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Companies race to sign up for the second Dorney Lake Dragon Boat Challenge

Following the successful launch of the second Dorney Lake Corporate Dragon Boat Challenge, companies nationwide have quickly been forming and uniting their most stout-hearted teams to take part in this eagerly anticipated annual event. Voted top Olympic venue by spectators at the 2012 Games, this year’s Dorney Lake Dragon Boat Challenge is sure to set the hearts racing of participants and spectators alike.

No wonder the return of the Challenge on the afternoon of Wednesday 2nd July is proving so popular amongst local and national businesses!

Not just a chance to build team spirit and friendships internally, this event offers a unique opportunity to reignite the friendly banter and inter-company rivalry cast in beating drums, splashing water and the triumphant battle-cries that are still left ringing in the ears of last year’s competitors! The beauty of dragon boat racing is that it’s not reliant on brute strength. The key to success is team work, timing and the ability to listen to your helm’s instructions, failure to do so could result in humiliation and an early bath!

There’s nothing more amusing than to see a crew of super-confident burley builders come unstuck against a mixed crew of IT consultants! Organisation and team work will be triumphant every time. So even if you don’t have the arms of Thor or the athletic prowess of Victoria Pendleton, fear not as anyone can succeed in Dragon Boat Racing, which is why this event is so appealing to companies looking for a fun way to motivate staff and strengthen team spirit.

One team who have signed up early to ensure their place is Thomas Interiors Ltd and crew manager, Hayley Thomas, shares her thoughts on why they have decided to re-enter the Challenge and double their number of crews this year; “We feel that the Dragon Boat Racing last year gave us an opportunity to partake in an event that was totally outside all our comfort zones. So much fun was had by all and it was a brilliant team building exercise… We thought it would be a great opportunity to invite some of our longstanding clients to come along with us and take part.”

Thomas Interiors Ltd is an Interior Fit Out Specialist, working at Heathrow Airport. 2014 marks the 25th Anniversary of the company’s formation. Hayley continues; “Last year’s Challenge was brilliant fun and gave everyone their own unique experience and funny stories to share… This year we are entering a second crew and we expect some healthy competition as neither of them will be happy about being beaten by the other. The event gives staff who wouldn’t normally work together on a regular basis the opportunity to mix together in an environment very different to our normal day-to-day. If the experience is half as good as it was in 2013 the Thomas Interiors team will have a brilliant day!”

We also caught up with Neil Owen, Managing Director of Speedboard Assembly Services, an electronic manufacturing services company based in the local area of Windsor who will be participating in the event for the first time as a Gold crew. A Gold entry offers companies additional profile at the Challenge as it includes a company logo on both sides of a dragon boat, promotional display and souvenir programme advertising.

Employing 75 staff, Speedboard works for companies that choose to outsource their PCB and Final Assembly production, helping many customers cut lead times and increase stock turns and cashflow. Neil comments; “We would not be where we are today if it was not for the hard work and dedication from all our staff. The management team work extremely hard to ‘deliver success’ to all our customers. But team work doesn’t just happen. This year’s Dragon Boat competition at Dorney Lake is not just a bit of fun, but an important event in our efforts to strengthen our core”.

With the heart of their crew made up of two directors and six managers, Neil and his battle-hardened companions will be sure to be working together to ensure victory! Being local to Windsor they will be able to stop over and enjoy the entertainment with the potential for a few celebratory beverages!

This exciting team building challenge takes place on Wednesday 2nd July and provides a great afternoon of corporate entertainment and hospitality with races every 10 minutes, a gourmet BBQ, bar and a variety of fun side activities. Dragon boat racing is also a proven fundraising event for charity with many of the entrants nominating their own charities to raise sponsorship for as part of their CSR responsibilities.

All you need to do is raise a crew of up to 11 people who are up for something different, fun, competitive and if it all goes wrong… wet! Once you have your crew, you’re ready to ‘race the dragon’ and why not do so in style with fancy dress or matching uniforms to instil fear into your competitors with your displays of unified solidarity?

All the dragon boats, qualified helms and racing equipment (including buoyancy vests) are provided. Each team gets a minimum of three races and no previous experience is necessary, just plenty of team spirit and enthusiasm!

Up to 30 crews are expected to battle it out over the 200m Olympic race course watched by hundreds of cheering colleagues and spectators.

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