FORTY teams and big crowds roar into the Albert Dock this Sunday, 27 June, for the 14th annual London dragon boat race day.

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Each dragon boat consists of a team of 17; 16 rowers and one drummer. The drummer is there not only to provide a dramatic sound backdrop to the race, but also to help keep the rowers in rhythm with each other.

Legend has it that the thrashing of the oars and the banging of the drums was a forlorn attempt to save the life of the drowning Qu Yuan, a popular statesman back in the third century.

With luck, there will be no drowning at Docklands this weekend, but Chinese tradition is held up in the form of a Lion Dance, Kung Fu events and plenty of food stalls.

The main races at the London Dragon Boat Festival start at 12 noon and continue until 5pm.