PERSHORE Phoenix hit the challenge of the Great River Race head on and came in 11th on a day of fun in London.

On the back of searching for a team for next year's race, demand became so high that a side was assembled at the 11th hour for the trip to the capital.

The 21-mile course was considered a tall order but the team shone through in a field of some 332, finishing five minutes in front of the next-fastest dragon boat.

In spite of some water bailing, the crew paddled hard and after the first few miles the boat reached calmer waters and the boat speed went up.

The club wishes to thank everyone who joined, including some people new to dragon boating, ex-paddlers and paddlers from Worcester Dragon Boat Club and Hurricanes Dragon Boat Club.

Plans are already coming together to compete in next year's event with the possibility of taking part in the Cork Ocean to City race in Ireland, the Gardalonga on Lake Garda in Italy or the Vogalonga in Venice.

Pershore Phoenix would like to hear from anyone interested in joining with social paddling and practice taking part on Sunday mornings from 9.30am and Wednesdays from 7pm at Arden Sailing Club, Defford, Pershore. Email for more information.