The Dragons Are Coming 2022

One of the most unique and fun-filled events to take place in Ipswich is back on the calendar this summer with the return of the Fresh Start new beginnings (FSNB) dragon boat race.

Suffolk-based charity FSNB provides therapeutic services to children who have been victims of sexual abuse and is the only provider of this type of care in the region.

The dragon boat race is the ‘flagship’ event on the charity’s calendar, but has been cancelled for the last two years due to Covid restrictions. This year’s event will take place on Saturday 11th June outside the Cult Bar on Ipswich Waterfront.

The event sees dozens of rowers racing along the marina in Ipswich in Chinese dragon boats. 10 paddlers paddle to the rhythm set by their drummer, competing in short heats throughout the day.

The race is almost full, with just a couple of spots remaining for additional teams.  With the 2019 event raising £14,000 for the charity, it is set to provide a major funding boost. The charity is doubling the number of teams taking part this year, so all participants will be helping to provide a surge in funding to help it support even more young people and their families.

It takes around £2,500 to provide care to a single child and with around 200 children helped each year, and an ever-growing waiting list, funds are crucial.

Sandra Lucas, Corporate Fundraiser with Fresh Start new beginnings said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be able to bring the dragon boats back to Ipswich this year, having missed out on this fun, spectacle of an event for two years.  We really want to make this the best one yet.  With a bumper allocation of teams, we’re confident that will happen, and we’d encourage anyone interested in taking part to get in touch to secure one of our last three spots. We provide the boats and a helmsman, you just need to provide 10 enthusiastic people to paddle and a drummer to keep you all in time.

“A huge thank you to Associated British Ports (ABP) for allowing the event to take place and of course all the businesses who have entered teams already this year. We’ve also received generous sponsorship from Ipswich Buses, who will be entering a team – a big thank you to them.

To sponsor the Ipswich Buses Team please click here to visit the teams just giving page. 

“Whether you’re a group of friends or a business, this is a fantastic day out for all. We’ll have side stalls, entertainment, food and drink lining the waterfront to make this a day to remember with a real carnival atmosphere.”

Steve Bryce, General Manager of Ipswich Buses said “We are delighted to support FSNB and this event, helping to raise awareness of the important work carried out by the charity. I was really saddened to learn how many children are affected by sexual abuse in our area each year and sadly the work carried out by FSNB only supports a fraction of these children, so it’s crucial to raise more funds and get more children’s lives back on track”.

Anyone interested in entering a team or hosting a food, drink or entertainment stall is asked to contact / 01473 70511.

More information on Fresh Start new beginnings can be found at