Search takes home Bronze at Dragon Boat Race!

Search takes home Bronze at Dragon Boat Race!

It was a wet and gloomy morning in Tilgate Park on September 4, 2016, when a shivering and semi slumberous band of Search representatives congregated together to compete in the Dragon Boat Race to raise a donation of £1,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice. The team, affectionately dubbed, ‘Usain Boat’, consisted of Laura Wright, Laura Rintoul, Darren Vickers, Sam Field, Carla Manser, Stuart Tolhurst, Matt Covell, Jason Paterson, Jack Stenning, Andrew Stark, Dan Cummins, Zoe Payne, Emma Tugwell, and Abi Fryer.

These brave warriors of the water were the dark horses who turned out to be the heroes of this story.


At 2:30pm, the sky began to clear, allowing the warm rays of the sun to shine through. However, Team Usain Boat soon realised that the weather wasn’t the only obstacle that had been working against them. Even the size of the vessel presented its own comical set of challenges. 

“I could just about fit my bum on the tiniest seat you have ever seen. It kept wobbling and I nearly fell in,” chuckled Laura Wright, Search Office Manager in Sussex. Despite the minor setbacks, the team was able to successfully finish the initial three races, winning the 1st and placing 6th overall. 



Finishing in the top six secured 'Usain Boat' a spot in the final and given how it was the first race the team had ever competed in, this was a tremendous boost for their morale. 

Although the team was momentarily distracted by the thought of a celebratory picnic or some ice-cold beers, there was no time to lose sight of the competition. The team knew that they would have to step it up a gear for the final race, making the most of their lunch break to strategise a plan of action. 

Team Usain Boat went hell for the leather in the final race, as the sounds of the Hawaii Five-0 intro tune and the enthusiastic cheers of friends, family and the general public blared in the background. Emma Tugwell put on her game face, even though Zoe Payne kept clumsily soaking everyone with her paddle. Despite there being so much at stake, the mischievous misters of the group simply could not pass up the opportunity to have a bit of fun at the expense of their most flustered teammate.

“At the last race the boys thought it would be funny to rock the boat so much that I had to hold on tight to the drum so as not to fall in,” said Laura.


Although the boat rocked somewhat, Team Usain Boat lived up to their name by going on to win the bronze medal by placing 3rd out of 28 teams. A tremendous achievement!

This was not the only successful highlight of the day however, as the team managed to raise a whopping £852 for St Catherine’s Hospice, just £140 shy of the initial target. With the target deadline set on the 19th of September, Team Usain Boat is optimistic that they will reach and possibly exceed their goal by then. 

For more information on how you can make a contribution towards this wonderful cause, visit:

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