Downham Market Water Festival set to make a splash

David BlackmoreThe fourth Downham Market Water Festival will be the biggest and best yet, organisers have said.David Blackmore

The fourth Downham Market Water Festival will be the biggest and best yet, organisers have said.

With a record number of teams entering, the event, sponsored by the EDP, is set to create a big splash in the town on Sunday..

The main feature of the occasion is a knockout dragon boat racing competition along the Great Ouse Relief Channel next to the Hythe Bridge.

The sound of beating drums and cheering crowds will encourage the crews from clubs, pubs and sports teams, to push for victory.

The festival is free for spectators, who can enjoy lots of activities on the riverbank, including stalls and a funfair, as well as watching the racing.

Howard Phillips, chairman of the festival's working party, said: 'This year is bigger and better than ever before. We have got 23 teams at the moment, but we are still accepting team entries.

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'This event has really taken off this year and we are grateful for the support of the EDP and the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk.'

The 23 teams with 15 crew members will have three races from which to record their two best times.

The top eight teams with the quickest times will then battle it out over the 100-metre course for a place in the final and the chance to be crowned champion.

Downham mayor John Fox said: 'I am really looking forward to it but hoping the rain stays away.

'I have been to the water festival over last couple of years and they have been very successful and are always a great family day out.'

Other crews interested in taking part in the sport - which has ancient Chinese origins - can still apply by contacting the town council.

The organisers are especially keen to have more junior teams, who will compete for their own trophy.

Check out the council website at