Hundreds help St David's Foundation with Monmouth Rowing Club dragon boat race

The boats battle it out

The BAE Systems penguins gear up for action

First published in News by

MORE than 350 people descended on Monmouth Rowing Club today for the St David’s Foundation Dragon Boat Race.

The sunshine was out in full force as friends and family packed the banks of the River Wye to cheer on the dragon boats.

Ten teams took part to raise money for St David’s, with each team having between 10 and 15 rowers and a drummer.

The Dragon Boat Race was postponed in June due to an unusually high rainfall.

The St David’s Foundation Dragon Boat Trophy was awarded to the winning crew, OPCO Dragons entered by OPCO Construction of Cardiff. Teams from the Nag's Head pub in Monmouth and BAE Systems came second and third respectively.

A further prize was awarded to BAE Systems, who were dressed as penguins, for bringing in the most sponsorship money on the day and for having the best fancy dress.

Matthew Fletcher, 22, said: "I did it last year and really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d give it another go. We’ve all done stuff for St David’s before, and the St David’s Hospice team is made up of our friends and family. My dad’s taking part and some of the boys are on my rugby team."

Matthew Steed, 20, said ahead of the race: "We haven’t actually practised at all, but I reckon we can win it."

Tom Rayner, 22, added: "We’re definitely feeling confident about our chances. We won our rugby match for Caerleon RFC yesterday, so why not this too?"

Karen Hughes, from Cwmbran, said: "I work for St David’s, and my husband is taking part in the race on the St David’s Hospice team. It’s been a fabulous day, we have always tended to be lucky when it comes to the weather for the race."

Kris Broome, the event organiser, said: "We really want to thank everyone for showing up and supporting us.

"We are hoping today’s event will raise over £5,000, and of course people can keep donating online.

"All funds raised goes to help people who are suffering from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses in South East Wales."

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