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Record numbers compete in annual London dragon boat race festival

By BO LEUNG in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-07-02 09:20

Winners ABP lift the HKETO Cup at the festival in London. JAMES SADLER/ FOR CHINA DAILY

A record 56 teams took to the water for the 24th annual London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival held at the Royal Docks, in the east of the capital.

Thousands of spectators cheered-on teams of paddlers, racing along the River Thames in their iconic dragon boats, with their drum beats adding to the carnival atmosphere.

Organizers say the event was one of the busiest in its recent history, as the United Kingdom's most exciting cross-cultural sporting occasion.

Vincent Tong, president of the London Chinatown Lions Club, the event host said: "The dragon boat racing is always impressive with race heats running all day from 10am until the start of the finals in late afternoon involving amateur teams with absolute beginners to professional, national, corporate, community and charity-based teams doing battle on the water in a sport in which anyone can take part, and we're always looking for interested parties."

On dry land, visitors enjoyed a day of food and festivities as live music and martial arts displays entertained the crowds.

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