Splash into 2020 and sign up for the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival

January 30, 2020

Get ready to grab a paddle and take to the water – entries are officially open for the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival 2020 on Saturday 13 June at Peterborough Rowing Club.

Last year’s festival saw 48 teams race each other in authentic Chinese dragon boats and raised £35,000 for charity Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.

Organisers Gable Events are hoping the 2020 festival, which will be the 22nd held in Peterborough and sponsored this year by Whirlpool UK, will be the biggest and best to date.

Teams will compete over the 200 metre course in 30ft dragon boats, each with an ornately carved dragon’s head and its own drummer at the front beating out time.

As well as the races, which are expected to be watched by several thousand spectators, there will be plenty of bankside entertainment and stalls for all the family to enjoy.

The festival will once again raise funds for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, which is the only specialist palliative care inpatient unit in Peterborough. The hospice provides expert care and support for people living with life-limiting conditions, as well as supporting their families.

Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice has to fundraise £2.4 million this year to continue providing its vital support to people across the region, which makes events like the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival even more important.

There is a great incentive for teams to raise as much sponsorship as possible – the top fundraisers will be awarded the charity trophy and receive a special escape room experience at Escape Peterborough.

Nilesh Patel, Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice’s Senior Community Fundraiser, said: “We are so grateful to everyone who supported us at the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival 2019; it was a 48 team sell out and raised a staggering £35,000. This could pay for over 1,800 hours of our expert and compassionate palliative care, helping our Sue Ryder Nurses and care team support patients and their loved ones through the most difficult times of their lives.

“We are thrilled to once again be the charity partner for the 2020 festival and would love to see everyone come together to make it the best one to date.

“Dragon boat racing is the fastest growing water activity in the UK today – as well as the most fun! The best part is you don’t need any previous experience, just plenty of enthusiasm, energy and fighting spirit! It’s the perfect opportunity for friends, families, workmates and groups to come together and do something completely different.

“All funds raised will ensure that we can carry on providing our specialist care and being there when it matters for local families.”

Ian Moverley, Public Affairs Director from festival sponsor, Whirlpool UK, said: “We’re thrilled to be participating in the Dragon Boat festival again this year, and as lead sponsors, we aim to help raise even more than last year’s fantastic total.

“Sue Ryder is a charity that is close to the heart of many of our colleagues here at Whirlpool, and we often get involved in volunteering and fundraising activities to support the great work they are doing. Many of our colleagues get involved year after year in the Dragon Boat festival, and it is a great day out for our teams and their friends and families.”

The Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival 2020 will take place on Saturday 13 June at Peterborough Rowing Club, Thorpe Meadows.

For more information and how to sign up, please email thorpe.fundraising@sueryder.org, call 01733 225999 or visit

For more information about Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, visit www.sueryder.org/thorpehall