Dragons return to Jersey waters to raise money for Jersey Hospice Care

It’s that time of year again, when competitors from all walks of life take to the water to raise money for the island's hospice at the Condor Ferries’ Dragon Boat Festival.

It is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the UK and an integral part of the island’s summer calendar, offering a fantastic experience for spectators and competitors alike.

Since it started, thousands of people in Jersey have taken part and helped to raise more than £700,000, with each team pledging to raise a minimum of £500 for the charity. Last year’s event raised approximately £50,000 and we are keeping our fingers crossed that this year’s event will do just as well!

With no experience needed – just loads of enthusiasm – the festival, which takes over Albert Pier, is a popular event, with a great carnival atmosphere. Fancy dress is a common sight at the Festival; this year we are expecting to see comic book heroes, lobsters, hotdogs and aliens!

The first race takes place this Saturday at 10.00 and the spectacular nine boat final will be at 16.00. As well as watching the exciting races, and the chance to spot friends and colleagues in fancy dress, there is plenty to keep spectators entertained onshore, with a range of activities for all ages. Delicious Genuine Jersey food and drink stalls will also be there to tempt everyone.

Each year, the annual event is generously sponsored by Condor Ferries and hosted by Ports of Jersey. Martyn Brydon, Condor Ferries’ Port Manager in Jersey, said: ‘As active supporters of the local community, Condor is proud to be sponsor of the Condor Ferries’ Dragon Boat Festival for 21 successive years.

‘The event has become a firm fixture in the island’s calendar. There’s a real sense of fun, energy and community spirit that characterises the Festival and this also raises considerable sums for Jersey Hospice Care, which is such as worthy cause. It’s simply an ‘oarsome’ event for us to be associated with!’

Linzi Duckworth, Dragon Boat organiser at Jersey Hospice Care, agrees. ‘The Condor Ferries’ Dragon Boat Festival is always one of the highlights in our fundraising calendar. It’s not often that you get to see people dressed as flamingos walking in formation and clowns competing against men in drag! As well as being great fun, it is also a significant fundraiser for us, regularly bringing in more than £50,000 for Jersey Hospice Care. With daily running costs of approximately £16,200 to run our services, the amount raised is vital to allow us to continue caring for our patients and their families.’