THE Adver’s ‘Where’s Wally?’ clad contenders were among more than 300 fundraisers dressed in an array of eccentric and eye-catching costumes vying for victory at the hotly-contested Dragon Boat Race yesterday.

Challengers mustered unwavering strength and stamina through a series of rowing heats at Coate Water Park in the hope of being crowned overall winners and in support of various local charities including Prospect Hospice.

After a hard-fought battle, the remarkable Corsair Pirates scooped the champion trophy with an impressive time of 57.98 seconds.

Despite their best efforts the 16-strong Adver team, D’Arcy’s Drag-ons, came in 13th place, after recording a pathetic time of one minute 20 seconds. But not all was lost as reporters and editors were awarded the Best Fancy Dress trophy.

“We did our best and were very motivated but unfortunately it was not enough,” said team captain and deputy news editor Scott D’Arcy. “The competition was fierce and it was clear from the first round that a miracle would have to happen for us to make it to the final.

“I am proud of my team. We were doing it for the 160 Appeal which is a great cause and we had fun. It’s the taking part that counts.

“Winning best fancy dress was a nice consolation prize and we’d like to thank Skywalkers, in Faringdon Road, for donating our costumes.”

Prospect Hospice’s own team came in last , only just beating the Adver’s team to the title of longest time to cross the finish line with one minute 22 seconds.

Those less physically inclined enjoyed other fun activities, perused stalls or treated themselves to one of the many snacks on offer at the fun day.

John Fisher, a Rotary Club committee member and race organiser, said the event had become the largest in its event calendar.

“It’s been brilliant. We had 18 teams which is a lot more than last year,” he said.People were competitive and it was fun, which is what it’s all about. People just love the race. .

“We also had lots of stalls set up by businesses and charities. “This is our second event and apart from our Santa Fun Run at Lydiard it’s our biggest event.

“It’s a great family day out and it gets everybody involved. Anybody can do it.”