SEE VIDEO: Rough conditions for racers at Downham Market Water Festival

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“British Bulldog spirit” did not allow the tail end of Hurricane Bertha to spoil the annual Downham Water Festival.

All of the 18 teams of dragon boat racers took part and refused to allow the appalling rain and wind to stop their fun on Sunday.

8th Downham Market river festival dragon boat racing ANL-141008-170349009
8th Downham Market river festival dragon boat racing ANL-141008-170349009

Teams from businesses and organisations across the area paddled furiously along the Great Ouse Relief Channel in a series of races.

The final was battled out between Tulip Vikings, a team from Tulip in Lynn; Bri Star 1, from the British Sugar factory at Wissington; and Herbert’s Heroes, from Herbert’s Engineering in Marshland St James.

But the spoils went to Tulip Vikings.

Although the turn-out was down on previous years, many families still went along when the weather cleared in the afternoon to cheer on the teams and look around the stalls.

8th Downham Market river festival dragon boat racing ANL-141008-170426009
8th Downham Market river festival dragon boat racing ANL-141008-170426009

The event is organised by Downham Town Council.

Deputy clerk Richard Davidson has thanked all the teams who took part.

He said: “The weather was a disappointment to us but the event still went ahead with all of the teams on board.

“I think it just shows the British Bulldog spirit. We still had the Downham Volunteers to help out.

8th Downham Market river festival dragon boat racing
left Kyla Atkin 5 and Ava Atkin 3 ANL-141008-170851009
8th Downham Market river festival dragon boat racing left Kyla Atkin 5 and Ava Atkin 3 ANL-141008-170851009

“It is fantastic how everyone pulled together and refused to let some rain spoil an event which people had been looking forward to for months.”

Next year’s event will be held on Sunday, August 9.

 

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