Dragons set to roar in Lee challenge

Dragons set to roar in Lee challenge
Participants in a Meitheal Mara dragon boat race in April. They return to the water on Sunday.

DRAGONS are set to roar on the River Lee once again.

Meitheal Mara’s 12th Interfirm Dragon Boat Challenge will bring colour and competition to Cork city waters on July 1.

One of the most eye-catching and enjoyable events on the river all year, the Dragon Boat race is part of a busy weekend in Cork city, with huge crowds expected to turn out to support the popular event on the day.

Elsewhere this weekend, the Lee Swim will also take place, making it a busy weekend for fans of maritime activity, while there is also a host of concerts at Live at the Marquee.

With the good weather forecast to hold out, this weekend could be one to remember in Cork.

The Dragon Boat Race will see dozens of 40ft-long colourful dragon boats, each with a drummer on board. The boats will sprint against each other in a 250m race from the iconic R&H Hall to Cork’s Lapp’s Quay.

The challenge is an important fundraiser for the Cork city community boatyard, Meitheal Mara.

This event, taking place on the River Lee in the heart of Cork city, and has been growing in popularity year-on-year, taking place twice a year at Lapp’s Quay Boardwalk.

Employees from some of the biggest companies and organisations in Cork participate in the challenge each time it takes place. Paddles will be out in force and the rivalry will be fierce both on and off the water but all in the spirit of fun and fundraising. In a series of exciting heats, semi-finals and then a final, 16 companies will compete for the coveted Dragon Boat Challenge Trophy.

Clare O’Sullivan, Dragon Boat Challenge Programme Coordinator said, “The Dragon Boat Challenge is a vital fundraiser, supporting the important work of Meitheal Mara. But what is so fantastic about the event is that it really underpins the ethos of the community boatyard, as it offers the opportunity to get people out on the water as a member of a crew and having a really memorable experience racing dragon boats up the Lee!”

Started in 2013, the event is an important fundraiser for Meitheal Mara, a community boatyard in the heart of Cork city.

Meitheal Mara is also an internationally recognised leader in community-based maritime services and a recognised charity. The organisation is dedicated to promoting and fostering maritime culture and traditional skills through currach and wooden boat building, as well as woodwork and seamanship as the means to help groups of people and individuals to learn, progress and develop.

Founded in 1993, Meitheal Mara has now grown from a small idea to an internationally recognised leader in community-based maritime services, incorporating and integrating personal and community development opportunities through marine-based activities.

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