strength" & "Ross's Rowers" from RBS who each raised £3,161.

For those new to dragon boating, it is a team building event that is quick to pick up, progressive in nature and ideal for both experienced crews and novices alike. It is one of the reasons why so may people who watch those Racing The Dragon, realise that it is one of those events ... that is just far too much fun to simply watch!

A dragon boat team is made up of between 13 - 20 team members, although a maximum sixteen paddlers and a drummer will be allowed to compete in any one race. The extra members are because each team will have several races during the day. if you are a small team and down on numbers, the drummer (even another paddler) can always be borrowed from another team.

Racing is over the whole length of Ontario Dock, which is around 180 meters and each team will have a minimum three timed races where their single fastest time only will count for Grand Final qualification. What this means is, even if two of your races are both disasters, one great time is still all you need to be in with a good chance of going through to the Grand Final race.

Before each team's first race, teams will be given a safety briefing and also instruction on the technique used. One person paddling a canoe - simple. Up to sixteen people paddling a dragon boat together ... not so simple.

Team work is vital if a fast time is going to be achieved and for this reason, the instructors will also give 'on the water' training to help with technique. Over the distance we race, fitness is not a key factor - technique however is. So it does not matter if your team is made up of just 12 paddlers or the full 16, because it's a team sprint where team work and timing is everything. What you will be aiming to achieve is an opportunity to compete in the last race of the day ... the Grand Final. This will be a race where all the dragon boats that can be safey raced together will race one last time and first across will be declared: Dragon Boat Champions of Salford 2017.

The event will finish with our award ceremony where team trophies were awarded to the Captain's of the top three teams and Winner's Meadals to each member of the winning team. It's a brilliant day out.

Charity Fundraising

Being a charity fund raising event, each team is asked to nominate a charity and for each team member to raise at least £50 for the team's charity. As part of the fund raising process, each team Captain will need to set up a fund raising page with a recognised online provider (Just Giving, Virgin Money Giving, BT Donate etc.) and email their page's link to their team members. We will also need the link, which will be posted by your team's name in the Team Entry table below.

Each team member will then be able to pay their sponsorship via card using this link and for tax payers, to click the 'Gift Aid' box on the form. Gift Aid is a government funded refund based on the size of your donation (they are giving back the tax value on your donation) and NOT something extra you will be paying, so please make sure you tick the box.

At the award ceremony (where trophies for the top three teams and winner's medals for the winning team will be presented), we will also let everyone know just how much was raised by all the teams and ... which teams raised the most!

On the registration form, there will be a drop-down box where around 50 previously supported charities are listed. You can nominate any one of these or one of your own. The only requirement is that your nominated charity must be registered with the Charity's Commission.

Programme for the 2017 Festival:

09:00 - Registration open

09:35 - Team photo-shoots to start

09:55 - Registration closes

10:00 - Event start and introduction.

10:03 - First teams called up for safety briefings.

10:33 - Start of Race 1.

12:37 - Start of Race 2.

14:07 - Start of Race 3.

15:50 - Grand Final Race

16:05 - Award ceremony and prize giving.

16:00 - Festival End

Please note: these times subject to change in the event of windy weather or a capsize.

For information on team sizes and how to enter, please click here.

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