VIDEO: Worthing Dragon Boat Festival

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THOUSANDS turned out in the sunshine for the first Worthing Dragon Boat Festival.

Organised by Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service (Wadars), the event featured 23 teams, formed from businesses and groups as far afield as London, who raised money for the animal charity by racing in 40ft-long dragon boats.

W31586H11 WH DRAGON BOAT RACING PIC S.G. 31.07.2011''Dragon Boat Racing Brooklands Sunday  The American Express team W31586h11

W31586H11 WH DRAGON BOAT RACING PIC S.G. 31.07.2011''Dragon Boat Racing Brooklands Sunday The American Express team W31586h11

The festival, which was held at Brooklands Pleaure Park, in Brighton Road, on Sunday (July 31), also featured a rock climbing wall, face-painting, and other stalls, all of which raised more than £3,000 on the day.

Tony Thorn, fund-raising manager for Wadars, said: “It was an absolutely fabulous day. I was staggered by the number of people who turned up and it was a great family day out, which was what we planned.

“Lots of people brought picnics and took part, and we had nothing but really good compliments from people there.

“We’re already starting a list for people interested in taking part next year.”

While the final amount raised is not yet known, Tony said he expected the festival to raise more than £20,000. The winning team was Amex ICC, with a time of 55.16 seconds, followed by Chartswell Limited in 55.57sec and the Mandy Brown team in 56.35sec.

Other teams taking part included Worthing-based Bowers & Wilkins, Northbrook College, Russell New Accountants, from Upper Beeding, Osborne of Arun ship yard, in Littlehampton, and Jeremy Cheung, from London.