The Oving Otters were the first community team to enter the Chichester Rotary Dragonboat Challenge, held in June each year at the Chichester Canal Basin. The main aim of the event is to raise money for Cancerwise and the Chichester Rotary Club charities, but the secondary aim of bringing together groups of people for a common cause is also a great motivation to join in.
It was a fantastic day out that brought together people from the parish, many of whom had never met. The Oving Otters met for a few briefing sessions in The Gribble, but otherwise had no experience of rowing in unison until the first race.
As to be expected, the team were a little out of sync in the first race, but improved enough in the second to power across the finish line in first place. The extra support from spectators and mascot Oscar the Otter surely helped.
Oscar the Otter
Fatigue set in by the third heat, but despite losing that race the Otters improved their time yet again. Whilst they didn’t rank in the top three overall, the Oving Otters did win a prize for being the best dressed team.
The day finished back at The Gribble with the landlord Simon – who had rowed in all three races – doubling up on his contributions by putting on a great spread for the team and supporters.
If you would like to be part of the fun next year, you can join the Oving Otters when the call goes out for rowers in the Spring. We would also really like to get together a youth team from Oving and surrounding parishes. Contact us if you would like to express an interest in joining a team in 2015.