Annual dragon boat race cancelled

Knottingley Dragon Boats
Knottingley Dragon Boats

Organisers have cancelled this year’s Osgoldcross and Elmet Rotary Club Dragon Boat Challenge in Knottingley due to lack of interest.

The event, in which teams of friends, businesses and other groups compete in a series of races, should have taken place on bank holiday Monday, May 26.

It has been held at the town’s amphitheatre for the past three years but organisers say not enough teams have signed up for this year’s race.

Chris Lovett, organiser, said: “It is with much regret but we’ve had to cancel this year’s dragon boat race.

“We just can’t get teams signed up for the event and we don’t know why. It’s bitterly disappointing.”

Last year’s race saw more than 6,000 people turn out as eight teams took to the River Aire and to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Members of the rotary club estimated the event raked in around £5,000 as groups battled it out on the river.

Mrs Lovett added: “The crowds on the day are always fantastic. It’s just getting teams signed up.

“I think part of the problem is that teams have to include 17 people and that can be a struggle.”

Organisers want people to let them know why they couldn’t support the event.

Mrs Lovett added: “We would like feedback from people about why they didn’t enter.

“We want the dragon race to keep going in Knottingley. The amphitheatre offers the perfect setting for the race and the crowds have always turned out.

“I think we need to cast the net wider than Knottingley in terms of getting teams signed up.

“We can’t keep targeting the same group of people.”

If you would like to leave comments with the organisers call Chris or Mark Lovett on 01977 620766 or email

Mrs Lovett added: “We do hope to hold the event next year and will use people’s coments to plan for that.

“We’d also like to thank the people of Knottingley for their support.”