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The ESP Motley Crew are ready to make a splash in the 20th Dragon Boat Race this year – are you?

Entries are officially open for the annual Dragon Boat Festival which returns to Peterborough Rowing Lake on Saturday June 9 and, organisers Gable Events, are expecting a bumper turnout to celebrate its 20th anniversary year!

For the second year running ESP Magazine is proud to be the print media sponsor for the event and after doing far better than anticipated last year – and not capsizing – our Motley Crew of rag-tag pirates are throwing down the challenge to local companies, organisations, sports clubs or even just groups of mates to do battle with us on the Rowing Lake!

Over 30 teams are expected to descend on Thorpe Meadows in June to join in with the celebrations. They will be a complete mix of new and returning crews but all with the same aim in mind – to enjoy a fabulous day out with colleagues and friends whilst helping to make a difference in their community.

Festival charity Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice has to fundraise £2.3 million in 2018 to continue providing their incredible end of life care to people across the region, which makes events like the Dragon Boat Festival even more important. To tie in with the 20th anniversary, the charity has set the target of raising £20,000 at the event so that their staff and volunteers can continue to be there to give more families the time, memories and care they need at the most difficult time.


There is a great incentive for teams to raise as much sponsorship as possible as the top fundraisers will win the fabulous prize of a private Raceview suite, finger buffet and sponsored race package worth £600 once again kindly donated by Peterborough Greyhound Stadium.

Fundraiser Nilesh Patel told ESP – “We are delighted and proud to again be the charity partner for the Dragon Boat Festival and to be here to celebrate the 20th anniversary of what has become a ‘must do’ event in the region. The Festival works so well for businesses or groups as a team building day, as a charity challenge or a family fun day. We would love to see even more teams taking part this year representing Thorpe Hall Hospice.”


There are spaces for up to 52 crews to battle it out over the 200 metre course and enhanced Gold and Silver entry packages are available which include marketing benefits such as the company’s logo on each side of a dragon boat as well as a significant donation to Thorpe Hall. 


Each team will race a minimum of three times, the dragon boats and all equipment are provided and no previous experience is needed. There will also be a host of bankside activities making it a great family day out.

Connect FM radio breakfast hosts Mark and Liz will be commentating on all the races once again as the action hots up on the water and will keep everyone entertained throughout the day.

This year’s sponsor is Motorpoint, the local used car supermarket. Occupying a five-acre site in Peterborough and open seven days a week, Motorpoint is home to over 400 new and nearly new low mileage cars from 35 different manufacturers.

For more info and an entry form call Festival organisers Gable Events on 01780 470718 or visit

For information about the vital work of Thorpe Hall Hospice, visit or email

Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice – What funds raised by the teams will buy…

Raise £150 as a team and you could ensure a Hospice at Home nurse has a mobile working bag with all the kit they need to care for someone out in the community

£500 could pay for a bed for a day of inpatient care for a hospice patient

£1,150 could cover the cost of running one of our Hospice at Home services for a day

£2,500 could buy a pressure-relieving mattress to ensure patients are as comfortable as possible when movement is limited

£3,000 could pay for a hospice nurse for a month

Photos: Mike Harris for ESP Magazine

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