The Flintstones, Oompa Loompas, Smarties and ghosts of York paddled furiously in the autumn sunshine to take the honours in the York Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge on Saturday.
Postponed from July, when heavy rainfall threatened to sweep competitors downstream past Boothferry, racing took place over a 250 metre stretch of the River Ouse between Scarborough and Lendal Bridges. Supported by the York City Rowing Club, British Waterways and the Hawaii Five-O theme song, teams provided a high-speed colourful spectacle past the Royal Mail sorting offices and Museum Gardens.
We spent the day with Lenny’s Lovelies, a ghastly, ghostly crew from, and raising funds for, St Leonard’s Hospice. They included Dick Turpin, Mad Alice and the Grey Lady (nothing to do with a bestselling novel I assume).
My six-year-old son cheered for Team GB, steadfastly refusing to let the Olympic spirit die. At least his enthusiasm was in the right place. Other family members and staff just soaked up the sunshine and goodwill.
They rowed valiantly in three races, the final one of which was against the boys from Imphal Barracks. Lacking brawn but embracing the spirit of the day, the team won the wooden oar for last place, but gained the trophy for best dressed team. They vowed to regroup and return for next year.