Dragons were spotted on the River Bann at Drumaheglis Marina earlier this month - or dragon boats, to be more accurate.
Ballymoney Rotary Club hosted a charity Dragon Boat event in which twelve teams competed against each other, having great fun while raising funds for their own organisations and other charities.
The 220 hardy souls who crewed the boats were from Ballymoney Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs, Limavady Grammar School, JKC Specialist Cars Ltd, John Laverty Optometrists, Macmillan Support), Mosside BB, Payescape Payroll Services, Kilraughts YFC, Roseyards BB & GB, Moycraig YFC, Millstrand Primary School Portstewart and Ballycastle Rotary Club. Each crew raised sponsorship for their nominated charities including Marie Curie, Cancer Fund for Children, Robinson Palliative Care, Rotary Charities, Young Farmers Clubs, school funds, etc.
Each team raced twice to begin with, the fastest teams proceeding to the semi-finals and the final. The Hallions were the worthy overall winners but the real winners were the many charities that benefited from the event. Liam Beckett was the commentator and kept the crowd amused with his hilarious asides and throwaway remarks.
The weather was not kind on the day and some people at the marina ended up nearly as wet as those on the water but it proved to be a very enjoyable day out for the crowd of almost 500 people who attended and there was plenty of food and hot drinks to revive competitors and spectators alike.
The event would not have been possible without without the dedicated voluntary support of commentator Liam Beckett and the many generous sponsors: Steele Farm Supplies, John Laverty Optometrists, John McElderry M&T Ltd., Basil Knipe Electrics, Knockanboy Veterinary Clinic Dervock, David Christie & Son, Agricultural Merchants, DJM Robinson & Son, Funeral Services, Culcrum, O’Neill’s Caravan Sales & Distributors Limited, Portstewart and Indigo Jewellers Ballycastle. Other sponsors were R. Robinson & Son, architects and civil engineers, McAfee Properties, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council, Chestnutt Animal Feeds Ltd, Signs NI, Cromore Castles, John W. Pinkerton and Son.