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Record numbers take to the water for annual dragon boat festival

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 July 2019

Dragon Boating originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. Picture: James Salder.

Dragon Boating originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. Picture: James Salder.

James Salder

A record 56 teams have taken part in the annual London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in the Royal Docks.

Picture: James Salder.Picture: James Salder.

Club, corporate, amateur and national teams all competed at the London Regatta Centre on Sunday, June 30.

The free event saw teams go head-to-head over seven hours of heats.

The Chinese Association of Tower Hamlets took home the prize for the fastest time at just over 56 seconds. Most times were around one minute and three seconds.

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The event was supported by London's Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office.

"Dragon boat racing has been enjoyed for over 2,000 years in China," said Priscilla To, London HKETO director general.

"For the residents of Hong Kong, the Dragon Boat Festival is an important social occasion.

"Wherever there is a Hong Kong community around the world, you will find a dragon boat festival."

A record 56 teams took part in this year's festival. Picture: James Salder.A record 56 teams took part in this year's festival. Picture: James Salder.

On land, celebrations included a South East Asian food festival, with dishes such as Bite Mi, Pad Thai and Pochi.

Accompanying the food and racing was a raffle draw. The event also saw live music and martial arts displays.

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