Chinese dragon boats race through Royal Docks for Hong Kong festival

Chinese dragon boats are racing through East London’s Royal Docks on Sunday.

Colourful flags and rhythmic drumming will herald competing crews for the 16th London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival.

Organisers expect 10,000 spectators to watch the races at the London Regatta Centre in Dockside Road, Custom House, organised by the London Chinatown Lions Club and the Hong Kong Executives’ Club.

Teams race three times along the length of the 600ft Albert Dock for the coveted Xinhai Cup, which commemorates the Xinhai Revolution’s 100th anniversary later this year which overthrew the Qing dynasty and brought in China’s first republic.

But Sunday’s festival is mostly concerned with who gets over the finishing line first—and having a fun family day out.

A live variety show takes the stage throughout the day with Kung Fu performances, a talent show and lion dancing.

Stalls being set up include Chinese calligraphy, arts and crafts and food, as well as a replica of the famous Hong Kong Wishing Tree.