Kingston Rotary Club’s Dragon Boat Challenge is arguably the largest in the country. On the morning of Sunday 16th July, 53 teams representing local businesses, charities and organisations converged on a gazebo village, set up in Canbury Gardens on the banks of the River Thames, to participate in this eagerly awaited annual event.  Kingston Rotary Dragon boat challenge.

Now in its 17th year the Dragon Boat Challenge has attracted thousands of participants and raised tens of thousands of pounds for charities and good causes. Last year the event raised £59,000 and this year we are hoping to beat that total as there were a record entry of teams, all hoping to win the coveted dragon boat award, whilst having fun in the sun.

Each team raced three times to achieve their fastest time to enter the grand final. This year’s winners were Team TK from TK Mechanical Services raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support  and only 1.7 seconds separated the nine teams in the grand final.

The President of Kingston Rotary Club Phillip Holt escorted The Worshipful The Mayor of Kingston upon Thames, Cllr Julie Pickering, along the riverbank to view the races and around the dragon boat village to meet the competitors and said ‘’Dragon Boats is an important event, the record number of teams entered has risen, and I trust a huge sum of money for charities and good causes will be raised, whilst having lots of fun, making new friends and contacts. I have never heard so many people thanking Rotary in Kingston for facilitating such a great event’’

Kingston Rotary Club members, helped by friends and families, have been organising this community event since 2000 and were assisted this year by 1st Hook Scouts and members of Kingston Riverside, New Malden and Surbiton Rotary Clubs. Anyone interested in learning more about Rotary can contact us on or call 0208 393 7970.

Next year’s Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge is Sunday 15th July 2018.

Article supplied by Phillip Holt