Devon Air Ambulance's annual Dragon Boat Festival, which has run for the past 6 years in aid of Devon's two emergency aircraft, is always well-supported by teams looking to go head-to-head and thrash it out against competitors on the River Exe to secure the prestigious first place trophy. 

The Dragonboat race event is well-supported by teams of businesses and corporate supporters who use the occasion as a great team-building exercise or as an opportunity to do something a little different for an annual Away Day, with clubs and groups plus individuals making up the other boats. 

Whatever the motivation for getting involved in and helping raise funds for your Air Ambulances, there are a couple of things you can do to prepare for the big day...

1. Get on board with your Dragon Boat team

Although many teams may know each other fairly well before a race, either through work or collaborating in a community group, the Dragon Boat Festival will help you to get to know each other even better! Over the course of several heats, you will soon discover who the really competitive people are, who the person with the loudest voice is, and your capacity for getting drenched!

It's not always possible to get on the river before the big day to practise, so one way to help you prepare with your team is to work out who are the powerhouses - those who can really motor at the back of the boat and who will set the pace at the front of the boat. Try to pair team members evenly so that you don't end up with a tall person with a long reach on one side, and a petite person with a shorter paddle reach on the other - you don't want to be going around in circles!

2. Corporate dragon boat racing is a fun way to be a roaring success

There are plenty of benefits to bringing a team together for a fun day out on Exeter Quay, not least the opportunity to bond, get to know each other in a non-work context, and to enjoy the experience of successfully raising funds for your local Air Ambulance charity. 

If you've not entered before, or if you have and you decide you would like a new one, then one way to prepare is to get your team to come up with a fun or inspiring team name - it's an opportunity to be creative and to democratically build your team.

It's well known that 'extra curricular' activities such as the Dragon Boat Festival brings renewed energy to a workplace, enhances morale and brings people together through collaborating towards a shared goal. 

3. Secure that Dragon boat racing sponsorship

There are two ways to fund the race:

  1. You can self-fund, in which case your business or club pays £360 for the cost of the boat hire and then each team member (including the drummer) raises a minimum of £45 each in sponsorship. Or,
  2. Devon Air Ambulance will cover the cost of the boat hire, but each team member must raise a minimum of £70 each.

Sponsorship is a fun way to help even more people to feel involved and invested in your activity - and it doesn't do any harm to have a few people cheering you on from the quayside - and maybe buying you an ice cream afterwards!

Come on down to Exeter Quay!

We're looking forward to seeing you at Exeter Quay on 22nd September (2019). 

Here's how to enter

Interested in other Devon Air Ambulance fundraising events? Find out more about our annual fundraisers, or if you're keen to lend your support in an individual we have plenty of fundraising ideas to get started with!