Video: Charity boat race raises £3000

DRAGON boats took to the water in Stevenage at the weekend. More than 400 spectators enjoyed the sunshine as nine businesses from across Hertfordshire battled it out in a charity dragon boat race at Fairlands Valley Park on Saturday. The event was held in

DRAGON boats took to the water in Stevenage at the weekend.

More than 400 spectators enjoyed the sunshine as nine businesses from across Hertfordshire battled it out in a charity dragon boat race at Fairlands Valley Park on Saturday.

The event was held in aid of Mercy Ships UK, an international charity based in Stevenage that provides free medical care and humanitarian aid to people in Africa.

Companies which took part included Fujitsu, Lombard, the NHS and Transforme Associates but Cadcorp was crowned the winner at the awards ceremony and Astrium was awarded second place.

The event, which also saw a barbecue and fun activities for the family, raised more than £3,000.

Mel Blackmore, managing director of Blackmore Quality Services Ltd which was the main sponsor of the event, said "We were delighted to sponsor the event again as it captures the imagination of competitors and spectators alike. It was entertaining to watch, the competitors took it very seriously and there was some real team rivalry.

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"Mercy Ships is a fantastic charity and we are thrilled to support them in their life changing work in Africa.

"We will hold it next year providing we can get around 12 teams."

Jane Palmer, community fundraiser of Mercy Ships in Stevenage, added: "It was a very enjoyable event for the whole family. There was a great atmosphere and we had lovely sunshine which was great for spectators.

"The money raised is essential. We get little government funding for our work in West Africa and we have a new hospital ship in Liberia which will be docked there for about 10 months so this money will really help.

"We are keen to sponsor the event next year providing enough teams sign up. We ideally need 12."

* For more information or to make a donation visit www.mercyships.org.uk or call 01438 727800.

Or if anyone is interested in taking part in next year's event visit: www.dragonboats.org.uk for more information

FACT FILE

* Over the last 30 years, Mercy Ships has worked in over 70 countries providing services valued at more than £350million.

* The charity has treated more than 230,000 people in village medical clinics

* It has performed more than 35,000 surgeries, 190,000 dental treatments and completed over 950 construction and agriculture projects, including schools, clinics, orphanages and water wells.

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