Crowds come out for city's Dragon Boat Festival

Image of crowds on Gloucester Docks watching the dragon boat race
Crowds packed the docks to watch the races unfold [BBC]

The Dragon Boat Festival returned to Gloucester on Sunday.

The annual event at Gloucester Docks saw up to 30 rowing crews racing 984ft (300m) along the River Severn.

The event was organised by the Rotary Club of Gloucester, with most of the entrants fundraising for charities that the club supports.

The top three teams will compete on Sunday evening to determine the overall champion and winner of the prized Dragon Boat Shield.

Competing teams began racing at 09:30 BST.

The route takes them from beneath the swing bridge on Llanthony Road, through the water of the Docks Basin, before ending at Merchants Quay.

Image of rowers at the dragon boat race
The races began at 09:30 BST on Sunday morning [BBC]
Image of rowers at the dragon boat race
A drummer sits at the bow of the boat to keep the rowers in rhythm [BBC]
Image of rowers at the dragon boat race
All proceeds from the event go to charity [BBC]

Each team competes in a 30ft long (9m) canoe boat fitted with a colourful dragon head.

A drummer sits at the bow of each boat to ensure that rowers stick to a consistent rhythm.

Image of rowers at the dragon boat race
Contestants race in teams of 10 [BBC]
Image of the dragon race at Gloucester Docks
Teams rowing along the River Severn [BBC]

The event is inspired by a tradition which originated in China more than 2,000 years ago.

Since coming to Gloucestershire, it has become a firm favourite amongst hundreds of spectators.

Image of the dragon boat race in Gloucester
One team will be awarded the Dragon Boat Shield tonight [BBC]

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