Air-IT was extremely pleased to take part in the Nottingham Hospitals Charity Dragon Boat Race on Saturday 23rd April at Trent Bridge, coming in 3rd overall and raising more than £1,000 for our local hospital appeals.

Dragon Boat - IT Support

At Air-IT we do as much as we can to get involved in the community, and giving back to support local charities and sports is something we’re extremely passionate about.

So when Nottingham Hospitals Charity asked us to take part in their annual Dragon Boat Race, it was an offer we just couldn’t refuse.

Paul Judge, Marketing Director at Air-IT comments:

This event was a great way for Air-IT to get involved in one of the more unusual sports Nottingham has to offer and to contribute to a fantastic local charity which benefits millions of patients each year.

This was the first time any of us had been in a Dragon Boat before so we didn’t know quite what to expect. We all had a thoroughly fantastic day and were delighted to get to the finals and even more importantly help raise vital funds for our local hospitals.

About the Dragon Boat Race

Sponsored by Nottingham City Transport, the Dragon Boat Race saw 13 individual teams competing against each other with up to 16 crew members rowing in pairs and racing 30-foot dragon boats along the River Trent.

Nottingham Hospitals Charity Dragon Boat Race

Dragon Boat racing in action

Meanwhile, a 17th team member took on the vital role of boat drummer who served to set each crews rowing pace, often referred to as the “pulse” or “heartbeat” of the boat.

Dragon Boat drummer - Air-IT

Air-IT Dragon Boat Drummer, Daniel McQuilkin practices the required drumming technique

With a prize for the best dressed crew there was also an array of fancy dress from pirates to patients and our very own Roman inspired crew.

Air-IT Nottingham Hospital Charity Dragon Boat Race

Air-IT Technical Manager, Jamie Hissitt and Technical Director, James Healey in Roman helmets

With experts on hand from Notts AnacondaNottingham’s longest running and most successful Dragon Boat racing club – the event was well supervised meaning rowers required no previous experience, even for complete beginners like us taking part for the very first time.

Air-IT Dragon Boat Race Nottingham

Team Air-IT setting sail as Roman centurions

Watch the video of our first heat race vs The Breakfast Club crew below.

Air-IT win their heat races vs The Breakfast Club

With an average time of just 34.78 across our two heat races, we were extremely pleased to find our crew 3rd fastest overall, guaranteeing us a place in the Gold Major Final.

Air-IT runner-up Dragon Boat Race

Air-IT come 3rd in the heats with an average time of 34.78

The Gold Major Final

Next up it was our chance to go up against heat leaders Thunder Child and Surgical Spirit in an attempt to paddle our way to 1st place.

Air-IT Dragon Boat Race Finals

Air-IT vs Thunder Child and Surgical Spirit in the Gold Major Final

Sadly it wasn’t meant to be, and despite best efforts we eventually came runners-up as Bronze medallists just 0.7 behind Surgical Spirit who came in 2nd fastest.

Air-IT Dragon Boat Team 3rd

Team Air-IT celebrate 3rd place with Bronze medals

Winners by a clear mile were first place crew Thunder Child, who finished with a staggering 4 second lead earning them the top spot on the podium, gold medals and vouchers to spend at a local restaurant.

Watch the video of the Gold Major Final below:

To find out more about the Dragon Boat Race you can read more in the article published by West Bridgford Wire and by visiting the Nottingham Hospitals Charity Storify thread.

About our chosen charity

Nottingham Hospitals Charity Logo

Nottingham Hospitals Charity aims to enhance and support care provided by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust which includes the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC), Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham Children’s Hospital, Ropewalk House and Hayward House.

Monies raised are invested directly in the services, facilities and healthcare that is most important to patients and essential to making care in Nottingham’s hospitals the very best that it can be.

Fundraisers can also choose to support specific areas, wards and appeals, such as the Saving Lives Helipad Appeal which aims to fund an onsite Helipad at QMC – although we will be asking the charity to allocate our funds to the most needy of their many worthy and various causes at this time.

Visit our Just Giving Page

If you’d like to sponsor the Air-IT Dragon Boat team there’s time to do so by visiting our Just Giving page below.

Visit Air-IT's Just Giving Page

The page will remain open until Sunday 1st May, 2016. Any donations received before this time will also count towards our chance to win the prize for the crew who raises the most money for Nottingham Hospitals Charity. So please watch this space!

Well done and thank you

Once again we’d like to congratulate all 17 of our crew members for coming runners-up as Bronze medallists and to all of the other crews for taking part in support of Nottingham Hospitals Charity.

We’d also like to say a huge thank you to the Notts Anaconda Dragon Boat Club for keeping us and the all the other teams afloat on race day.

Our special thanks also go to our clients, suppliers, partners, family and friends who have been extremely generous, helping us to raise over £1,000 for Nottingham Hospitals Charity. Thank you.