On Thursday the 23rd of April (St George’s Day), probably one of the hottest and most beautiful days of the year so far, Race the Dragon went somewhere it had never been before, the Isle of Wight. This was such an amazing experience involving Celebrities, Giant Dragon Skulls and an outstanding set of teams all in support of the WellChild Charity. The focal point of this event was the actual dragon skull from the first season of the show, Game of Thrones, due to John Giddings being an enormous fan and wanting to reveal his new purchase. Large marquees were set up around this to make it a glorious centre piece. There was a free bar, BBQ and great music including some cheese, which all helped raise the events sociability. This was a corporate event for Charity with teams made up from suppliers, security and event teams involved with the Isle of Wight Festival, supporting the Charity Well Child. Overall more than £50,000 was raised for children less fortunate than others, this pays for a nurse who looks after around 50 children for an entire year! Not only did we raise thousands for a good cause but we helped the people doing this have an amazing day “Definitely the best day at work I have ever had!” A quote from David Steele the operations manager for the Isle of Wight Festival, who also competed in the Wight Lightning team.
As people turned up the atmosphere really changed, going from calm to crazy in a matter of minutes, as teams were called up to their safety briefings team tactics and war talk were becoming more and more apparent. With 3 boat racing it was an adrenaline rush just being a part of the roaring crowd, we had people with head cams and a photo finish at the end of each race so we didn’t miss any of the action. The team that stuck out in the first round were BOOZE CREWZ whose time came in at 52 seconds, their team plan of “Were just not going to tip the boat” reallypaid off in the end!
The second round times came in much quicker as people had already had a round to practise, their technique had improved and some team tactics had clearly been discussed. A dramatic change in the score board showed this with the Wight Lightning team storming ahead with a time 10 seconds faster than their previous attempt. This may also have been due to the excitement of the large water fight and splashing of paddles which broke out on the water just before the race had started. “I wish we could race more” said several of the teams at the end of the second round, this was encouraging to all the event team as we wouldn’t be happy with anything less.
The final race consisted of the best paddlers and leaders of the day, with every different team having a chant that they shouted throughout the race, the most noticeable one must have been “HEAVE! HO! HEAVE! HO!” In the end after an exhilarating final race the results were… 4th place – Booze Crewz 3rd place – Airpartner, 2nd place – Connor Construction and in 1st place – Wight Lightning! We then had a fantastic presentation and award ceremony with an inspirational speech from Keith Duffy, reminding us what the day was all about! Laura Tobin who was a member of the Wight Lighting team came with her news crew from Good Morning Britain and covered the entire day, a motivational, yet comical video was created to highlight the celebs best moments including their heroic victory! Not only this but they highlighted the WellChild Charity and helped raise thousands. WellChild is an inspirational charity devoted to helping children of all ages that are less fortunate than us. When the racing concluded the teams retired for post event entertainment and probably a well-earned drink, whilst they shared their experiences.