St Catherine’s Hospice Dragon Boat Race – The Assurity Consulting Ark

Before long, St Catherine’s ordered Noah to fill the dragon boat with animals, two of every kind, and Noah did. Noah went aboard too, sitting on the most precarious seat in the high sea.

Over stormy seas the Ark and its pairs of animals made their way to the start line, alongside some stiff competition from companies in the Horsham and Crawley area. With steely determination and some questionable technique we braved the course, battling our competition. We had sent out our doves and they had seen land!

Back to land we went, seeking salvation in the harsh environment. All we found were a variety of other teams, eager to prove themselves as the real captains. With this we got back in the Ark for a repeat performance. This time our muscles were beginning to fatigue. We needed some new tactics, as the rabbits were doing the majority of the work!

It was time to regroup in the calm of the storm. The decision was made for a change of tack. This third outing could be our chance to shine. At this point our time was 7th best – close to the main final, but our chances were good in the “small final”. Then it was the finals. A six-boat-race to newly discovered land (and a marquee with a chequered flag). The time for this race would decide our final position and whether we got a medal.

At the start line, the tension was so thick it could be cut with a knife. Banter was being shared between boats. A carrot had been dangled at the finish line and we hadn’t eaten for over three minutes, this could be our moment to shine. The calls were made. “Boat 4 back one stroke”, “Boat 2 forwards half”. Our boat was perfectly positioned, poised. The wind dropped and the team set up ready for their first forays into the new world. Our reactions were quick. After the call, we set off, immediately pulling ahead of our competition, before settling down to our race pace. From the pace-setters at the front to the power at the back, the oars moved in perfect synch. Chased by pirates and another Ark, we continued for over a minute, setting not only our best time of the day, but the 4th fastest time over all!

All of the animals in the Ark celebrated in raucous delight, having led our competition by a boat length. All that was left to do was rebuild our world after the flood. But first we had to wait for the main final, hoping that we had been faster. Unfortunately we did not count on the competition driving BMW’s, being Usain Boat or some Dirty Oars…

We were happy with our 4th fastest time out of 28 teams that entered the challenge. We have so far raised over £1200, which all goes to a worthy local charity, St Catherine’s Hospice. This money will go towards providing the very best palliative care to local people and their families, friends and carers.

It’s not too late to donate to our team’s fundraising page. Please donate here, Noah will be delighted: