PUGNEYS COUNTRY PARK, WAKEFIELD
SATURDAY 9TH JULY 2016 – 9.30am to 5pm
Despite the best efforts of an English summer to dampen the spirits of the hardy participants and spectators, another great day was had by everyone who came along to the 8th Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge on Pugneys Lake. 29 teams took part, competing for the new Stuart Wardell Memorial Trophy named in honour of the late Stuart Wardell who, with the Rotary Club of Huddersfield and his colleagues from the Rotary Club of Wakefield Chantry, set up this popular event in 2009.
The event has grown in popularity to become one of the larger UK events of its type. Stuart’s daughter, Amanda O’Neil entered a team again this year and named it Stuarts Big Kiss in honour of her dad.
Each team raced the 250m course across Pugneys three times during the day in heats of 3 boats with the 6 fastest teams overall taking part in a grand final. Teams this year came from the Leeds/Wakefield and Huddersfield areas but also included a team from Barnsley Hospital and from the Communication Union’s Head Office in Newcastle.
In a really exciting final race Amanda’s team managed to win the overall trophy by just half a second! Afterwards, fighting back the tears, she said, “he was obviously looking down on us, having a great laugh at the weather, but gave us a real push at the end to get us over the line!”
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