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And the winners of the 2024 Dragon Boat Race are... LEO GYM! Cheers, celebrations, jumping, hugging, and utter elation followed. Eighteen teams entered, but only one emerged victorious! Okay, let’s back up and start from the beginning...


Leo Gym attended the Dragon Boat Festival at Marlow Town Regatta, ready to take on the challenge and showcase their team spirit. On Sunday, 16th June, Leo Gym members walked across Higginson Park to join their teammates for a day filled with emotions, suspense, and synchronized teamwork. No one had a clue what was coming.

The format of the day involved competing in three preliminary races, with the fastest two times determining who made it into the semi-finals. Then came the sudden elimination races with three heats of three boats each. The winners of those heats then battled it out for the grand prize.

The first race for most teams was a mix of confusion and excitement with thoughts like, “What am I supposed to do?” “How does this work?” “Why am I getting so wet?” and “Where is that finish line??” As the day progressed, teams found their groove, created strategies, and became more in tune with each other, making for some very tight and exciting finishes!

By the third race, it seemed like Leo wasn’t much of a threat, placing 7th out of the 9 semi-finalists. Thrilled to make it that far, we decided to give it our all in the qualifying race. Up against the fastest team, the race was a nail-biter as Leo eked their way in front by only a few hundredths of a second! When the announcement came that we made it to the finals... things got really exciting! Competitors murmured, “We might have a chance to win this thing!”

As the day went on, more non-competing LEO members showed up to support and cheer our team on! The true LEO spirit, encouragement, and support could be heard across the river and park!

The final race approached as we paddled upstream, got in sync, and waited for the 3, 2, 1, GO! Then we were off! Paddles furiously moved, drumbeats echoed to the sound of 1, 2, 1, 2, muscles were at full effort, and the determination of the competitors was evident! At 40 seconds in, the sound of cheering from the shore, and a repetitive shout of “POWER, POWER” thundered behind us! Gritting our teeth and pushing through the lactic acid, we powered on, stroke by stroke, neck and neck with the teams beside us! It was a photo finish!

The excitement and anticipation of the announcement were tense. Did we win? They might’ve beaten us by a hair. What we did know is that we gave it all we had.

Shortly after, the announcement confirmed that all we had was enough to clinch the WIN! And wow, that WIN felt amazing! Not just because it showed how powerful and strong our athletes have become, but because it celebrated the unity, camaraderie, and support that LEO has as a family! Celebrating that win together was next level and brought tears to eyes and goosebumps to skin! That is the LEO spirit, that is the LEO way! The win was just a bonus! (A nice bonus, we must admit!)

A big thank you to Marlow Town Regatta and the Team Activity Group for organising such a fantastic Dragon Boat Race. The event was well-organised and incredibly fun, making it a truly memorable day for all of us.


Check out all the action below, and for more images, visit the Marlow Town Regatta gallery:


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