Boat-racing teams make a splash as thousands enjoy Downham Market water festival

Downham Market Water Festival
Downham Market Water Festival

Boat racers made waves in Downham on Sunday as the town’s annual water festival returned for its 11th year.

The festival proved to be a success once more, with about 4,000 people thought to have attended throughout the day held at the town’s Hythe Bridge.

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

As well as the regular schedule of dragon boat racing, the day also saw visitors enjoy a funfair, stalls and a number of events.

Among the day’s activities, which were also attended by South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss, included a visit by BBC Radio Norfolk’s Treasure Quest, as well as demonstrations by Legacy Dance, the Marquettes and Russ Welch Zumba.

But the main event of the day was the dragon boat racing, which is based on an ancient Chinese tradition, which saw 11 teams paddle their way down the Great Ouse Relief Channel to be crowned champions.

The teams battled it out in rounds to be chosen as one of the fastest three and to go through to the final.

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Among the teams was the mayors of Downham Town Council and community team, named the mayor’s Chain Gang.

Placing first was Cirrhosis of the River representing the East of England Ambulance Service, with BritStar1 representing British Sugar coming in second and the Mad Hatters of John Chambers Windows Ltd placing third.

Also taking part were teams who represented Accent Fresh, The Chequers at Wimbotsham, Nando’s and WISH, RunDMC (Downham Market Community Running Group), and Dereham Round Table.

A spokesman for Downham Town Council said the council and the event working party wanted to thank: “Thurlow Nunn for the use of land; Gable Events for running the dragon boat racing; all the volunteers without who the event wouldn’t happen; and, the people of Downham and further afield for their great support of the event.”

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival

Downham Market Water Festival