And so it came to pass that on Sunday, Mrs G and I hoped on our trusty metal steeds and trotted off to Gloucester docks to see the strange chinese beasts race un and down the water.  In english? we cycled to the docks to watch the Dragon Boat racing.

Met up with J,A & B and R,K & AB. As R is the well known “king of the docks” he was able to provide an excellent “lock-up” to store the bikes in and keep them sheltered from the weather. The forecast had been dry and overcast, but sadly this broke and became scattered showers instead. But no matter. Being of good english stock, we weathered the….um…  weather, and got on with enjoying the silliness in the name of charity.  In fact, considering the poor weather, the event itself was very well supported.

The teams gathered about the various boats, looked at them sheepishly, and nervously did as they were instructed.

By the time they’d been up and down the docks once, they had the hang of what they were supposed to be doing, and it wasn’t long before they were racing like professionals and getting seriosly competitive.  The races are run in a set of heats, and then a pair of semi-finals and finals.

The rowing was feverish, the crowds roared and the band played on….

At the end, a local team, the “Barnwood Pirates” stole the day, and I managed to capture a picture of a proud pirate about to receive his award. As you can see he’s reasonably soaked, 50% river water and 50% beer I suspect.

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While the winners retired to nearby hostelries for more beer and presumably champagne and other celebratory drinks, we retired to Cafe Corretto for coffee and sandwiches to warm us through.

All in all a good afternoon of standing about cheering, getting damp and raising money for CLIC Sargent, for children with cancer.  We left with the thought that perhaps if we can get enough interest from the rest of the mob, we may be able to put our own team in next year.  Time will tell.

Until the next post…


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

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