THE annual COSMIC Dragon Boat Race will return to the Regent’s Canal for its twelfth year. The first starting pistol will sound at 5pm on Thursday July 25 at St. Mary’s Bridge where traditional Chinese Dragon Boats will race for 100 metres until the finish line at Paddington Basin.
In association with Merchant Square and Paddington Central, people from all over the area will come together for this friendly competition to help raise money for the local Children of St Mary’s Intensive Care [COSMIC] charity. The much-needed funds will go towards helping support the families of children being treated on the ward. Last year, over £16,000 was raised for COSMIC and event organisers would love to beat that total this year.
The sport itself has a 2,000-year-old Chinese legacy, with each boat holding 10 rowers and 1 drummer to help the crew maintain their rhythm. With prizes including ‘Best Dressed’ and ‘Fastest Team’, it’s a great day out for all the family to watch 20 boats race over five heats and cheer on all the volunteers taking part – many in fancy dress.
In addition, the popular Rubber Duck Race will also be taking place on the same day. Starting at 12:30 around 500 rubber ducks will be launched onto the Regent’s Canal at St. Mary’s Bridge where they will bob 100 metres to the finish line by the Paddington Water Taxi launch point.
This is the fourth year the annual Duck Race will be held, again to raise much needed funds for the COSMIC charity through sponsorship – spectators can sponsor a duck for £3 by visiting the Virgin Money Giving page here.
Dragon Boat Regatta
Thursday 25th July 2018; 5-9pm
Tickets: spectating is ticketless and free, just turn up and grab a spot along the canal
Sponsorship: each Dragon Boat team is encouraged to set up their own fundraising page however the COSMIC Just Giving page is here.
Rubber Duck Race
Thursday 25th July 2018; 12:30- 1:30pm
Tickets: Spectating is ticketless and free, just turn up and grab a spot along the canal
Sponsorship: to sponsor a duck and enter it into the race is £3 per rubber duck, click here.
Chloe Oliver, charity director at COSMIC said: “’The funds raised from the annual Duck & Dragon Boat Race will make a real and immediate difference to the lives of critically ill children and their families receiving treatment on the Children’s Intensive Care Unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London. It will also help us fund state-of-the-art equipment, essential training for doctors and nurses, internationally significant research into the leading causes of childhood illness as well as providing social, emotional and practical support for parents and families. We are incredibly grateful to Merchant Square and all local partners and businesses taking part in this event which continues to provide incredible support to our service and charity.”
As part of the ‘Summer of Fun’ programme of free activities at Merchant Square, both events are free and ticketless to spectate. Sponsorship of the Dragon Boat teams and Rubber Ducks is encouraged to add an additional element of fun to the experience and all for a good cause.
With free WiFi throughout the area, spectators can upload content without fear of using up all their 3G data allowance. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s even a popup street food market to keep you going if you get peckish plus a range of eateries and food retailers.
Located at Paddington Basin, Merchant Square is home to some great free gigs, screenings and activities this season. More events can be found online at http://merchantsquare.co.uk/whats-on/.