BOATING fans were treated to a racing extravaganza with an Oriental flavour at the Chester and District Charity Dragon Boat Race.

More than 400 people lined the banks of the River Dee by Sandy Lane on Sunday to cheer on 12 teams from across the North West, who battled it out to raise money for their chosen charities.

Organiser Julian Thursfield, from Dragon Boat Events Ltd, was delighted with the success of the event.

He said: 'Despite fierce competition from both the British Superbike Championship racing at Oulton Park and the Open Championship just up the road in Hoylake, I am delighted at how dragon boating continues to be such a success in Chester.

'This year's festival has raised around £15,000 in total and we already have next year's date set for June

Originating in China more than 2,000 years ago, dragon boating is now the world's second largest mass participation sport.

The dragon boats used in Chester are a massive 40ft long, have a large dragon's head on the front and hold 16 paddlers.

In a thrilling four-boat final, the overall winners were the 'Ooh Wallah Wallah' team from Gresford who crossed the finish line in one minute 14.95 seconds, beating M&S Money's 'More Roar' team into second place.

Poseidon took third place while the Flint Flyers came fourth.

Any companies interested in entering a team or any charities who would like to know how the dragon boat festival can help them, can e-mail or call Julian Thursfield on 07952099950.