WATCH - Dragon Boat Challenge returns to Ipswich Waterfront
PUBLISHED: 18:23 01 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:45 02 June 2019
Tensions were high at the Ipswich Waterfront as 19 rival teams battled it out to be crowned winners of the annual Dragon Boat Challenge.
The quirky charity event featured dozens of races, with roughly 600 spectators lining the Waterfront to catch a glimpse of the action on what turned out to be a scorching Saturday.
The action started at 10.30am and ran through the rest of the day, with the team from Needham Market manufacturer Hudson Signs eventually taking first place.
Crowds were also be able to enjoy face painting, sand play, fish and chips, ice cream, a tombola and hook a duck.
The challenge raised a huge £15,000 for Fresh Start New Beginnings, which supports children who have suffered sexual abuse.
Patsy Johnson-Cisse, fundraising and marketing manager at the charity, said the money would go a long way to helping vulnerable children rebuild their futures.
"The dragons were brilliant," she said.
"The weather was absolutely amazing - I think the teams had a brilliant time. There were people here who really enjoyed it who want to enter teams next year.
"We had 25 referrals to Fresh Start New Beginnings in May alone - this is really going to help those children.
"On average it costs £2,500 to work with one child. That £2,500 will help the child to rebuild their future."
She added that the event is "definitely happening next year" and she wanted to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers and local businesses who helped make the challenge possible.
That includes Cult Cafe on University Avenue, where staff offered free hot drinks and bacon baps to all those helping out and ABP who donated the venue used free of charge.
Teams came from a variety of businesses and organisations, including Scrutton Bland, Crafted, Trucks 'R' Us, Clearfield, Gilmour Piper, Ensors, Timberwolf, St Joseph's College, Kerseys Solicitors, Hudson Signs, A & S Recruitment, ABP, Larking Gowen, Concertus, Critical Care from the Hospital, John Lewis, S & P Ventilation, and Fresh Start New Beginnings.