Abingdon Rotary Club Dragon Boat Race, Oxfordshire, Sunday 14th May
Oxford. 15th May 2006: Staff from environmental charity Earthwatch triumphed over 30 local teams, including RAF Brize Norton, to make the top three in the Annual Abingdon Rotary Club Dragon Boat Race.
And they scooped 1st prize of £75 for their fancy dress theme, 'Nigel's Ark', pairing-up as threatened species including orang-utans, frogs and macaws.
Furiously paddling a 40ft dragon boat along the Thames, the 16-strong Earthwatch crew won every heat to come third in a thrilling final against six teams including BUCAS (2nd) and Abingdon Boys Boat Club (1st).
Most importantly, Earthwatch has raised approximately £2000 through sponsorship - one third for Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper's charity fund, and the rest for a crucial mangrove rehabilitation project in Kenya.
Team captain Nat Spring, who rowed 3000 miles across the Atlantic in 2004, trained his colleagues for the race. He said: "The sponsorship will support a community project on the south Kenyan coast, helping restore the mangroves which are natural sea defences protecting vulnerable low-lying communities."
Earthwatch Chief Executive and Dragon Boat drummer, Nigel Winser, said: "It was fantastic to see Dragon teams pulling together for so many diverse causes. It was a terrific day and I'm very proud of the team."
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