BEWDLEY’S first dragon boat event was a roaring success.

The water-sports competition, which saw crews take to the River Severn aboard vessels decorated with Chinese dragon heads and tails, was organised by the Rotary Club of Bewdley.

A team from A1 Rentals in Brierley Hill, which rowed under the name of The Rental Mentals, were crowned the overall winners with groups from Halesowen and West Midlands Taekwondo coming second and third respectively.

Family and friends of Leah Perry, the disabled Stourport girl who needs £12,000 for life-changing equipment that will give her a voice for the first-time, also participated in the festival while the Emily Jordan Foundation entered two teams.

The foundation, which was set up by Chris Jordan from Trimpley in memory of his daughter who died in a riverboarding accident in New Zealand six years ago, helps people with moderate learning disabilities.

Mr Jordan said: “Six young people with learning disabilities rowed in our crews.

“They all did very well and had a great time. As we always say there is a lot these guys can do given the opportunity.”

The event, which took place last Saturday, raised money for the Rotary Club of Bewdley as well as charities selected by the teams.

John Cox, chairman of the club’s fundraising committee, said: “The dragon boat festival was a great success and everyone had a wonderful time.

“It started off fun and light-hearted but became very competitive as teams contested it out for the medals and trophy.

“We are confident the festival will grow each year and we already have teams enquiring about entering next time.”

Organisers will run the competition annually and exact details of the 2015 event will be published at by mid September.

Anyone interested in entering a crew of 16 paddlers and a drummer can also contact John Cox on 08451 990160 or at