Teams battle it out to be be crowned dragon boat race champions

St Catherine's Hospice Dragon Boat Festival 2018. Picture: Toby Phillips Photography
St Catherine's Hospice Dragon Boat Festival 2018. Picture: Toby Phillips Photography

St Catherine’s Hospice made a splash with its biggest ever Dragon Boat Festival at Tilgate Park on Sunday (September 9).

DHL Express powered through to be crowned champions, with a winning time of 57 seconds - two seconds faster than last year’s winners.

St Catherine's Hospice Dragon Boat Festival 2018. Picture: Toby Phillips Photography

St Catherine's Hospice Dragon Boat Festival 2018. Picture: Toby Phillips Photography

Amanda Phelan, operations manager at DHL Express, said: “This is our third year competing and it’s always such a lovely, fantastic day. The second year we took part we came in at second place so we were here to win today. And we’re thrilled we managed it!”

In second place was Vines Ltd. Vines Beemer took third place.

Winning teams were presented with medals and trophies by Giles Tomsett, chief executive at St Catherine’s, and the Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Carlos Portal Castro.

Vines of Gatwick sponsored the festival and entered two teams.

St Catherine's Hospice Dragon Boat Festival 2018. Picture: Toby Phillips Photography

St Catherine's Hospice Dragon Boat Festival 2018. Picture: Toby Phillips Photography

Darren Buche from Vines of Gatwick said: "Every year, we have a fantastic day at St Catherine’s Dragon Boat Festival. It’s been great seeing even more teams competing this year to show their support for the amazing work St Catherine’s does caring for people in the community around us. It’s a fun day out for us as colleagues and it’s brilliant to raise money for such a worthwhile cause. We’re pleased that our efforts will help more people in our community in the future. We’re already looking forward to signing up for next year’s race!”

St Catherine's Dragon Boat Festival is one of the local hospice's biggest annual fundraisers.

The event will help it provide expert end of life care to local terminally ill people and their friends and family.

Suzanne Davis,corporate fundraiser at St Catherine’s, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who supported or took part in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival. Your efforts take us a step nearer to reaching everyone who needs us. We hope you all enjoyed the day as much as we did!”

Attractions on dry land included hook a duck, a penalty shootout and giant inflatables.

Food and drink was provided by Sussex Event Bars which donated a percentage of profits to St Catherine’s.

To find out about future St Catherine’s events, or how you can support the hospice, visit: www.stch.org.uk.